OC Todd Monken (9.19.19)

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On helping QB Baker Mayfield release passes more quickly:

“That is always something we look at, trying to get the ball in rhythm, quick-game rhythm throws. Some of that comes with screen games, some of it comes in the RPO world, some of it comes in scheme and some of it comes in protection. It is all the above. Something we have to be better at.”


On how to help the Browns offense and Mayfield establish a better rhythm:

“First, I think he has played his butt off. I really do. I think he has competed awfully, awfully hard. Other than the backend of the first game when we were down and that is his nature to try and make a play, but I think he has played awfully well. I am sure he would say that he can play better, but in my eyes, there are a lot of things that go into that. We have to scheme it better. We have to play better up front. We have to do a better job in terms of everywhere – route running or you name it. It is all of us to put ourselves in a better position to be more consistent. At times, we have been choppy. That is all of us. There is not just one area you fix. We are close. We just have to continue to build on the things we are doing every day and then continue to get better at it.”


On the challenges at TE with TE David Njoku injured:

“There are challenges at any given position when you lose a player that is part of your 53. David gives us a weapon vertically down the field that you like to have and can be a matchup problem for opponents, but we will just have to next man up. (TE) Demetrius Harris, who we bought in here for a reason, then and (TE) Pharaoh (Brown) and (TE) Ricky (Seals-Jones) will have to continue to improve.”


On if the Browns will need to use more four WR sets following Njoku’s u injury and facing the Rams this week:

“I do not know. Every team is a little bit different in terms of how you gameplan. Obviously you are going to put the guys in a position to where you think it gives you the best chance to move the football. Some of that, in terms of all of our skill players and also all of our tight ends and as the week goes on and we will see where those guys are.”


On RG Eric Kush and his personality as ‘a character’:

“I think he has played fine. I think he is what we thought he was when we bought him in. He is a good football player. He is a pro. He works awfully hard at it. He happens to be starting at guard, but he also can play center for us, which is invaluable. You have to have swings guys that can do that. I have been awfully impressed with him. To talk about being a character, I am not in that room enough to know exactly from a personality standpoint, but I like him a lot as a player and as a person.”


On how much snapping the ball as time expires on the play clock is by design:

“None of it is by design for the most part to let it wind all the way down, unless you are in four-minute. You are not really trying to get up against it. That is part of everybody. It is getting out of the huddle, getting up to the line of scrimmage, the communication from the quarterback, from the sideline to the skill players getting lined up correctly to if you are doing some things at the line of scrimmage with the skill players. We do not ask the skill players to look at the clock so them getting aligned. The defense has something to do with that in terms of what Baker happens to be seeing. We just know we have to do it better.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s production and precision:

“It has been good. He asks good questions. He is not afraid to ask, and he is not afraid to take coaching. He wants to do it the right way. He wants to win. He wants to have success. Him being in the right position where Baker can expect him to be is going to help that. He is a really, really good football player that you have to find a number of ways to get him matched up and get him the ball, which we have been trying to do.”


On if Beckham is a unique player to coach:

“As I said a week ago, he is unique in his skillset. Let’s start with that. He is a unique skillset. He can play wherever you want him to play with his balance, body control and acceleration. He can change speeds. He he can track the ball. He is an awfully good football player, and he is an intelligent football player with excellent ball skills. He is competitive. It does not show sometimes, but he is awfully competitive, a prideful guy. It works out. We just have to continue to find ways to get him the ball and move him around.”


On if Beckham Jr. has been easy to work with, given his reputation from his time with the NY Giants:

“Yeah, it has not been a problem. There has been nothing. Not with me. Not with on the field. Not with our coaches. Nothing we have talked about that has not been get on the field, work, produce in the games and be attentive in the meetings. To me, that is a big part of it. To me, are you taking what we are talking about and the quarterbacks are communicating to you onto the field? I have seen that.”


On the toughest part of preparation for Rams DT Aaron Donald:

“Just forces you to have awareness of where he is at all times from a protection standpoint. Run game, as well, but especially how he creates loss yardage plays and in the pass game. From a protection standpoint, you have to be aware of where he is, but along with that, that starts with him but then when you surround him with (Rams DT Michael) Brockers and (Rams LB Dante) Fowler, and now they picked up (Rams LB Clay) Matthews and you have those guys up front, you end up having to pick your poison as to where you want to help. It is a tough battle. They do a great job of forcing you into one on ones up front. They do a good job of scheming up in terms of where you are trying to help to get guys in one on ones in terms of matchups. Every team has a way of doing it a little but different when you play teams that play the front the way the Rams do. We will have to change it up. You have to find ways to help different spots and then you have to be able to protect and get the ball on time. The one thing that helps you is if you can run the football. I have been down this road before when we were with Jacksonville and when we would have to play the Colts twice a year. The best way to negate some of that is being able to run the football and get the ball out of your hands. That will help you in terms of your play action game and stop getting you behind the chains and having loss yardage plays.”


On RB Nick Chubb’s start of the season:

“Been great. Nick is a fantastic football player, a downhill runner. We threw a screen or two, but I know one of thought. He is hard to bring down with one guy and arm tackles. He is usually moving forward. I think he has played fantastic, and I think he is only going to get better. We just have to find a way to continue to get him the football because he has been very productive since he has been here. This is not anything new. This is just something we have to continue to get him the football.”


On he feels comfortable T Justin McCray if McCray needs to replace T Chris Hubbard:

“Justin is a pro. He has played in this league. He played pretty well against the Titans for a guy that just got here that week. I really did. We expect him to play well. With all of our players, you are going to see how the week goes on and where you think you feel like you need to help, but he has been fine.”


On if it is tougher for Mayfield now as opposing coaches have more tape on his play, particularly as it relates to Mayfield adjusting to and reading defenses:

“Sure. I do not know if it is a matter of defensive coordinators having film on him as much as it is there were a number of looks the other night that (defensive coordinator) Coach (Gregg) Williams presented to us that got us either in a change of protection or different things that we had to do up front that was part of it. That is part of what you do when you are assessing what a defense is doing. That comes with time for Baker, and it comes with us as well as to what we are seeing and helping him on the field in terms of ‘Hey, this is what we are getting. They are really not doing this.’ From an Xs and Os standpoint, that is what you do throughout the game. I think that will continue to grow with him as he continues to play.”


On challenges facing an experienced coach like defensive coordinator Wade Phillips:
“Like most successful coaches, I think you are pretty consistent in what you believe in and your guys get really good at executing that. You can see that with them. I do not think they are overly complicated from where they are going to align and what they are going to try to accomplish. They are just really, really good at what they do. The scheme does not come from… We are going from extremes here. We are going from playing the Jets where everything is about disruption and chaos to we are going from a much more execution style, matchup, one on one, probably in some ways similar to how the Titans and Patriots kind of attack you. Not exact Xs and Os but more along the lines of matchup-wise and forcing you into a lot of one-on-one blocks up front. They have gone to a little but more with five bigs with Matthews so you have what the Bears did a year ago in terms of Nickel-51. Now, you have got five matchups across the board so it is getting matchups, doing the same things over and over and getting really good at it is a pretty darn good formula to have success at anything in life. That is the challenge. Now, it is how we matchup and as I talked about before, being able to run the football and stay out of long-yardage situations, which we have not done a very good job of. We have been good at converting third and extra long. We just have to do a better job of staying out of it.”


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