The future of the Georgia Football Offensive is in

The future of the Georgia Football Offensive is in flux as Todd Monken ponders the next step – DawgNation

ATHENS – Reality hits Georgia hard, where it has become clear the so-called ‘Endgame’ for Todd Monken will not spend the rest of his career on the Bulldogs staff.

Of course, it probably never was, and Coach Kirby Smart knows it.

Monken and every other assistant coach works in an annual situation, which is why the multi-year contracts are so important. When head coaches are fired, it usually involves big takeovers. But that doesn’t apply to assistant coaches, whose lives and families can quickly be turned upside down.

A year later in Athens, Monken – already college football’s highest-paid OC at $2.1 million – is poised to capitalize on his huge success.

So much so that former SEC head coach and Georgia defense coordinator Jeremy Pruitt speculated earlier this month that Monken could even be considered as NFL head coach.

The reality

Georgia fans love to romanticize about the allure of the magic “G” and how there’s no better place in the country on a Saturday afternoon than Sanford Stadium.

It is certainly one of the best game days and destinations in the world of college football when it comes to championship potential among Smart and the friendliness and comfort of the Athens community.

RELATED: Todd Monken Keeps It Real, Stays Humble With Success

But the reality is that almost every SEC school feels this way about their surroundings and can, to some extent, advocate for themselves.

Monken was and is a mercenary with no interest in smelling roses or enjoying the downtown dining scene.

To be clear, Monken is respected, admired and prioritized by the UGA football community. He’s earned the status of a “guru,” though he cringes when labeled as such.

“Sometimes shit just works,” says Monken, in the gruff voice hoarse from firing on players who are an inch off base or quarterbacks who make the same mistake more than once.

Things may have been tense between Monken and Stetson Bennett, but the three returning quarterbacks love Monken and will be forced to reconsider their future plans should he leave.

The truth is, they’re probably doing it right now, while everyone’s waiting for Monken’s next move.

business is business

Monken was up front, this is a business, not a family.

A misguided media member made the mistake of asking Monken about his “relationship” with Smart this postseason.

“Let’s face it what we do: I’m paid to score points and go on offense and that relationship only goes so far,” said Monken.

“I don’t want it any other way. he is my boss My job is to work my ass off and be as good as possible on offense. The moment I don’t see it that way is the moment I’m wrong.”

And so this will be a business decision for Monken whether to go to the NFL or return.

“I’ve made organizations where ‘this is a family.’ This isn’t family,” Monken said.

“You’ll fire me if we suck, so don’t say it’s family. That’s the way it is.”

growth process

Monken hasn’t had any work for him since his arrival after the 2019 season.

Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman did not sit well with Monken’s offense and left before the 2020 season had even started.

Then came USC transfer JT Daniels, Monken’s handpicked quarterback, executing air attack concepts and spreading offensive formations with full force.

But then Daniels wasn’t healthy in time for the opener, and after taking over in 2020 and setting the schools single-season record for the QB rating, he failed to stay healthy in 2021.

And remember, no one sang Monken’s praises when then-Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables threw him a big change in the 2021 opener.

UGA’s game plan anticipated the Tigers’ familiar pressure packs, but instead received a dose of well-disguised, long-range schemes that left inexperienced recipients struggling to open up.

UGA escaped with Chris Smith’s historic pick-6 and put the lead in a 10-3 win that proved crucial to the 2021 championship season as it allowed a mulligan after the Bulldogs were slammed by Alabama in the SEC championship game.

In fact, there was some offensive fighting that season, from the Clemson opener to a multi-interception game in Florida and then through most of the first three quarters of the CFP championship game.

A legendary five-pick first-round Georgia defense was there to save the day in Jacksonville and Indianapolis, and offered just enough margin for error as Monken worked to dial in his offense.

2022 is coming

While Monken was very good in 2021, his genius wasn’t fully appreciated until the 2022 season as the offense had to carry more weight.

Monken was a step ahead of the competition significantly more times than not, with the 65-7 CFP Championship Game being a complete coaching mismatch.

Stay or go, Monken will be remembered among the giants of the SEC coaching ranks, the difference maker Smart needed to feel good opening up offense.

Conveniently on deck, former Georgia quarterback and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is a trusted and respected old friend of Smart’s and also one of the head coach’s favorite golf partners.

Monken will complete this “recruitment” cycle and ultimately make a decision about his future.

Then further decisions are made by returning quarterbacks, other staff and ultimately future recruits.

deserved opportunity

Money and job security are not the priority issues for a 56-year-old man like Monken, although they are certainly considered.

There were 10 offensive coordinators in the NFL this offseason, so it only makes sense that Monken’s name would appear on those shortlists.

It’s all about opportunities here – like a second and 1 at the 50-yard line with a two-touchdown lead. Play it safe and lead the ball again (stick to UGA) or go deep (into the shaky waters of the NFL with another rich, guaranteed contract) with a Super Bowl ring in your eye.

Monken can’t lose, his reputation as a miracle worker is sealed with the SEC. No other coach has taken a quarterback that no other Power 5 school wanted and made him a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Stetson Bennett deserves recognition for the hard work and resilience he has shown at the college level. Bennett displayed tenacity and agility, along with the acumen to handle Monken’s complex game calls and the split-second adjustments that need to be made to the line of scrimmage.

Still, Bennett is nowhere to be found in the first-round NFL Draft projections among his SEC or CFP peers (Bryce Young, Will Levis, and CJ Stroud), lending credibility to the offensive design and playing praise Monken receives.

final chapter

The beginning of the Georgian football dynasty was a team effort. It took historically great defense, timely attack and play from elite special teams to win back-to-back national championships.

On the offensive side, it was Monken’s plans and a star-studded supporting cast working together with strong line play, a solid running game and Bennett’s talent for timely execution.

Monken and Bennett have had no shortage of weapons and assets over the past two seasons:

• Brock Bowers, incoming College Football Hall of Fame inductee

• Left tackle Broderick Jones in the first round

• Keystone Center Sedrick Van Pran

• Goliath doesn’t fit tight end/tackle against Darnell Washington

• Swiss Army Knife residue James Cook and Kenny McIntosh

Bennett moves on, his six-year eligibility watch finally up. But there is more offensive talent returning up front, on the periphery and in the quarterback room.

Georgian football will be fine in 2023 with or without Monken – it’s not like it can’t win another title without him.

But if Monken returns for another season – a shot at a historic three-peat – it seems more likely.