A day after defensive coordinator Mike Smith made it clear to the media (and anyone else) paying attention that the Buccaneers 2017 5-11 disappointment was not acceptable, offensive coordinator Todd Monken took to the off season podium Thursday.
And Monken, took the blunt critcism to another level.
Speaking in advance of the first Tampa Bay OTAs (organized team activities) Monken was insightful, but also very critical of how the offense performed a year ago. Here were his full comments:
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) May 17, 2018
Monken, who is entering his third year as Dirk Koetter’s offensive coordinator, answered a question about lack offensive consistency, with a line that will resonate for awhile about his squad last year, “we chose to suck.”
Now, it’s understandable coming off a 9-7 season, with young stars like QB Jameis Winston, WR Mike Evans, TEs OJ Howard and Cam Brate, and adding a veteran deep play threat like DeSean Jackson, that there was an expectation that the Buccaneers offense would be explosive. It never materialized.
Part of that was Winston suffering an early season shoulder injury and it hampered him for the first 8-10 games of the year. He missed most or all of five of them with the injury. Winston was clearly better in the Bucs final month, when he was healthier.
Monken, who’s been with the former #1 overall pick the previous two off seasons too, relayed Thursday what his message is to Winston,
“What I’ve seen irrespective of the physical stuff on the field is…. let’s no try so hard… He has natural leadership qualities, a toughness about him. It’s okay to fail . You’re human. It’s okay to be hurt.” Monken continued, “Let’s just go. You don’t have to try so hard. The guys will follow you. Just be yourself.”
Another thing he pointed to is short comings last year in scoring touchdowns in the red zone and he repeated the same phrase in his answer,
“We chose to suck. We made that decision as an offense to play poorly. We did a lot of things you can’t do if you want to win…. Bad football loses before good football wins. Bad center exchanges, costly penalties, missed opportunities….” Monken concluded about the redzone, “We finished 24th in the league. What’s interesting about that is: it would have just taken five more touchdowns and you jump from 24th to 8th…. We got down there 53 times, that’s seventh most in the league…we didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
Much like Smith for his defense, Monken was not mincing words.
It should be clear already what the tone and the expectations are in Tampa Bay, even in offseason workouts.
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