Ironically, it's Monken himself who battles the concept of “can't.”
“Every week, I swear, I have no idea how we're going to score,” he said. “‘How can we do this and this and this?'
“Even last year, you're just fearful. That fear drives me. I'm actually driven more by fear that we won't be able to figure it out and find the best way for us to win. I take it all internally.”
If Monken's job seemed easy to outsiders last season, when he had first-round NFL draft picks in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon and more, this year has confirmed Mike Gundy's confidence in bringing him in to replace Dana Holgorsen.
And these two very different seasons have only heightened interest in Monken as a potential head coach. He was involved in jobs a year ago, including Southern Miss, Illinois and Tulane, which offered him its head position.
The dominoes are starting to fall this year, with various levels of jobs already open and more to come. And Gundy expects to answer calls from athletic directors wanting to talk about his offensive coordinator, as they have before in taking Larry Fedora and Holgorsen from the same post.
“I'd hate to break the streak,” Gundy said sarcastically, “where we didn't have anything to talk about during bowl practice.”
So far, Monken said, all has been quiet on the job front. He'd like to be a head coach, like most assistants, although he can be picky with an annual salary of $600,000.
“I haven't had any contact. None,” Monken said. “Believe me, I don't keep much back. When it's my time, the right one will come and it will be at the right moment.
“The right job is the one you can win at. It doesn't matter what the money is, you like winning. It's not about the money.”