It didn’t initially register on CFT’s seismograph of offseason headlines, but Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken caused some bedlam earlier this week among Oklahoma fans when he mentioned Sooners quarterback Landry Jones in a not-so-flattering light.
In short, Monken was speaking to ESPN’s David Ubben about the Cowboys’ quarterback situation when he made a comparison to Jones and his late-season dropoff.
“It didn’t take long when ol’ (Oklahoma receiver Ryan) Broyles went down and (OU) started running the dozer* to think, ‘Do we have our guy?’ That didn’t take long,” Monken said. “Landry Jones went from like, ‘I’m the man,’ to all of a sudden, ‘I haven’t thrown a touchdown pass, I’m fumbling it over my head at Oklahoma State. I gotta go back and see my quarterback guru.'”
(*that would refer to using backup quarterback Blake Bell and the Belldozer package, which I believe the Sooners ran before Broyles went down with a season-ending ACL injury against Texas A&M. However, there’s no denying the increased snaps Bell received later in the season.)
Ubben followed up later on his Twitter account, saying that Monken’s comments were not taken out of context and that it was a matter of the OC wondering out loud if Broyles’ injury exposed Jones in some way.
Whatever the intent, Monken issued the following apology Friday:
“I want to apologize to Landry Jones and to the Oklahoma football program for using them as a specific example to illustrate a point concerning how quickly an injury to a key player can impact how a team plays.
“While speaking to a visiting member of the media about the importance of a quarterback’s confidence and demeanor and about how quickly things can change in football, I made the mistake of making a specific reference to illustrate my point.”
Even OU fans have to admit that Jones struggled after Broyles went down — he didn’t throw a touchdown until the Insight Bowl — so in that regard, Monken’s comments aren’t too off base. But let’s not forget OU’s leading rusher, Dominique Whaley, also went down with a season-ending injury just a few weeks before Broyles.
So, no leading rusher and no Broyles. Jones’ decision making was suspect at times last season despite throwing for nearly 4,500 yards, but those injuries alone are going to force any coaching staff to adjust their playbook.
(Hat tip: The Daily Oklahoman)