OC Todd Monken (9.26.19)

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On how much has the Ravens defense has changed since last season with new personnel:

“Schematically not a lot. (Ravens defensive coordinator) Coach (Don) Martindale is still there and does a great job so that has not changed. Obviously, without (Arizona LB Terrell) Suggs, (Green Bay LB Zydarius Smith and (NY Jets LB) C.J. Mosley, some of it has changed. Some other guys, they have Ravens (Ravens OLB Pernell) McPhee back. He is a guy you have to keep an eye on. He is twitchy and can do some things off the edge. To me, they are the same. They lost (Rams S Eric) Weddle, but they brought in (Ravens S) Earl Thomas. They have really good personnel and do a really good job schematically. Maybe a little bit [different], but not enough to really talk enough about.”


On the process for offensive play calls:

“I am not going to get into that in terms of how we do things and how we collectively do things. That is not anything. There is no reason to get into that. Everywhere I have been, we do it collectively as a staff and we move forward from there.”


On signs the Browns offense is improving:

“Signs we are improving? I think that would be saying that we have struggled so I will not get into that. I think we have run the ball fairly well. I do not think that has been an issue most of the time. To me, it is a matter of collectively putting plays together and stacking them. That is how you become consistent. At times, we do that and at times we do not do that. When we do that, we are a pretty good football team offensively. That is what we control when we stack plays, do not get behind the chains with penalties or lost-yardage plays that put you in a tough spot. I think that is probably the number one thing that you got to do to be more consistent.”


On if he is saying that the Browns offense is not struggling:

“Again, when you say struggling then you are asking me to pinpoint where we can be better. That is everywhere. Obviously, we are not satisfied with where we are at offensively so obviously we have to coach better and we have to play better. That is just the start of it. That is the simple answer to it. Internally, we have to do better to be more consistent. That is the bottom line.”


On how to help QB Baker Mayfield return to the level of performance from late last season:

“I was not here so you are speaking to something that I do not know. I do not mean that negatively. I can only speak to the three games I have been here. As I would refer back to what I just said is, we have to collectively do things better, starting with us, and then the players have to be able to execute it on the field. With pre-snap penalties, we have had that happen. We had a lot of them three weeks ago and then this past week, we had four of them. We have to consistently do things better preparing up to practice, in practice and then that will carry over to the field.”


On why the Browns used RB Nick Chubb more against the Rams, given Chubb played all but two offensive snaps:

“That is not normal. Moving forward, we would love to have with any position when you have guys to be able to get them in the game and contribute.”


On sustaining drives more often and the key to doing so:

“I know I am going to say the exact same thing. We have to scheme it better, we have to practice it better and then we got to take what we do on the practice field to the game. Really, that is it. I do not know what else to say. I will say that, I have said it since I started coaching and I will say it until I decide not to coach any longer. The plan that we come up with and then how we go about during the week of getting the correct looks, our guys being able to execute then, gaining confidence from that and then being able to carry that over to Sunday. Then obviously we have to be able to go out there and do it.”


On if the Browns offense is going to get there sooner or later, given it has only been three games, multiple people have said the unit is close and the team has the personnel in place:

“All true. All true, and that is our job. Our job is to figure that out. This is what we are paid to do. We are paid to figure it out and utilize the talent that we have and carry that over to the field. It is frustrating when you do not. There is no way around it. It is never one thing. If it was one thing, you would be fighting like hell to correct that one thing. There are more things than just that. Ultimately, it falls on us as coaches at the start, what we do in practice and then taking it to the field.”


On overcoming WR Odell Beckham Jr. getting doubled almost every play:

“Teams are aware of when you have a dynamic receiver. We had (Buccaneers WR) Mike Evans in Tampa and teams are aware of their skillset. They are going to scheme towards that and either hint a safety or cloud to a particular player. You have to be able to find ways to get him the ball. At times, move him around or at times schematically against certain coverages, even when they cloud, that allows you to get him the ball. There are more times than you think where he is singled up. You have to find a way to get him the ball, and that is what you try to do. Sometimes he is singled up and you are running the football. Sometimes it is a situational thing. Obviously, when you have a really good player, you are trying to get him the football. That is obvious.”


On if the Rams showed a matchup or tendency at the end of the game that led the Browns to line up in an empty formation multiple times:

“I am really not going to get into our game planning. That is nothing that is going to help us down the road as to why we did what we did. We just obviously thought that would be the best chance to get in.”


On if not having a lead blocker impacts the Browns offense’s gameplan:

“Sure it does, but that is not the reason why we can’t execute better. You are right, if you do not have a fullback, that does limit certain things. We are working (TE) Pharaoh (Brown) into that role a little bit, but obviously, it has nothing to do with the way we have executed up to this point.”


On if things are not running smoothly at practice, given his comments about executing in practice and taking things to the game:

“No, that is not really what I said. There is something to that. Sometimes it goes smoothly in practice and it does not end up in the game because you are not going against the best in the world, if that makes sense. Sometimes what looks good in practice does not end up carrying over to the game. The play call that you have dialed up and then all of a sudden you jump offside, you go to a different call and you do not get back to that. There are a lot of things that go into it. Something that does not look as well that we just did not do as well in practice. You can only have so many reps. Down the road, you are really good at what you do over and over and over again. That is true in everything. We just have to continue to do certain things over and over and build an identity of who we are.”


On how Mayfield has balanced when to leave the pocket or staying in it:

“It is hard to speak for him in terms of what he sees in terms of what is in front of him. I do not mean seeing in terms of protection-wise just what he sees, is there leakage or is there a route that ends up not in a particular position. I think he is a guy that has been good in the pocket, but he is also a guy that has been elite when he does escape. A guy with that kind of ability and trying to make a play at times ends up escaping and getting outside the pocket trying to make a play. There are a number of reasons that goes into that.”


On if the Browns are OK with Mayfield ‘taking off whenever he feels is best’:

“I do not know about that. You left that open ended of ‘whenever he feels best’ is a little bit of a stretch. He is the one that has to play the position. I am not out there playing it. Are there times with every quarterback that we have ever been around where you would like them hanging in the pocket longer? Of course. There are times where they hang in the pocket and you go, ‘God, I wish they would escape for God sake.’ That is not an easy answer. There are times with any quarterback you want them to be in the pocket longer, and there are times where you go, ‘Wow, it would be great if he can escape and make some plays on the move.’”


On the Browns TEs’ performance without TE David Njoku available:

“They were fine. Pharaoh is going to continue to improve. We got (TE) Ricky (Seals-Jones) up a little bit and get him going. (TE) Demetrius Harris has been steady all along. We probably could use more from him and need to utilize him more in the run game and the pass game.”


On the biggest thing missing with the Browns offense without Njoku and where the Browns TEs can step up:

“David is a guy that can stretch the field. He has done that before here. Plays in the red zone that we have seen him make. The other things that ends up happening when you lose a player that is a starter is that all through camp and David was a dinged up starting is those guys take a lot of reps. When you lose a player that is a starter, he is taking whatever percentage of the reps you have had up until that point so everybody else play a little bit of catchup, like any position. The other guys have talent. That is why they are in the NFL. We just have to keep bringing them along and utilizing their skillset to the best of their ability.”


On G Justin McCray:

“He has been fine. For a guy that came in here a few weeks ago, he has played well – as well as could be expected that has not been with us, running the system and battling. That has not been the reason. At times, he is going to get beat like all of our players. He is no different than any of our players or any of our players that are going to get covered. You are going to have times losing one-on-one battles. We have been pleased with him.”


On if he contributes to the discussion of challenges from the booth:

“I am not going to get into our communication and how that works. Obviously, I am on the headset with (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens).. You will have to ask him. I am sure you already have so that is it.”


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