OC Todd Monken (9.13.19)

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On challenges getting into an offensive rhythm when being set back by penalties:

“Very [difficult], and we did it the two touchdowns we had. We did overcome penalties, crazy enough. Just over time there were four other drives where we got pushed back, whether it is lost yardage plays or penalties. That makes it tough and makes it hard against a really good defense like the Titans.”


On explaining the Browns penalties against the Titans:
“If it was that simple, we would have had it solved, I guess. Some is technique. Some of it could be attributed to a momentary lapse of judgment in one instance. In others, it is reps in practice where guys get themselves out of position a little bit so it puts them in a position to grab a little bit more than they would normally. Sometimes it is attributed to the people you are playing. They put you in those positions because you are playing against a different group, a different look, different stunts and different coverages. Some can be frustration level. All of the above that obviously stops you from being successful and really choppy on offense.”


On how he and QB Baker Mayfield can make adjustments to get the ball out faster:

“Scheme it better. Coach it better. Don’t get behind where you are going to hold the ball a little bit longer because you feel like you are pressing a little bit, All of us collectively. I do not mean that directed at Baker. I just mean that in general. You can’t make it all up in one play, calling it and playing. That is a big part of it when you are in a rhythm running it, throwing it, getting completions and getting stops. When you are not behind the chains, then it is a lot easier to stay within rhythm.”


On if the Titans secondary took away Mayfield’s first looks and that leading to Mayfield holding onto the ball longer than desired:

“Sometimes. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes they take away. Sometimes it could be a little bit of leakage up front so he has to side step a little bit and create vision, and that is every quarterback. You are sidestepping and all of the sudden by the time you get your eyes back there, the window is closed a little bit so you move on. Sometimes a receiver gets rerouted. On that initial play to (WR Rashard) Higgins that set us up for the first touchdown, he got rerouted so that took him off a little bit holding onto the ball because he got rerouted, which we were not anticipating. Sometimes that happens – reroutes, a little bit of leakage, taking away the first read, all of the above.”


On if he was referring to Higgins’ 35-yard reception on the opening drive against the Titans:

“Correct. We had great protection that play. That is what allowed us to get the ball down there. We had great protection and he got rerouted. We ended up with our spacing a little compromised, but that was a part of it. That was one of those plays and one of the drives right after (T) Greg’s (Robinson) what they called a personal foul coming back towards the line of scrimmage, but it was one we were able to overcome it because of the play Baker made and the protection we got.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s comment about ‘watching out for cheap shots’ by NY Jets’ defense coordinator Gregg Williams’ defense:

“I do not have anything to say about that. That is his opinion. I am going to stay away from commenting on a comment that somebody else makes.”


On evaluating the Browns OL, particularly after changing personnel during the game:

“I think they played fine. We would have been fine had we not gotten ourselves into the position we were at. Then you brought in (T) Kendall (Lamm) and he got banged up and (T) Chris (Hubbard) is taking all of the snaps at right tackle. He goes over to the left and you bring in (T) Justin (McCray) who has been here a week. I thought they really battled. I really did. I thought the coaches did a great job. From that end of it, that was not why we struggled and where we were. That happens. Teams lose players and you have to find a way.”


On the emphasis on the NY Jets defense’s ability to create turnovers:
“I worked with Gregg back in 2008, and we played the Browns last year. We ended up turning the ball over too much. He likes to create disruption. That is what he likes to do. He likes to get after you, get you behind the chains and affect the quarterback and in turn, it puts put you in a positon. Some of those turnovers they created last week, the quarterback-center exchange was one. There were a couple. There was a tipped ball that was batted into the linebacker’s hands. That is part of it. Sometimes you have to have some of those, but the reality is you have to do a great job with their pressure packages, getting the ball out on time and the receivers getting their depths and not getting rerouted so we can assess what is happening down the field and get the ball out on time.”


On Mayfield’s ability to work against the NY Jets defense’s blitzes:

“Oh, he is fine. He is fantastic with getting us in the right protections and where to go with the ball if they come because you can’t block them all. He is really good at escaping so it is hard to corral him. I do not have any problem there. We just have to do a great job of communicating so we are all on the same page from receivers, quarterback and then the O line in terms of can we protect him or do we have to get the ball out and then after that with our timing and our rhythm. We were just a little bit off the other day and along with the penalties and some of the self-inflicted things that showed up, and that is what we go.”


On the importance of Higgins’ role in this offense:

“Yeah, I talked about it last week. With AC (WR Antonio Callaway) out and the role that he now steps up in terms of our starters. The No. 1 thing is you can count on him. You can move him around. You can play him inside and outside. You can count on him to make plays when afforded to him. A really good football player, been in this league a long time and understands what it takes to get him ready each week and prepare. I still think he has steps that he can continue to improve.”


On the Browns running game against the Titans, despite being behind the chains and trailing for a large portion of the game:
“The run game was fine. I think you hit it on the head. We ran the ball fine. Running the football was not the reason we did not produce more offensively. (RB) Nick (Chubb) ran hard with the ball. I thought we had some things we were able to take advantage of. At a certain point in the game, we were really not running it nearly as often. I think that is the best way to put it. In order for us to be effective and most offenses, we have to be able to run the ball and play action and take advantage of the opportunities you have down the field.”


On how important NY Jets LB CJ Mosely’s role is in the defense:

“Like any front-line player, the best way to put it is it is difficult to replace those guys. It would be for us on offense. It would be difficult to replace some of your best players. That is why you can see, whether it is defensively you can struggle at times on a play here and there and then offensively it is a play here and there. It is not particularly over 60 plays, but it is a play here or there that possibly another player may have not have made a mistake. Like we talked about our offensive line, I thought those guys battled their rear ends off, but there is a reason why you have starters and there is a reason why you play certain players what you pay them for what they bring to you team. When you lose those guys, you are hopeful that it stings a little bit or else you are paying the wrong guys. That is really the way it is. You expect them to play like A-list players and just play the level they play. When you lose one of them, it is hard. It is difficult to replace them. We will anticipate him playing and work our gameplan accordingly.”


On drawing the 15-yard penalty for a comeback block:

“I do not know if we are at liberty to talk about it, but they came back to us and said it should not have been called. Obviously, we could have done a better job with Greg being flat and (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) bringing the defender to Greg. If you talk from a coaching perspective, doing it better than they do it, forget even the official. If we do it technically better, then that is not even a factor. You are right in terms of the ruling in terms of working yourself back towards the line of scrimmage, that is something you always have to be conscientious of, especially the receivers.”


On why there should not have been a penalty on the illegal blindside block called in the first quarter:

“In their minds, it was not forcible contact is what I remember from looking at it. I did not commit it to memory, but they said it should not have been called. That is neither here nor there. That comes every week. I do not even mean it that way. There are multiple ones every week in our game and other games where they mention, ‘They should have called this. We will talk to the official.’ That is part of it. They are human. That has nothing to do with us.”


On the challenge facing NY Jets S Jamal Adams:
“First of all, he loves to play the game of football. You can see that. I have gone against him in the past when I was in Tampa. You better bring it because when he gets around the line of scrimmage, he is a physical, physical man. That is his game – energy and physicality. I think that is probably the biggest thing is they try to get him around the box. Now, Gregg likes to play a lot more two-high coverages so they will probably will play him a lot more on the back end higher than he is used to, but when he gets around the ball, you have to account for him because he is going to be very disruptive. He is one of their top players that we have to always account for.”


On if the timing was a bit on offense last week between Mayfield and Beckham in their first game together:

“I would have thought that, but when I looked at the film, I did not see that. There could have been a little route detail here or there that you are working through that I do not know if it would have been him and Odell, other than just maybe a defensive look. I do not think that was probably as big a factor as it could have been in terms of just it is still going to be a work in progressive like it is with every receiver, even guys that eventually Baker will have been with or any quarterback has been with over a number of years. You are always working your timing, your rhythm and different looks. Odell has played a long time, and when you have receivers like that in terms of their route running and style.”


On his message to Mayfield after the interceptions in the fourth quarter:

“It is a little bit of everybody, and you would have to talk to him in terms of that part of it. The choice route to (WR Jarvis (Landry), we could have reset it and created a little bit more space. At the end, you are just trying to make something happen. At that point, obviously – he know this and we all know – you can’t turn the ball over. You just can’t, and that is everybody. That is not always on the quarterback. That is on receiver depths, the details in which you do on protection and hen the game was in the balance. We had done a good job in the preseason of not turning it over. That has not been an issue so it is something obviously we address every week and something that we know we can’t have moving forward, but that was last week.”


On if there may be opportunities to take shots downfield, given Williams’ blitz tendencies:

“You have to. I think that is No. 1 is the only way to strike fear in somebody to not bring pressure is you have to hit explosive plays. You have to take advantage of it. If you do not, there is no risk-reward, and it is all reward from their end of it. At some point, you have to have enough skill players that puts them on the defensive a little bit to be fearful of what they do in terms of how much they come after you because the better your skill players, the more they may want to back up a little bit and maybe roll to somebody. That is part of it. The second thing is when something presents itself, are you are able to hit an explosive play? That is all part of it. When you don’t, you might as well just count on continuing to get it. That is the way it is. Not only him, just been doing this for a while and that is kind of the way. Now with him, I am not sure he stops. I do not know if he has much of a deterrent. It is what it is. Gregg has been successful because of that. I have a lot of respect for him. It is not any disrespect. It is just that is the way it is. You have to be able to take advantage when somebody brings pressure or you will continue to get it.”


# # #