STILLWATER — Todd Monken left the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars in January to become the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.
Yet, Monken's relationship with quarterback Brandon Weeden resembles an NFL quarterback-coach relationship more than a collegiate quarterback-coach relationship.
Asked if the relationship was more like an NFL relationship, Monken was quick with his response.
“Yes. The guy checks off on plays we haven't even talked about checking off on,” Monken joked.
The 27-year-old Weeden brings maturity to OSU's offense, which is uncommon in a college quarterback. Their relationship is two grown men with the same goal exchanging ideas and suggestions about how to improve the Cowboy offense and attack a defense.
“It is different that way, and he understands that,” Monken said. “He's an older guy who understands his role in that process. He can communicate to you what he likes and dislikes.”
While most players won't immediately ask questions or express discomfort with a certain play, Weeden doesn't hesitate to suggest something he feels more comfortable with. He'll ask a question about the best way to attack a defense.
“It leads to not guessing,” Monken said. “It's hard to get down the road, then find out he didn't like something or that's not how you did it. That's the advantage of a guy who is older like that or a guy who has played. Younger guys aren't mature enough to say, ‘Hey, I don't get that.'”
Unlike the common quarterback-coach relationship, where the coach is constantly teaching and the quarterback sits back and learns, Weeden and Monken are growing in the offense together. At times, Weeden has been the teacher, and at other times, Monken has been sharing his wisdom and knowledge.
Weeden brings his knowledge of the Cowboy offense, which finished No. 3 in scoring offense (44.23 points per game) and No. 3 in total offense (520.23 yards per game) under Dana Holgorsen in 2010.
Monken brings his NFL knowledge and the offensive know-how gained from his previous coaching stops at Jacksonville and LSU.
“He's been around some really intelligent coaches and players,” Weeden said. “His football I.Q. — you can tell he's very smart. He'll say we called (a particular play at Jacksonville), and it will be like 30 words longer than what we call it, so you can tell he came from a sophisticated system.”
The relationship seems to be off to a good start, with Cowboy coaches and players feeling like the offense hasn't really missed a beat early in spring practices.
“Brandon is good with people anyway,” Cowboys receiver Justin Blackmon said. “Him and Dana were the same way. (Monken and Weeden) are getting on the same page so we can run everything smoothly.”
Said Monken, “It's a process, but we are getting along great.”