All of this talk about James Casey being the "emergency quarterback" of the Philadelphia Eagles got me to looking up Casey's credentials as a potential quarterback should both Michael Vick and Matt Barkley go down on Sunday. Since Nick Foles already is out with a concussion, it looks like Casey would not be in over his head as a quarterback because he was more than a serviceable at that position while playing for the Owls. The Rice Owls.
Call James Casey the Chris Coyer of Rice. Or, if you will, call Chris Coyer the James Casey of Temple. Very similar skill sets. Very similar-type players.[caption id="attachment_6149" align="alignleft" width="300"] Temple's Chris Coyer catching at a halfback option pass from Jalen Fitzpatrick for a first down in front of Deiontrez Mount and Keith Brown. (See, trick plays do work.)[/caption]
Casey, like Coyer, made a position change his senior year and, like Coyer, moved from quarterback to tight end. Unlike Coyer, though, the coaching staff at Rice used Casey wisely as he became the first player in the history of the NCAA to do this: Throw a touchdown, run for a touchdown and catch a touchdown all in the same game. Casey did this twice for the Owls.
Casey was second in the country in 2008 with 111 receptions, which set a Conference-USA record. He caught 13 touchdowns, rushed for six more and threw a pair. Those are the kind of stats I thought Coyer could have put up if he was targeted enough in the Temple offense this season. That's not going to happen, but that doesn't mean he can't throw for a touchdown, run for a touchdown and pass for a touchdown in one or two or more of the remaining Temple games.Since there are five games left, I'd like to see Coyer do this twice, maybe three times, for Temple. Heck, five times would be nice but I realize I've been spitting into the wind all season on this issue. Coyer is a pretty talented player. Those of us who have seen him all these years, even his one or two detractors (don't get those people, but they are out there), have to agree on that. He can run. He can throw. He can catch. He can block. I realize Coyer is needed to block now more than ever, but I would like to see some plays to free him up to throw the ball out of non-Wildcat formations. On those plays, Chris Parthemore (see his perfect seal block in the slideshow below) can be used as a blocking tight end. Since there currently are no plays in the Marcus Satterfield playbook for the tight end reverse, pitch and throw downfield, maybe line Coyer up as a fullback, have him rip off a few runs to set up a toss pitch option pass downfield. [caption id="attachment_6153" align="alignright" width="238"] Great play for Coyer, running to the left, not the right as shown here.[/caption]
Too much to ask? Yeah, probably.
I asked Chris after the game on Saturday if the tight end reverse, toss and throw downfield off it was in the playbook and he said no.
My immediate reaction was to say a four-letter word preceded by the word "Oh." (Sorry, Mrs. Coyer.)
There should be a way, though, to have Coyer run the a couple of plays out of the fullback position, establish himself as a threat running the ball inside the tackles and then quick toss and have him throw the ball down the field. I'm 90 percent certain you can get a safety to bite with that kind of setup.
It worked a few times for the Rice Owls with James Casey.
It can also work for the Temple Owls with Chris Coyer.