Source: Monken, Wilks to join staff

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - SPORTS - By Jeff Schudel [email protected]­ald.com @JSProIn­sider on Twit­ter

Fred­die Kitchens, tak­ing his first swing as an NFL head coach after eight weeks as an of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, is build­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced staff of as­sis­tants.

Todd Monken, the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for the Buc­ca­neers the past three years, will have the same du­ties with the Browns, a league source con­firmed late on Jan. 13. Steve Wilks, the head coach of the Car­di­nals in 2018 and the de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor of the Pan­thers in 2017, is the Browns’ new de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Net­work was the first to an­nounce hir­ing both co­or­di­na­tors.

The Browns are ex­pected to make the an­nounce­ments of­fi­cial early Jan. 14. A noon news con­fer­ence is planned to in­tro­duce Kitchens as the Browns’ 17th full-time head coach since 1946 and their ninth since 1999.

The Buc­ca­neers were 5-11 and last in the NFC South in 2018, but of­fense wasn’t the prob­lem. They fin­ished third in to­tal of­fense, av­er­ag­ing 415.5 yards a game. They were 12th in scor­ing and av­er­aged 24.8 points a game.

The Browns, with Kitchens call­ing plays only the last half of the sea­son, were 20th with an av­er­age of 22.4 points a game. They av­er­aged 23.8 points a game the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

Monken, 52, be­gan his coach­ing ca­reer at Grand Val­ley State in 1989. He was a grad­u­ate as­sis­tant at Notre Dame and also coached at East­ern Michi­gan, Louisiana State, Ok­la­homa State and LSU be­fore spend­ing four years as the Jaguars wide re­ceivers coach frim 2007-10.

Monken re­turned to Ok­la­homa

State in 2011 and 2012 as the quar­ter­backs coach and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, which means he coached for­mer Browns quar­ter­back Bran­don Wee­den. He was the head coach at South­ern Miss from 2013-15. After go­ing 1-11 and 3-9 he led the Golden Ea­gles to a 9-5 record in 2015 and a berth in the Heart of Dal­las Bowl where they lost to Wash­ing­ton, 44-31.

Wilks, 49, be­gan his coach­ing ca­reer as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at John­son C. Smith Univer­sity in Char­lotte, N.C. in 1995. He was head coach at Sa­van­nah State in 1999 and made col­lege stops at Illi­nois State, Ap­palachian State, East Ten­nessee State, Bowl­ing Green, Notre Dame and Wash­ing­ton be­fore break­ing into the NFL as the Bears’ sec­ondary coach in 2006. He has also coached de­fen­sive backs with the Charg­ers and Pan­thers.

Carolina fin­ished sev­enth in team de­fense in 2017 and 10th in points al­lowed (20.4) with Wilks as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

The Browns are also ex­pected to make of­fi­cial the hir­ing of for­mer Vik­ings spe­cial teams coach Mike Priefer for the same po­si­tion.

Wilks

Monken

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