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As the Cleveland Browns clean house in their front office and coaching staff, tales of the team’s dysfunction keep emerging.
Our latest episode in “Days of Our Browns” covers the team’s offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who joined the team last offseason after three years in the same position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has had reported friction with now-fired head coach Freddie Kitchens.
As it turns out, word of that friction even reached opposing coaches, by way of Monken.
Speaking of disgruntled offensive coordinators, Todd Monken’s one season with the Browns was a disaster. Monken had the offensive coordinator title but Kitchens called the plays, and it was clear that Kitchens and Monken were never on the same page. Multiple sources told The Athletic that late in the season, Monken would spend time on the field before games telling opposing coaches how bad things were with the Browns, calling the team a “total mess” and saying that Kitchens’ Sunday play calling generally steered away from most things that had been in the game plan from Wednesday-Saturday.
The big question that comes with that news: Did Monken learn that behavior from his wide receivers or vice versa?
Kitchen’s refusal to cede play-calling duties to Monken as the Browns’ once-hyped offense sputtered became a storyline during the season and another mark against the rookie head coach for many fans.
Despite boasting last year’s No. 1 overall pick in Baker Mayfield, the NFL’s No. 2 rusher in Nick Chubb and two 1,000-yard receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, the Browns offense ranked only 20th in DVOA, 22nd in total yards and 22nd in total points.
The Browns’ season reached a nadir when it was reported Beckham, the prize of an exciting Browns offseason, had told opposing players and coaches he wanted out of Cleveland. He was reportedly not the only player to do so, though there has been pushback on those reports. Now, we have Monken reportedly voicing his displeasure with his boss.
Only time will tell if the next Browns head coach is able to reverse such a culture.
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