The Buccaneers hired offensive coordinator Todd Monken away from his job as the head coach at Southern Mississippi and there’s going to be at least one thing Monken misses about the college game.
Monken said that he wants the Bucs to have a “fight song” while discussing the place that fun has in his philosophy of coaching. Monken said he doesn’t “know why it has to feel like such drudgery” and that he hopes that things don’t feel that way in the Bucs locker room next season.
“Watch the Carolina Panthers. They’re having fun,” Monken said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “That looks like fun to me. I want our quarterback to have fun. I want our guys to have fun doing it together. I want the locker room to be fun. It’s that harder in a pro setting? Yes, because of the change. You have so many different pieces that change, you’ve got to make that blend together and guys that play for more than just themselves and that’s difficult in a pro setting because of the money, as we know. But you can still make it work. There’s got to be more than just the money. There’s got to be more than just that. The feeling of getting better and doing it for your teammates and the excitement of getting better and doing it with some people you care about.”
The Panthers do look like they’re having fun, but so do most teams that are on their way to the Super Bowl after losing just one game in the regular season. Winning in the NFL and fun go hand in hand because losing makes it a lot likelier that players and coaches are going to have to worry about having a job the next year.
Monken said the keys to winning on offense are “don’t turn it over, third down conversions, touchdowns in the red zone” and, although he won’t be calling them, said he wants to see more explosive plays because “we don’t need more 5-yard plays.” That does sound like a fun offense, although the amount of smiles around the Bucs in December will determine how well everything worked out.