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OSU football: Todd Monken loves to coach, confront challenges

Cowboys assistant coach looks forward to finding the replacements for Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Published: April 1, 2012

STILLWATER — Watching Todd Monken coach might be one of my favorite parts of spring football.

The guy is always animated, always hands-on and always easy to hear from anywhere on the field. That makes him always entertaining.

“What I really enjoy doing is going out there and yelling and acting like an idiot and coaching,” Monken said, “…and those guys getting better and the ups and downs of being (ticked) and being happy. That part of it is the fun of it.”

And much of the focus during the final three weeks of spring football — and next fall — will be on Monken, because two of the biggest questions for Oklahoma State heading into 2012 are at the two positions the Cowboy offensive coordinator is primarily involved with.

Monken (and head coach Mike Gundy) must choose and then develop a new starting quarterback. And Monken must help Kasey Dunn and Doug Meacham rebuild a Cowboy receiving corps that lost five of its top eight pass-catchers from a year ago.

Then there's the question of how Monken will fare coordinating the spread offense Dana Holgorsen installed in 2010 without the superstar quarterback-receiver combination of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon that absolutely thrived in the system.

But while it might be Holgorsen's template, it will have Monken's wrinkles next season. It actually already did in 2011, even with Weeden and Blackmon.

Monken noted that the Cowboys ran 40 more play-action passes in 2010 than last season. In 2011, OSU was better at what Monken calls the “quick game,” or an even more tempo-based form of the spread. But the Cowboys were not as successful running at tunnel and running back screens last season as in 2010.

“Now it's, ‘OK how do you build on that? How do you take that system that's been so successful for so many people and make it your own?'” Monken said of where he goes from here. “We changed a bunch of routes (last season). There's a bunch of them that have our imprint (of me and Dunn and Meacham).

“There's always a tweak of it, but the base way that it's called you're going to see it the same as (Texas) A&M, as Houston, as here, as similar to Louisiana Tech.”

Monken admits that every place he's coached, he's believed that their offensive system is “the way.” The no-huddle, throw-it-around style of Louisiana Tech. The balance of the running game of Tatum Bell and passing game led by Rashaun Woods under Les Miles during his first stint at OSU. The run-first, play-action scheme anchored by Maurice Jones-Drew with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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