Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken spoke with the media after Wednesday’s practice, which was the official end to Tampa Bay’s 2018 training camp. Monken touched on a lot of subjects, such as being given the play-calling duties during the preseason from head coach Dirk Koetter, how the Bucs offense has played in the preseason and how quarterback Jameis Winston has responded to his upcoming three-game suspension.

On how happy he is that the team is utilizing their weapons:
“Well again, it’s preseason so I want to say that. But with that being said, you’re right. I don’t know who said it, I heard this the other day on the radio that it doesn’t count, but it does matter – maybe Mark Schlereth said it or something, but it makes a lot of sense. The games don’t count but it does matter – like, you want to see your guys play well, you’re evaluating everybody, you’re evaluating all of your players and what they do well and trying to minimize the problems you may have at the tackle position or other spots. So again, it’s been good, it’s been fun. Like I’ve said, if (Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter) asks me to call (the plays), I call it. If not, then I do whatever the heck Coach asks me to do. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s what we’re all paid to do, because that’s exactly what he asked us to do. And more importantly it’s doing it out here. I think we’re doing it so much better this year – maybe I’ve lost my mind – what we’re doing out here is so much better than the s**t we did last year in practice. We learned that by the way we approached things, so they haven’t been doing that this year.”

On what he’s seen from O.J. Howard over the last two years:
“Well, he should be improving. I think any player as they get more experienced, things come easier to him. His blocking is better, his awareness is better – not there yet like a lot of younger players, but I think that’s where he’s taken a bigger step is physicality. And I think just his awareness as a route runner, his feel for space.”

On if the plan is to call the plays for the next two preseason games and than Coach Koetter calls them once the regular season starts:
“I’m the wrong guy to ask that question to. The plan today was to have the best practice we can have today.”

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and OC Todd Monken - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter and OC Todd Monken – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

On what that says about Coach Koetter giving him the opportunity to call plays:
“I’ve said it plenty of times and I mean it. I’m a better coach when I’m around Coach Koetter, as an offensive coach, I’m a better coach. From his detail, organization, allowing you to grow – so that part of it’s one of the big reason was because, not because of our relationship. I have relationships with a lot coaches but that doesn’t mean I want to coach for them or believe in everything that they’re teaching. But there’s a lot of what I believe in that he believes in, so, that was a big part of me coming. So it doesn’t matter who is calling it, we all could have the same sheet and we’d be calling a little bit different. What we emphasize, when we do what we do, when we call it. It’s a hell of a lot more fun when it works and it’s not any fun when it doesn’t work. At this point, we’ve done fine, we’ve moved it and made some plays, to me that’s fine. When we’ve been working, things have showed up, it’s a byproduct of what we do out here. It’s a rare occurrence when it shows up in a game and it doesn’t come from out here. That last touchdown to Serge (Bailey at Tennessee) is a byproduct of what we do out here.”

On if it’s fair to say that the players seem more focused this summer:
“Well, I think you could say it, possibly. It’s hard for me to say because I’m not in their head. I just know that we had a nice year two years ago and all of a sudden it’s human nature: “Hey here we go, Bucs, we’ve arrived.” Everyone drank the Kool-Aid, and now Hard Knocks is rolling in and we’ve added some pieces – all of a sudden we think we’re just going to take the field against grown men, the best in the world, and just think it’s going to happen. We all saw that’s not how it works. It works by the work you put in and the attention to detail that you do every single day and you don’t accept laziness, mediocrity, balls on the ground, turnovers, false starts, bad football. Bad football loses before good football wins. I’ve said that forever. It’s from Bob Knight. I know that’s a basketball term and I stole it, but it’s true. Bad football loses before good football wins – even Coach (Tony) Dungy, who was here the other day said more games are lost than won. Even though we played our rear ends off on offense at the end of the season, we found ways to not play well enough. I’m just speaking for the offense because that’s the side of the football I’m on. But it’s got to be better.”

On how important it is to be brutally honest with the players:
“I don’t know if everyone else is brutally honest about it, but I am. I coach and that’s it. As a collective organization the players take an ownership of this thing. I’ve seen more of that. They have to decide how more important the winning is. How important is that? Because that’s got to be important. Because otherwise it becomes individualistic. They don’t play well, and say, “I’m okay,” but don’t you want to be part of something fun? And we’re not talking about our old college team anymore and talk about where we’re headed, putting a new banner up there for what we’ve done, what we’ve accomplished, that’s something we have. And a little bit over a year ago the people who thought we were going to win the Super Bowl are the same people that say we stink. So we’ll decide that. We’re the ones to decide that, and it won’t be about talent.”

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by Mary Holt

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by Mary Holt

On if winning games in the preseason helps:
“I wouldn’t say it hurts. I don’t think you ever want to come out of preseason losing. For some places it means more than others. The Colts were bad in the preseason and it didn’t matter because Peyton Manning was really good. So they were going into it knowing they’re good and saying, “Hey we’re going into this and just trying to work some things out.” Okay that’s the one thing, but when I think you’re trying to move ahead, I don’t think it ever hurts to have success – not only individually, but collectively as players, too.”

On how Jameis Winston has handled the circumstances he’s in:
“He’s been great. It’s been really good. It’s been great, and it should be, it was self-inflicted. Own it. This is something that came up that you have to deal with it and I think he’s dealt with it great. He’s been great in the room. We’ve found ways to get him reps and get him in the game, and I think he’s done a great job, it’s not easy – things in the past. Good quarterbacks make it work with whoever they’re playing with. They got to make it right, especially out here when you’re throwing on air. You got to make guys look really good, and they’re the ones that make it. And that’s what it’s about. It’s about that part of it and not some other things. That’s what leadership is, that’s part of it.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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vtrantb
vtrantb
3 years ago

So far, I really like this guy.

wnb0395
wnb0395
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

I agree ^^^

Pick6
Pick6
Reply to  vtrantb
3 years ago

Enjoy him, he’s got 2 more years here max. A coach like Monken either coaches himself into a promotion if the Bucs offense soars, or he’s out on his butt with his boss if the offense or overall team disappoints

Pick6
Pick6
Reply to  Pick6
3 years ago

I mean, in a perfect world he’s an offensive Monte Kiffin and has tremendous sustained success in the role….but when was he last time the Bucs were in a perfect world?

GBOBUCSFAN
GBOBUCSFAN
3 years ago

Maybe, just maybe, DK will let him call the offense and just see where it takes us. On the other hand, DK knows his @ss is on the line so he may want to have more control (even if that’s the wrong choice).

jiggyjoe
jiggyjoe
3 years ago

Coach Monken sounds like a good coach and teacher. They are lucky to have him in the organization. He can only make the team better. Now it is time to see if the team wants to get better.

Horse
Horse
3 years ago

We have a very tough schedule and Koetter should let his OC call the plays. I know it’s only Preseason, but Koetter has done a much better job in handling the Ref’s, Coaches, Players, Time Management when he isn’t calling to plays. Just my opinion; other thoughts?

Pete Wood
Pete Wood
3 years ago

I see nothing but upside to having Monken call the plays during regular season.