Todd Monken Named Buccaneers OC: Latest Comments, Reaction

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Todd Monken Named Buccaneers OC: Latest Comments, Reaction
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the hiring of former Southern Mississippi head coach Todd Monken as their new offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Sunday.     

Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter released a statement via the team's official website:

I am very excited to add a coach with the type of experience and tenacity that Todd brings. I have always been impressed with his approach to the game as well as his ability to teach concepts and get the best out of his players. During his more than 25-year coaching career, he has made a name for himself as a very successful offensive coordinator and head coach on the collegiate level. Todd also happens to be a terrific receivers coach with a proven track record of helping his players reach their true potential. We are fortunate to have him join our staff.

Monken, 49, is resigning from his post at Southern Miss to take the position. He was 13-25 in three seasons, including a 9-5 mark in 2015. It was a sudden ascent for the Golden Eagles, who won their division championship before losing in the Conference USA Championship Game and Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Cecil Hurt of AL.com commented on how this move will affect Southern Miss:

This will be Monken's second stint in the NFL. He previously served as the wide receivers coach under Jack Del Rio from 2007-2010 before leaving to take over as Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator. Koetter has now hired three members of the 2007 Jaguars coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Mike Smith served at the same position under Del Rio, Mark Duffner was the team's linebackers coach and Monken coached the wideouts, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

Despite the relationship, Monken's decision to leave for an offensive coordinator position seems curious. Southern Miss was on an upward swing within Conference USA. At the very least, another solid season could have opened up a bigger head coaching opportunity. Quarterback Nick Mullens has another year of eligibility, running back Ito Smith is only a sophomore and DJ Thomas seems ready to take over as a top wideout after a solid season.

While most of the remaining wide receiver corps is moving on, there are the pieces for another topnotch offense in 2016. Meanwhile, Koetter has already told reporters he will continue calling plays for the Buccaneers. So Monken is taking a position where he's vacating a ton of responsibility and likely won't get credit for any offensive ascent Tampa Bay makes.

There are always other motivations at play, but Monken's reasoning for taking the position will be worth monitoring when he discusses the move.

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