Countdown: Top 10 X-factors For 2018 – No. 6

July 19th, 2018

Freedom to change the culture

Joe can hear the clock ticking. Only seven days until training camp!!! 

That means we’re up to No. 6 on the countdown of the 10 X-factors for your 2018 Buccaneers season. 


No. 6 – Todd Monken Impact 

First, get it out of your darn heads that Monken, promoted this winter from part-time offensive coordinator/receivers coach to full-time OC, will be the playcaller for the Buccaneers this season. It won’t happen, nor should it.

Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston enter their fourth consecutive season united as playcaller and starting QB. No other NFC team can claim that kind of continuity. (Sean Payton and Mike McCarthy each dumped playcalling for a stretch and then went back to it.)

Koetter should be using that valuable familiarity to the team’s advantage, not relinquishing it.

But regardless, Koetter isn’t dropping playcalling because he is good at it, has 30-plus years doing it, and it’s why he got the Bucs gig.

Monken, though, can still have a major impact with his experience and brash, in-your-face style now being spread to offensive units other than receivers. He has the green light to get after the quarterbacks, raise the standards at running back and influence the offensive line.

Remember in the spring when Monken said twice, “We chose to suck,” when describing the Bucs’ red zone woes last yeay? Well, now Monken has the rank to confront those who chose to suck and to shake the losing mindset out of them.

Yeah, Monken will have more time to lend his savvy mind to Koetter’s game-plan development, though he was part of that last season. The real value, Joe believes, is in what Monken will bring to the non-receiver position groups on a daily basis.

No. 7 – Ronald Jones

No. 8 – Contract Years

No. 9 – Ryan Fitzpatrick

No. 10 – Noah Spence

And just in case you missed Saturday’s series introduction, here are four guys you won’t see on The Countdown and why.

30 Responses to “Countdown: Top 10 X-factors For 2018 – No. 6”

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    I don’t know about this one Joe. Will his effect be greater than Brentson Buckner’s (who I HAVE to assume makes the list!)?
    I’m “meh!” about this one. Hopefully, I’m proven wrong.
    If he were calling plays, most definitely an X-factor.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Monken is more aggressive than Koetter and we need for our offense to strike….and strike early……way too many FG attempts and conservative playcalling in the red zone.

    The one thing that irritates me more than anything is our inability to run on 1st and 10…..we must be able to improve that or stop trying and open it up…..and I don’t mean downfield….we have a multitude of weapons and simply getting the ball to them will move the chains.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I can buy it. 2 of the last 3 years we’ve been top 10 in yardage yet never better than just average or worse in scoring. We left a sh1t load of points on the board last year.

    Hopefully schematics / design / execution in the red zone – is where Monken has an effect.

    Way too many O-line penalties there. Way too many negative plays there (sacks / runs for loss). You can’t do that sh1t on the 10 yard line of your opponent typically and still get 7.

  4. JimmyJack Says:

    Monken an Xfactor? Shoot the guy was a receivers coach and couldn’t get Evans to quit interfering. Honestly, a more educated choice would have been ST coach

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    New titles are nice, but as they say about dog-sled teams … ‘If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.’

  6. Etzel Says:

    I agree that Monken is more aggressive and this is the year we can’t sit back and play to not lose.

    Monk to playcaller! Bucs to playoffs!

  7. Wombat Says:

    Monken is gonna have input. Koetter is doing it obviously cos he trusts what Monken sees that he may not. As for Evans still interfering, Monken isn’t out on the field. With ME13 it is habitual, he got away with it in college, they call pass interference on receivers way too much in the NFL. Let them play, he is a mismatch and should never lose a one on one, unless the refs say he breaks the “rules”!!

  8. DILLIGAF Says:

    Just win dammit. Win

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    We fly with co-pilots…can’t hurt having him elevated, DK calling plays or not. Let’s see how it shakes out. But if I see Sims in to carry on 3rd and 1 I’m going to lose my mind!

  10. miken Says:

    Joe always puts together a great list heading into camp. Thanks Joe.
    I wonder if Jason signs one more starting caliber guy before we head to camp?

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    @Wombat…..In Evans 1st two or so seasons he was getting away with a ton of PI. The NFL reviews all their plays and finds various repeat offenders to keep a better eye on(target).

    The fact that Evans couldn’t adjust shows a pure lack of awareness and preparation by he and his coaches. Look for him to fix that issue this year. A year too short.

    @miken….Good point, RT is the position I’d be looking at if I were Licht

  12. D-Rome Says:

    How can we really evaluate what lower position coaches do? Since he will not be the calling plays it will be really hard to determine his impact on the team. It’s not as if this is his first year here so I am not expecting anything different just because he’s in a more expanded role.

    The Joes like talkative, quotable guys for obvious reason but it’s really irrelevant to how they do their job.

  13. BucEmUp Says:

    Koetters playcalling has taken a slightly conservative turn since getting promoted to hc. He was more creative in all his previous years including with the falcons. I just hope that this being a do or die year he completely takes the training wheels off and jumps some high octane in the tank. If he doesn’t we all know the defense wont keep them in games.

  14. Dooshlarue Says:

    Lord Corn,

    Exactly how do you leave points on the board?

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:


    lol i phrased that terribly.

    We should have scored a lot more points than we did for all the times we were able to move into opponent territory is all I meant

  16. Dooshlarue Says:

    I hear ya, guess I just felt like being a Doosh!
    But you are correct, we should have scored more points than we did.
    I pray we get this offense firing like it should.

  17. D1 Says:

    Lord Corn,

    If the team has trouble running in goal line situations it’s all about DK.
    I mean it’s not much to ask for a package I’d call “The Big Island”
    FB stevie T RB Vea.

    There’s something about a RB combo that has a Richter scale metric along with points . 6points on score board 6.9 on the Richter scale. The points are going on the scoreboard and falling off.

  18. BucEmUp Says:

    I haven’t been impressed with the scaled back / limited route tree the last couple seasons from our wideouts. Why are they not running the slants….you know the ones bucs defenders get beat on left and right?

    Must be because it wrs actually face man coverage

  19. BrianBucs Says:

    Nick Foles is now the NFL’s leading merchandise seller.

    Just sayin…….

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Obviously Koetter trusts Monken and Monken trusts Koetter. They have both made very large career bets that they are with the right guy and success is just around the corner.

    Since Monken has earned Koetter’s trust he may not call the plays…I agree that will remain with Koetter…however I think Monken will have clear input if he sees the opposing defense giving an opportunity for a certain play. I think Monken immediately shares it and Koetter wouldn’t hesitate to use it.

    Monken was a fairly hot property when we got him. He’s coached…always the offense…at some decent places including passing coordinator at LSU…OC at Oklahoma State…WR coach for the Jags…and his last college job at Southern Miss where he turned a true dog into a first place winner in just three years.

    It wasn’t easy though…Monken went 1-11 in year one..then 3-9 before winning the Conference USA West title and going to a bowl game in year three. He was 9-5 after the bowl game loss…but against even competition in his conference he went 7-1.

    Monken has been to the gates of football hell and back again. He as much as anybody in this organization knows what it is to truly suck and then turn it around.

    So Joe I couldn’t agree more…Monken can definitely be an X factor.

  21. gp Says:

    I like your thinking though I’m not sure Stevie is fast enough to lead Vea

  22. donuts Says:

    If the Bucs start off 2-4 this season and the offense can’t score TDs (past nemesis), Koetter should give up control to Monken. I have not been impressed with Koetter play calling last year especially in the red zone. Winston has been left out to dry at times with the weird run calls. The good news is this is a new year. Go Bucs!

  23. BuccYa Says:

    My thoughts exactly!

    Sage podcast?

  24. Kobe Faker Says:

    Any info from 2not Joes about JW3 not appearing in the Bucs “wreck havoc” motivational videos

    “I talked to Jenna L and she said doesnt look good”

    Kobe Faker

  25. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    I wonder if the “we chose to suck” comment was a shot across the bow at not only the execution but also the play calling by Dirk?

    With limited field of play in the Red-zone you cannot be predictable, yes execution helps but the defense knowing what might be coming won’t help either.

  26. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    Also I pray we can have a balanced attack with a running game, finally. It will be interesting how he will use our 2 featured backs, Barber and Jones, without becoming predictable. Jones has to work on his hands and blocking, that being said i am looking forward to preseason with my list of players to watch.

  27. Buccfan37 Says:

    Always have had a good feeling about Monken joining the Bucs coaching staff.

  28. Owlykat Says:

    Where Monken is really needed this year will be in overruling and supervising closely Warhop. Warhop has Koetter in his hip pocket because Koetter knows nothing about OL and accepts Warhop’s opinions as gospel. That is a major problem, and if Turnstyle D. Smith looks like he is on a pace to equal or exceed the 42 pressures on our QB he gave up last year and will try to avoid 50 pressures by holding DEs and earning more holding penalties, Monken is going to have to intervene at the break and move D. Smith inside to LG and move Dotson to LT, move Marpet back finally to RT (before Warhop started moving him all around) and then put Cappa at RT. But now he has to put a stop to Warhop training Cappa as a backup Center when we already have a veteran backup Center, and force Cappa to be trained solely to play RT which is what Koetter wanted and Warhop ignored.

  29. Owlykat Says:

    The above lineup on our OL would result in a much better ground game for Bucs this year. It will also accelerate the training of the LT who took D. Smith’s place and looked good in OTAs this year. That is important in case Dotson gets injured later this year. Wester can backup Cappa at RT, and our Veteran Backup Center Smith can backup Jensen, and Benenoch can backup both Guard positions. Next year we need to draft a first round LT, because Dotson will retire at some point and we need a top LT ready to move up. If we don’t pick up a Veteran, Proven QB with a draft pick this year, our second pick could be a young QB understudy to Jameis in case he is hurt or gets banned from the NFL. We finally thanks to this year’s draft by Licht set at all other positions.

  30. BucNole Says:

    Sorry Joe but you lost me here – “Koetter isn’t dropping playcalling because he is good at it, has 30-plus years doing it”

    Now I will agree that he is not going to give up playcalling. . .. it’s his ass that is on the line.
    But from what I have seen in DK as HC/OC doesnt say “good at it ” like at all.
    I have seen some really stubborn boneheaded play calls along with crappy clock management and an inability to make good in-game adjustments. .. not to mention the whole Martin RB situation last year – that was pretty hard to watch. This from a coach with 30yrs of experience????

    Soooo. . . no – “he’s good at it” would not be my opinion . . like AT ALL!