Todd Monken Unplugged

I know that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said on the day he introduced his new offensive coordinator that, "Todd Monken is not Dana Holgorsen. They are two different people." Gundy is right. They certainly are two different people, but they have similarities. Both are very passionate and dedicated to what they do and love offensive football.

Both take great pride in developing their players, the offense as a whole, and having loads of success. Both have a swagger and confidence about them that rubs off on their players and inspires confidence in them to excel.

Now Monken is married with a son, loves to have fun and speaks of going to Las Vegas, but is also settled down and a little quieter and doesn't consume Red Bull like he has stock in the company. Holgorsen does drink Red Bull like he owns the company or wants to. He is divorced, loves his kids, but also really loves to have a good time.

Holgorsen coached the Oklahoma State offense to an off-the-charts, record-setting season in 2010. But at least at this stage and comparing what the OSU offense looked like last spring and what it looks like this spring under Monken both can guide Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, Joe Randle, Josh Cooper, Jeremy Smith, and the Joe Wickline-coached offensive line of Garner, Rush, Taylor, Adcock, and Martinez to go up and down the field.

Six practices in to spring practice it looks good and that is what Monken thought to when he spoke with the media.

RA: Two weeks in the book and your thoughts.
Monken: We're pretty good on offense. Got some good players, man. This is a lot of fun. That's it. We're pretty good.

RA: You are keeping it simple.
Monken: If we don't get big-headed and we do the right stuff, we should be pretty good, I think.

RA: Brandon (Weeden) came off the field early Friday. He said something about an exam. Man, teachers that schedule exams on Friday evenings, that is a bad thing in my opinion.
Monken: That is an awful thing. You know, (our offense) doesn't work as good without him out there. But that is perfect because other guys needed the two minute work. To get Clint (Chelf) and Johnny (Deaton) out there was a good thing.

RA: While we are on that, that is a key this spring finding out who the back-up quarterback is, right?
Monken: I think it is hard to determine a back-up quarterback because a lot of the time they end up going with the back-ups at every other position. They are learning but so is every other position, and the guy that is in there with them. So if they get five reps, then maybe there is an o-line bust and a receiver bust and then they aren't processing it right. How many plays are they really getting to operate? That is hard to dissect, whether it is them or somebody else. That is why you have to keep going and you have to find more ways to get those guys with some of our ones and they can operate and we can really find who our back-up is. Right now it is Clint, but we need to figure that out.

RA: You are trying to keep this rolling the way it is but I know you have some things you can add to this offense and make it better and make it your own. Have you been able to do some of those things so far in spring?
Monken: A bunch of it has been tweaked in that there is no way to run somebody else's offense. Now with that being said, the majority of what we're doing is assessing what we like and what we dislike, and we don't want to break something that doesn't need to be broken. With that I can't coach something or call something that I don't know, so that is just the way it is in any business. With that we've tweaked some of the different concepts but we are really assessing what we like formation-wise and plays and then we will go from there.

RA: Judging from you first comment, the coaches who have been here on staff and the players, many are returning starters including an older quarterback in Brandon Weeden, must have the same approving opinion of what is going on in the offense so far this spring.
Monken: I don't have any idea. I hope so. I'm always worried about getting feedback from guys. They might tell me my hair is too long, I'm too old, or I swear too much. I don't know, but the bottom line is if you change and you tweak things and they work, then they are approved. If they don't, then they look at you like, why are we chaning this? Over time if it has success then everybody like it. It's like when I go to Vegas, if I win at one casino then I like it and I go back to it. If I lose, then I don't want to go back to it. I hate it.

RA: Have there been any surprises in this offense so far this spring, really good surprises like I hear the running backs are having a great spring?
Monken: Surprise? I wouldn't say completely surprises, but I would say the running backs have looked good. If you went beyond Weeden, Blackmon, Cooper, Hubert (Anyiam), then I would say the running backs have had a really good start. I think the other guys that when you look a them, then you might not be as sure about like the Michael Harrisons, the Tracy Moores, Justin Hortons, those kind of guys, Colton Chelf, you know they don't look like much, they've made a lot of plays and they compete. They like to practice and have a grerat mindset and they can really help us.

RA: Joe Wickline is a guy that was not here when you were here before. How has he been to work with?
Monken: Joe has been great. It's been great, and heck, he makes a lot of money so he ought to be able to coach the hell out of them. He got a nice raise so he should coach the hell out of them. He does a heckuva job and having them all back is a big deal. Joe has a good feel for running the ball and mixing in what was done and what we may want to evolve to. Even the offense last year evolved as it started more one back and became more two back and three back. Even in one year the offense shifted from what it's focus was. That is the same as what we are doing. When we are here now that isn't his (Holgorsen's) offense, it's our offense. When he was here, it was his offense, it wasn't Leach's. When someone else takes it, it is their offense. Wherever you go from somewhere, you learned what you know from someone else. Like I said, if would have left Jacksonville and run the offense then that is not Dirk Koetter's offense, that's my offense. It is what you do, Ultimately, you will be judged by what you do now, so it is our offense.

RA: Are you happy with leaving the NFL and coming back to college football?
Monken: That would be kind of a bummer, if I said no. Hell, I've been here for six weeks and I hate it and I wish I was in Jacksonville, in the sun, and in the NFL, if I said, what a mistake that was (leaving). No, I knew exactly what I was getting into. We've always enjoyed being here and working for Mike (Gundy) is different from before. This place is different and we have damn good players and it is a lot of fun. I have always said I can coach anywhere that we have good coaches and good players and a chance to beat everybody on the schedule, and that is what we have.

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