Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Frank Nutile's junior highlights at Don Bosco.
Like the guy in Moneyball, I like stats.
One of the reasons the Oakland A's were able to build a team from low-budget to competitive was that Billy Bean never overthought things.
He'd rather draft guys who put up good numbers in competitive leagues (heck, he preferred top-level college baseball players over high schoolers) and roll the dice that past history is the best predictor of future history.
I've always been one of those people when it comes to recruiting Temple football players.
That's why I particularly like the recent recruiting additions of defensive end Michael Dogbe and quarterback Frank Nutile.
Nutile threw 14 touchdown passes playing for Don Bosco, a program consistently rated in the USA Today's national Top 10.
To me, the most important stats for a quarterback are wins and touchdown passes.
Fourteen touchdown passes as a junior and an 8-3 mark for a storied program is a pretty good base upon which to build senior stats.
Contrast that to former Temple quarterback Vaughn Charlton, who was handed a scholarship even though he had only nine touchdown passes as a senior playing in a very weak and now defunct Southern Chester County League. On the other hand, Adam DiMichele had 36 touchdown passes as a senior at Sto-Rox.
You know how those two careers turned out.
Dogbe had eight quarterback sacks, which means he was disrupting a lot of offensive game plans.
I'll be watching Nutile and hope he pushes the touchdown totals over 20 this year.
Hopefully, Dogbe will be in double-digits in sacks.
Either way, I think past performance dictates future success for both guys at Temple.
Michael Dogbe's highlight reel. Would have used "who let the dogs out" as the musical track.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 3:03 PM
Monday, June 10, 2013
|A very minor adjustment adds just 2,000 or so seats to Temple Stadium.|
OK, technically they call it Lincoln Financial Field but, if I had an extra $200 million or so laying around, instead of investing it in an on-campus stadium, I'd purchase the naming rights from the Lincoln Financial Group (they only paid $139.6 million for it for 20 years) and rename the place Temple Stadium.
|If, by some miracle, Temple could attract just 1/3d|
of its 130K living alumni and on-campus students to
home football games,
the AAC might put the Temple '][' in its logo.
Photo by John Van Wert
Could you imagine Brent Musburger or Al Michaels doing a Monday Night Football game there with this opening:
"YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE AT TEMPLE STADIUM, WHERE THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE HOSTING THE NEW YORK GIANTS."
The school could spend $100 million in advertising and not get quite the bang for the buck as a few of those openings would deliver.
I've soured on the idea of an on-campus stadium after attending the Temple basketball game against UNC Charlotte.
I turned to three friends from my high school days and asked: "Where is everybody? This place is empty."
The university has a nationally known basketball program but not a nationally known following.
Those who demand an on-campus stadium say that attendance would go up if the uni built one, say, at 15th and Norris between 16th on the West and Montgomery Avenue on the South.
I did not get that feeling in a half-empty state-of-art Liacouras Center back in February nor do I feel the fans who attended the home games against Canisius, St. Bonaventure or Duquesne got that feeling as well.
To me, the best upgrade for "Temple Stadium" would be fans putting down their remotes and getting off their couches and going to home games. TV ratings for Temple home games in the nation's fourth-largest market are off the charts high, so you know there are enough Temple fans interested in watching. The challenge is getting them into cars and onto the subway.
It's not like the place is in the middle of nowhere, ala UConn.
It's a 10-minute subway ride for 12,500 students living on campus and a one-hour ride for 130,000 living alumni.
Winning will bring the fans, for sure.
Got to hope that winning, combined with an exciting brand of football the Owls will be playing for the next few years, will bring enough "Temple people" so that the nation is impressed.
The fans will get a chance to vote with their two feet.
THEN maybe we can talk about an on-campus stadium.
Monday, June 03, 2013
|Our first attempt at Adobe InDesign. (OK, we'll get better.)|
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis represents the city known as the Gateway to the West.
Move that about 300 miles to the Northeast and put it in Pittsburgh for Temple's purposes.
Former Gateway head coach Terry Smith is proving to be one of Matt Rhule's most productive hires so far.
Look at the list of the six "hard" verbals so far and it is peppered with Smith's Pittsburgh-area ties.
Today is a good day to talk about those ties for two reasons:
Scout.com is reporting today that Lenny Williams, Sto-Rox's outstanding dual-purpose quarterback, is about to commit to Temple and the Owls are coming off their first-ever camp held in the Pittsburgh area this weekend..
That would be great news because Williams would be the Owls' most high-profile recruit out of the Pittsburgh area since Victor Lay signed out of Aliquippa. (Adam DiMichele, also from Sto-Rox, would have qualified but he was technically a Penn State recruit and a transfer from a Florida JC.)
|The website 247.com's list of hard Temple verbals.|
As a senior at Sto-Rox, DiMichele threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 36 touchdown passes.
Thirty-six TD passes.
By comparison, recent Temple recruits Chester Stewart (DeMatha, Md.) and Vaughn Charlton (Avon Grove, Pa.) had 17 and nine touchdown passes during their senior years.
We'll see what kind of numbers Lenny Williams puts up in the TD-throwing department his senior year, but I'm willing to bet it'll be closer to 36 than 17.
Williams would be the fourth Temple verbal from the Pittsburgh area this season, joining the Gateway duo of Delvon Randall (safety) and interior linebacker Brenon Thrift and Renaissance Christian Academy athlete Troy Simons.
Smith, DiMichele and Rhule all were in Pittsburgh this weekend, spreading the Temple gospel.
Evidently, they found a few believers and that can only be good news for Temple fans going forward.
Friday, May 24, 2013
|Believe it or not, the only shot of SP's exterior on the internet.|
Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.
Or, in the case of Temple's new indoor football facility, inside a box that was already built.
Credit James Creedon, Temple's vice-president for Construction, Facilities and Operations, with an out-of-the-box solution to Temple's recurring problem of finding a place to practice on inclement days.
“We thought, ‘Are there any other options that might be out there?’” Creedon said. “We started talking about the Student Pavilion, and thought that there might be some lower cost, cost-effective options that would achieve the same result with the Pavilion.”Sitting a few feet Southeast of the corner of 15th and Norris was an unused building with a perfectly good roof high enough to once house a golf driving range and waiting to be demolished for a library. Heck, I used to play pick-up basketball in there no more than seven years ago when I had a Temple Fitness Club Alumni Membership pass.
Did the library REALLY need to go there?
Could that perfectly good (and relatively new, compared to most buildings on campus) structure be used for another purpose?
The Student Pavilion, once a White Elephant, has been revived and reinvented.
Call it Creedon's Clear-Thinking Revival.
We're rolling, rolling, rolling on the West Side of Broad.
“We thought, ‘Are there any other options that might be out there?’” Creedon said. “We started talking about the Student Pavilion, and thought that there might be some lower cost, cost-effective options that would achieve the same result with the Pavilion.”
|Sweden checking in for a five-minute visit. Thanks, Sweden.|
Now, instead of waiting a year or two down the road for a bubble to be wedged into the already small space around the Edberg-Olson Football Complex, the Owls can walk the couple blocks to practice at 15th and Norris.
Remember Hurricane Hanna?
The Owls had to bus down to the Nova Care Complex to practice three days that week before a home game against UConn, an overtime loss.
Al Golden, the head coach at the time, had a good relationship with Andy Reid.
Now that Reid is gone and Chip Kelly doesn't know Matt Rhule from Matt Damon, all bets are off for a similar continuing amicable relationship with the Eagles. No one wants to put 100 guys on a couple of buses and travel through downtown traffic for seven miles every time it rains. That's small-time.
Remember Hurricane Sandy?
The Owls had to hastily reschedule an off-day Monday into a practice for Sunday and missed an entire Tuesday practice altogether.
Now, no more bus rides to Nova Care.
The best thing about the indoor bubble is that it has a roof and will be ready with a nice turf field by Aug. 1.
Give that Creedon guy a raise.
Or at least a shorter and more spiffy job title.
Friday, May 17, 2013
|I am playing responsibly ... spending only four bucks.|
World Hunger loses.
I know I'll take heat from the press and other do-gooders for this, but I have big enough shoulders.
(Plus, the Somalis haven't exactly shown a large amount of gratitude for the last food run Bill Clinton made for that country some 20 years ago.)
So I'm bringing back this "oldie but goodie" post for a day.
Not going to give the numbers I'm playing for the $600 million, but one line has significance for past Temple greats and another line plays to the strength of the current Temple team.
If I find the right needle in the right haystack and the right grain of sand on the Wildwood Beach, half of the $600 million goes to Temple FOOTBALL (not athletics) to benefit the Temple FOOTBALL program long after I'm gone.
Decisions to use that could be a stadium, could be an extended lease with signage rights to LFF.
Or maybe an eight-story practice bubble with an underground parking garage for athletes and coaches attached to the E-O.
It's all up to Temple.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 1:17 PM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Chris Coyer at last year's Big East media day.|
There have been times when no one wanted to see them leave the field, Chris Coyer and Kevin Newsome.
Coyer, upon accepting his MVP award at the New Mexico Bowl, and Newsome as arguably the nation's top player coming out of high school.
|Makes the move to tailback.|
Coyer will become an H-Back, more of a tight end than a fullback, ala Evan Rodriguez in his final year at Temple.
Newsome will take his considerable talents to the halfback position.
I root for anybody who puts on a Temple uniform, but I know two guys I'm rooting for more than anyone else this fall.
Chris Coyer and Kevin Newsome.
Because, in a team sport, they did it for the team.
That's the most important thing.
Coyer showed that it's going to work just fine in the spring game, catching a pair of touchdown passes.
Newsome did not get the chance in the spring because of a shoulder injury, but, just from the 44-yard run in the Louisville game last year, he showed top-level tailback instincts.
And if the Owls showed a need in the spring game, it's for a top-level tailback. Maybe it is Zaire Williams coming into the school in the fall, maybe it's Newsome, but it's nice to have options.
When Kevin Newsome first reported to the Edberg-Olson facility last year, he proudly stated: "I'm a Temple Owl for life."
When Matt Rhule approached Coyer about making the switch to H-back in the final week of spring ball, Coyer simply said: "I'm a Temple guy."
How can you not root for guys like that?
At the 1:11 time stamp, a song written and performed by the multi-talented Kevin Newsome kicks in ...
Sunday, May 12, 2013
|Temple football takes an active role this year at today's Race for the Cure.|
If you were at the Susan G. Komen Race for the cure this morning, you saw Temple football take an active role in the race.
For those of you whoI was there because my late mom was a survivor (she succumbed to another disease subsequently) and I don't want to see any other woman go through what she did.
want to donate to Nadia,
there is still time
Some Owls were there because they had similar personal experiences, others were there because they are just good people.
We as fans are lucky them on OUR team.
Not that the Owls weren't at past Komen races, they were, but this was just a little bit different.
This time the Owls were racing and walking for the cure for a disease that affects so many women and their families. Last year, they were "just" handing out water.
It's all part of Temple being Philadelphia's team.
The Owls have given the City of Philadelphia much in the past eight years.
In the past, the Owls have bowled for Big Brothers'/Big Sisters, visited the Children's' Hospital, handed out free turkeys for Thanksgiving and kept Diamond Street clean with regular sweeps from 10th all the way through 15th. This is not just a one-time deal. This happens every year.
The Owls do it not because they have to, but because they care.
I really did not see it at this level until Al Golden arrived in 2005 and it's just evolved in a positive way every year since.
If Philadelphia gave back to them what they give to Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field would be packed every Saturday afternoon.
It hasn't translated so far, but the Owls are winning hearts one person at a time.
Let's hope Karma kicks in one day.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 11:09 AM
Friday, May 10, 2013
|Vinny Testaverde smiles while Paul Palmer and Brian Bosworth applaud at the 1986 Heisman announcement.|
|Paul Palmer gets introduced by the late,|
great Bob Hope on Bob's All-American Show.
"Numbers don't lie."
If so, expect Paul Woodrow Palmer to follow Temple's Wayne Hardin into the Hall of Fame soon, maybe as soon as next year.
By the numbers, Palmer compares favorably with this year's two running back inductees, Wisconsin's Ron Dayne and North Carolina State's Ted Brown.
Here they are:
Career Rushing Yards/Highest Season
Highest single game-rushing Yards
That's not even counting the most important numbers:
In just his Heisman Trophy runner-up season of 1986, Palmer posted 2,633 all-purpose yards, ahead of Dayne's best year (2,422, 1999) and Brown's best year (1,672).
When it comes to moving the sticks, yards any way you can get them count just as much as a handoff from the line of scrimmage.
Also interesting was the fact that Palmer tossed not one, but two touchdown passes, one in his sophomore year and one in his senior years.
More than the numbers, though, were his durability and versatility.
Palmer could run between the tackles, outside the tackles, was an outstanding receiver and, was 3 for 7 throwing the ball during his senior season _ very good numbers for a non-quarterback.
He was fast, shifty and had great moves in the open field as well.
Bernard Pierce was a great back but, in my view, having seen all of the games both Paul and Bernard played, there was only one thing Pierce did better than Palmer and that was straight-line speed in the open field. Still, Palmer was fast enough with the ball in his hands and never injured (or seemingly never injured).
The fact that Palmer played his entire career against a Top 10 schedule while playing for Temple and finished No. 2 in the Heisman balloting in 1986 adds to his impressive Hall of Fame resume.
I can't think of anyone on next year's list as deserving.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
There are more good TU plays called in these 10 minutes than 2 years of Dazball.
That's what I called him when I first met him as a sports writer for The Temple News back in the 1970s and that's what I called him when I saw him last year.
Now I'll just call him a Hall of Famer.
This morning news comes from Atlanta that coach Wayne Hardin has been voted into the Hall of Fame.
Probably the best compliment coach ever gave me was last year.
"Mike, I read your blog and it is first-class," coach said.
|Coach was the man behind greatest helmets in Temple history, although I have seen better Temple hats.|
I like that hyphenated word because that's the way I've always described coach Hardin.
He was a first-class coach and, for the years he was Temple's head coach, the Owls had the best head coach in the country.
Period, end of story.
To me the definition of a great head coach is someone who gets the most out of the talent available to him.
Nobody got more out of his talent than Wayne Hardin.
Wayne Hardin stories on TFF through the years"We get kidded about our short, fat, kids, but we don't time them in the 40," Hardin once said. "They might not be too fast over 40 yards but, from here to there, they are not too bad and that's all we ask of them."
Meanwhile, he made a nice living out of outsmarting coaches with better players.
Hardin never beat Penn State, but it wasn't out of a lack of wits against Joe Paterno.
"Hardin's outcoaching Joe again," Allentown Morning Call columnist Joe Kunda said out loud in the Beaver Stadium press box as the Owls took a halftime lead at Penn State.
|Ukraine checking in for a 3-minute read of TFF.|
Everybody knew Kunda was right.
Think about it.
The highest Temple was ever ranked came in 1979, when the Owls rose to No. 17 in both the AP and UPI polls.
The highest Navy was ever ranked (at least in the modern era) was No. 2 in the nation in 1962.
The head coach in both cases?
No one has ever been more deserving of the Hall of Fame.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
|"Now, Steve, you aren't going to leave me after a couple of years, are you?"|
By those standards, Bill Bradshaw is a Temple football Saint.
TFF and Bradshaw through the years:That's why the news of Bradshaw retiring today (effective June 30) is truly a sad day for the program.
A compilation of stories on Temple Football Forever mentioning Bill Bradshaw through the years.
When the 2005 Temple president, David Adamany, formed a committee to "determine the future of Temple football" it was with one goal in mind:
To kill the program.
In December of that year, Adamany put the committee together and said "once their report is completed, it will be made public."
|Bill puts the myth|
of Temple making up
attendance figures to rest.
That report was never made public because the outcome was not the one Adamany wanted or expected.
The Board of Trustees, led by then Chairman Howard Gittis, voted to keep football and strengthen it.
Behind the scene, Bradshaw worked the room for the "pro-football" people.
By the time the vote was in, he was exhausted.
"I didn't know what the outcome would be, but football was saved by one vote," Bradshaw said.
Miracle No. 1?
Then football was saved again by one trip Bradshaw made to talk to Virginia defensive coordinator Al Golden.
Bradshaw brought with him a yellow legal pad.
When he got out of the meeting, he had four words written on the notepad:
"This is our guy."
Even though the university went through the motions of forming a "football selection committee" Bradshaw steered the committee toward Golden, who was just what Temple needed at the time. A young, energetic football surgeon who would spend 80 hours a week, sleeping at 10th and Diamond if necessary, to resuscitate a dying patient.
"I'm going to build a house of brick, not straw," said Golden, and he did.
Miracle No. 2?
Getting Temple into the MAC for football was no miracle because the Owls were also being courted by Conference USA at the time, but getting the Owls out certainly qualifies.
When no power conference wanted Temple, Bradshaw pulled the Big East rabbit out of his hat by working the phones and commissioners on TU's behalf. The signature moment that forced the Big East's hand might have been a Sunday trip Bradshaw and then president Ann Weaver Hart made to the Conference USA convention in Dallas.
Thinking Temple might take the largest available football market to CUSA, the Big East moved fast to lock up the Owls within a week after that reported meeting.
|Interesting tweet from Florida's Sharrif Floyd, a No. 1 draft choice.|
What happened to the Big East after Temple signed up was beyond Bradshaw's control.
Miracle No. 3?
When Steve Addazio left after two short years after saying Temple was "my dream job" and that "I could see myself staying here the rest of my career" the program faced another crisis.
Hire another name from a big-time program and risk losing him after a year or right a ship that faced the possibility of losing a head coach every year.
Bradshaw thought about it, listened to the players and parents and decided that stability was needed above all at this point and hired Golden disciple Matt Rhule.
Miracle No. 4?
Only if Rhule is able to produce on-field results like Golden was and the early indications are all positive.
There's still time before the Canonization but, in my mind, Bill Bradshaw is a Saint and, thankfully, a living one.
Bill Bradshaw and Temple football
Negotiated move into MAC
Gave TU opportunity to compete for automatic bowl bids
Hired Al Golden
First bowl appearance by Owls in 30 years, MAC East co-champs (2009), bowl eligible 3 straight years
Hired Steve Addazio
First bowl win in over 30 years
Move to Big East, expanded football facility with $10 million addition
Gave Temple an upgrade in number and quality of possible bowl bids, solidified future recruiting
Hired Matt Rhule
Stabilized a program hemorrhaging head coaches
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Somebody (Fran Duffy?) please send these Matt Brown highlights to Chip Kelly. (No truth to the rumor that Steve Addazio wrote these rap lyrics.)
Four Temple Owls signed NFL free agent contracts yesterday.
I thought two (Brandon McManus and Montel Harris) would be drafted.
I'm still surprised that Matty Brown is out there. I hope the Eagles pick him up as a kickoff returner.
(Heck, they had freaking Colt Anderson return a couple of kickoffs last year.)
Late Sunday night news: Matt Brown accepted an invite to work out with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Still, the case of Montel Harris is the most curious to me.
He came back for his senior year, performed well on the field, put some great film numbers up and also did relatively well at the pro days and combines.
I think, given a chance, he has a chance to be a great pro.
At least I'm not alone in this thought.
Martin Freedman also felt the same way in this excellent treatise posted on Thursday.
It's worth a read. (I read it online yesterday and now only the first graph appears. If you have $1, it's worth a read.)
Basically, he says that in all of the "metrics" Harris rates higher than Montee Ball and seven other "drafted" running backs and that for the value a NFL team cannot get a better back than Harris.
McManus is going to the Colts, where all he has to do is win either the punter or kicker jobs (not both).
John Youboty is going to Denver.
Harris is going to Tampa Bay (where I often wish I'm going) and Martin Wallace is going to Cleveland (where I hope I never have to go).
Good luck to all the Owls.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 9:52 AM
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Liz Sim with the report from pro day. Great quote from Matt Brown.
The first round of the NFL draft is today.
The second and third are tomorrow.
For Temple, though, the draft starts at noon on Saturday.
I don't expect any of the Owls to go in the fourth and fifth rounds, but I do expect kicker Brandon McManus to go in the sixth to the Green Bay Packers.
I told him that Saturday.
I hope it comes true.
Montel Harris should be drafted as well.
Based on his 351-yard, seven-touchdown, game against Army, I do expect him to get drafted.
We'll call it the seventh round.
The scouts always say that film and game production is more important than pro days or combines so we'll see if they are telling the truth.
Harris' film was outstanding.
So was Matt Brown's.
Brown said something in the above video from Temple's pro day that I agree with:
"I'm the hardest-working player in the country," Brown said.
That said, I don't think Matt will be drafted on Saturday but he will catch on with someone as an undrafted free agent (UDA).
Once he gets in a camp, I think he will do there what he did for Temple the last four years and that will be enough to get on an NFL roster as a kick returner.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 2:51 PM
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Liz Sim sent over this video by email that she did for Owls Update. Great job by Temple-made Liz, a journalism major.
Sorry to see that a guy named Justin Klugh lists "Temple University" as the only school on his resume.
Klugh is a sports producer at Philly.com and, according to his LinkedIn file is responsible for "organizing content on Philly.com Sports. Making editorial decisions about the placement of stories."
Make that "non-stories."
Great ESPN story on Connor Reilly:Today on Philly.com might have been one of the biggest "non-stories" in the history of journalism, the "fact" that Matt Rhule is listed in the low-90s among head coaches in the FBS football.
Here's an example of the kind of stories worth publishing. While ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports, Justin Klugh and Philly.com are way at the back of that line.
Klugh, linking a Sporting News.com story, makes the Grand Canyon-sized leap in logic by saying Temple coaching is in a downward spiral, writing that Al Golden is No. 32 and Steve Addazio is No. 85.
Nowhere does he point out that Golden might have been 120 when he was hired by Temple.
How did Golden rise up the ranks?
Largely by his work AT Temple.
I'm kind of shocked that Lewis Katz, the Temple-made CEO at Philly.com, hasn't fired this guy by now.
Matt Rhule is a huge upgrade on Steve Addazio. Ask any of Rhule's players and they will tell you that.
I fully expect Rhule to flip Addazio's 4-7 record into something similar on the other side, say 7-5 or better.
When it is, I'd like to see Justin Klugh post a story on Philly.com about the upward trend in coaching hires at Temple.
I won't hold my breath.
Don't feel sorry for Klugh, though. He can always go back to making coffee at the Barista Cafe in Lancaster, his last job.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 10:20 AM
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Matt Rhule's observations after the Cherry and White game.
Long day in the sun at the Cherry and White game.
I left the sunblock home and got sunburned.
When I left for the E-O, it was chilly and cloudy.
Who would have figured?
Who would have figured?
I was talking to a couple of good friends in the second row of the end zone stands and mentioned that we have no placekickers.
Then I said we are going to go from zero placekickers to two real quick.
|This is what Nick Visco looked like to me before yesterday.|
"Jim Cooper Jr. is coming in July but, watch out, this Nick Visco kid is really good," I said.
Just then, a kid sitting in front of me turns around and says, "I'm Nick Visco" and shakes my hand and says thanks.
His mom and dad were sitting to his right and left.
"Geez, I'm now glad I didn't say Nick Visco sucks," I said.
Now I didn't know what Nick Visco looks like, but I saw Nick Visco kick for Archbishop Wood in his full uniform and he's got a big-time leg.
Now I know what Nick Visco looks like.
Also saw the two Jim Coopers (father and son), but I knew what they looked like beforehand.
- Matt Rhule went around Lot 10 and glad handed everyone. He's very genuine and not at all a phony. If he's as good a coach as he is a person, Temple has a shot against Notre Dame.
- Paul Layton is a great punter, the Montel Harris of punting. That said, I hope we don't have to use him.
- Connor Reilly is the real deal. He reminds me of the Cincinnati quarterback who was so accurate against Temple last year.
- Zaire Williams better get on the field. Don't think any of the current running backs are on the talent level of Harris/Brown/Pierce. Williams might be.
- I had the White as a 3 1/2-point favorite and they covered easily, 34-28. Not impressed with Phil Snow's defense. He held the White to 34 points, four below his average last year with Eastern Michigan. It STILL scares me to have him as DC. I hope he proves me wrong. Make that, I PRAY he proves me wrong. Signs that could happen: An improved pass rush.
- Seemed odd watching the best blocking fullback in Temple history, Wyatt Benson, starting at middle linebacker. Maybe he can be Temple's first two-way player since the 1950s. If Owls run a sweep on goal-line offense, I hope he's in there leading the way.
- The Chris Coyer fullback experiment is going to work. He's in a spot where it is conceivable he gets 5-10 carries a game and throws 5-10 passes a game and catches 5-10 passes a game, but three of each would suffice. I smell a Jalen Fitzpatrick reverse, a throw across the field to Coyer and a Coyer pass for six to Ryan Alderman or Khalif Herbin. I hope for at least one to two trick plays a game. Heck, Toledo made Chuck Heater look silly in 2011 by hitting on three trick plays against an over pursuing defense.
- Averee Robinson had four sacks and helped control the Cherry running game from his defensive tackle position. He's only a freshman. He's probably better suited as a nose guard in a 5-2.
- Speaking of Herbin, I really feel he'd help Temple more at running back than as a slot receiver. He's got to get the ball more than the five times a slot receiver gets it during the game. At the very least, I'd use him as a Matty Brown-type third-down back in addition to his first- and second-down slot responsibilities. If he works as a third-down back, use him as an RB on other downs as well. Herbin is just as fast as Sweet Feet Lucear, Keith Gloster and Travis Sheldon and that's some pretty fast company plus he's got stop and start instincts at the line of scrimmage those guys never had. Think a slightly taller, slightly faster and slightly heavier Matt Brown describes Herbin's game perfectly.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Notice there is no '][' on the helmets... could that mean TEMPLE makes its return tomorrow? We can only hope. Great job by Kevin Newsome in this video.
Except for the one year I was sports editor at the Norwich (N.Y.) Evening Sun, I don't think I've missed a Cherry and White game in the past 35 years.
So I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject.
Coaches come and go, players come and go, parents come and go, even school presidents come and go, but I'm always here.
Complete Cherry and White rosters:Or there.
TFF has installed the White squad as 3 1/2-point favorites (we have our reasons).
Click over the red type for the squads as complete rosters are here:
Me and Al Shrier and Doc and a few precious others.
Despite how out of control our society is getting these days, I always will be.
You have to live your life, not a life the bad guys dictate you live.
I'm going and, as always, I'm planning on having fun.
The game itself is secondary.
Make that tertiary.
|My Al Golden sweatshirt on the day he allegedly wore it.|
I need a protagonist and an antagonist in my stories.
I will get that starting Aug. 31, not before.
Any other Temple game day, the game is the thing and all the rest is a distant second.
People ask me what the best thing about Cherry and White day is and I always answer one word:
You can get the best Temple stuff (by that I mean shirts, sweatshirts, even helmets) on Cherry and White Day than any other day of the year anyplace in the world.
I get frustrated when I walk into a PHILADELPHIA Wal-Mart's and Kohl's and see Virginia Tech and Boston College stuff, but no Temple stuff.
Some day that will change but, for now, the best place to get Temple stuff is 10th and Diamond on Cherry and White Day.
I got a sweet No. 69 game worn Temple jersey on Cherry and White Day for $20.
I purchased some great Temple football hats. I had my eye on an old-time Temple football helmet, but it was a little above my pay scale.
I got a "Papreps" custom-made black "Cherry Crusade" T-Shirt delivered to me on Cherry and White Day.
I rock Temple stuff in the gym or at the mall 365 days a year and, out of those 365, I'd say 353 days are stuff I've purchased at Cherry and White Day. (The other dozen or so days I wear my Al Golden sweatshirt that I purchased for $55 from Patti on the fourth floor at Vivacqua Hall a few years ago. She said Al actually wore it during the 2007 Penn State game, but I have my doubts.)
At the gym, I invariably get people (mostly guys, unfortunately) coming up to me and saying, "Cool Temple shirt, where did you get that?"
"Cherry and White Day," I say.
"How much did you pay?"
"No way! Man, I can't find Temple stuff anywhere."
"Come down to Cherry and White Day, then."
That's how those conversations usually go.
You can't get Temple stuff in Wal-Mart, K-Mart or Sears but you can get plenty of good Temple stuff on Cherry and White Day.
So stuff is the primary reason to get out to Cherry and White Day, with tailgating and seeing old Temple football friends secondary and the game tertiary.
After watching Ventres Stevenson and Myron Myles look like O.J. Simpson on a couple of Cherry and White Days, I'm not taking much home from the game itself.
Since the temperatures are going to dip into the 60s, I think I'll wear my Al Golden sweatshirt.
Cherry and White
1 p.m. (Gates to E-O open at noon)
Edberg-Olson Complex, 10th and Diamond
Free in LC parking lot, $10 in Lot 10 (11th and Norris, where most of the tailgating will be held)
Free, plus each fan will also receive a free raffle ticket for free tickets to a future home game
Allowed in all lots, but most fans will be in Lot 10, which should fill up by 9 a.m.
Prohibited inside E-O
Smoking, alcohol, bags, umbrellas, thermoses, coolers, fireworks, weapons
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 11:20 AM
Monday, April 15, 2013
Good video on how Connor Reilly budgets his limited time (ignore Ryan Day's appearance).
Excuse me for bringing up a sore subject, but one of the promises Steve Addazio made all last spring and last summer in alumni gatherings from New York City to Los Angeles was "explosive plays downfield in the passing game."
We all know how that turned out.
The explosive plays downfield in the passing game were made AGAINST the Owls, not for the Owls a season ago.
The offensive season itself wasn't that bad, but was bad enough.
Unfortunately, when it came to Daz and empty promises, I was right.
Now we're hearing that from a number of football alumni who attended Alumni Day that several explosive plays were made downfield at Saturday's all-out scrimmage.
|Poland checking in (thanks, Poland).|
That scrimmage was the most important one of the season, even more important than Saturday's Cherry and White game (1 p.m. kickoff) because new coach Matt Rhule is not likely to tip his hand to any Notre Dame scouts in attendance.
First-team quarterback Connor Reilly, poised and confident, delivered both the deep and intermediate ball effectively to a variety of receivers who made defenders miss. Reilly looked off defenders to deliver the ball. We all know that both Khalif Herbin and Jalen Fitzpatrick have the ability to make that first tackler miss and gain numerous yards after catch.
Hopefully, Notre Dame (see countdown count to the right) finds that out the hard way on August 31.
There are two ways to look at this:
The defensive backs who gave the Owls so much trouble last year are still on the field or that a commitment to the passing game also makes it harder for a defense to find out where the ball is going.
I hope it's the latter.
After all, when you run all the time on first and second down like the Owls did last year (75.1 percent), defending the pass on third down is easy.
When you offer the THREAT to throw the ball on first and second down, defending the pass (and the run) is not so easy.
That, in a nutshell, is how the Matt Rhule offensive philosophy differs from the Steve Addazio one.
I don't expect him to promise "explosive plays downfield in the passing game" after Saturday's Cherry and White game.
Just delivering them in the fall would suffice.
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 11:39 AM
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
|Temple University owes a debt of gratitude to players who put the uni on the map|
and made the name "Temple University" standard.
Saturday is Football Alumni Day at Temple University.
Matt Rhule and the staff are reaching out to all former players and inviting them to be part of the program, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the $17 million Edberg-Olson Complex. (Ex-players only and Friday is the last day to RSVP with secretary Nadia Harvin.)
I think that's a great gesture.
(If Matt wants a standing ovation, he'd use the occasion to announce that the Owls are going back to the TEMPLE helmets, at least on one side.)
A lot of the guys who will be in attendance were responsible for putting Temple University on the national football map.
Back then, you had respected Pittsburgh-area journalists like Andy Nuzzo (he was at the time, believe me) opening his pre-game story with "The University of Temple."
|Sweet Feet greatest nickname|
I don't know who will be there, but the guys who played football during the Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians Eras had some colorful nicknames. Those were winning years for Temple football and, despite Arians' losing record, pulling two six-win seasons out of a hat against a top 10 schedule was a trick worthy of Houdini.
The Temple program that was "no match for Pitt" was more than a match for Pitt during the Arians' Era, winning three of five games.
On to the nicknames, though.
|Sweet Feet made the All-East 1st team.|
I had to smile when I read a story on a girl football player, Sam Gordon, who they call "Sweet Feet."
In my mind, there's only one Sweet Feet and that's Gerald "Sweet Feet" Lucear, who played wide receiver for coach Wayne Hardin's 10-2 team in 1979.
To me, Lucear holds the patent on Sweet Feet.
Sweet Feet could fly and was one of the few Temple guys who could beat any cornerback on sheer speed alone on a fly pattern. The other two I remember were Keith Gloster (Arians) and Travis Sheldon (Al Golden).
So, for its descriptive purposes, Sweet Feet is my choice for best Temple nickname of all time.
I asked some Temple alumni for other great nicknames and got a lot of nicknames like the one I was called (Gibby) as a youngster. I had to throw those out. Some of those were Brett "Stein" Hartenstein, Matt "Matty" Baker and Lance "Stone" Johnstone.
Strong players, but weak nicknames.
Sorry, those were too easy.
Henry "Dynamo Hyno" Hynoski works even though it is a derivative of the last name because of the Dynamo part. Hyno was a fullback's fullback, a guy who refused to go down and often knocked back the first guy who tried to tackle him. The nickname was given to him by former Temple play-by-play guy Ron Menchine, who would often say "there goes Dynamo Hyno. He looks like Bronco Nagurski out there." As a kid, I didn't know who Bronco Nagurski was but if he ran like Dynamo Hyno I knew he must have been pretty good.
For most of the other names, I was looking for something else entirely, something that set that person apart and was not a derivative of the last or first name. Plus, the player had to be an impact guy who fans in the stands heard about and the name had to be printable.
Paul "Boo Boo" Palmer was another good one.
Derek "Bonecrusher" Dennis was a great one, as was John "Rhino" Rienstra.
Christopher "Cap" Poklemba also fit (but Christopher "Pok" Poklemba would not have).
Other great submissions:
Brian "Shark" Erwin, Ryan "Goo" Wallace, Jon "House" Clark, Phil "Pugsy" Prohaska, Keith "Pooeyhead" Kerrin, Ray "Big Cat" Haynes, Marcus "Gumby" Gibbs, Larry "Jelly Roll" Chester, Roger "Pup" Chanoine.
Still more: James "Big Daddy" Harris and Wiley "Pancake" Pitts. Both great players as well as great nicknames.
Or, if you really wanted to go old school, Frank "Bucko" Kilroy or Dave "Fizzy" Weinraub. (Sorry, Fizz, know you are not as old school as Bucko.)
All good to great players whose contributions helped people stop calling the school "The University of Temple."
If you see Goo, Boo Boo, Bonecrusher, Shark, Pooeyhead, Jelly Roll, Gumby or Pup on Saturday, say hello.
And thank them.
Greatest ']['emple Football Nicknames of All-Time
Could fly, scored a touchdown in bowl win, first-team All-East WR
Name given to him by grandmother, stuck and was runner-up for Heisman in ‘86
Current Chicago Bear once tackled his own QB in game against Army
Great FB, became all-pro with Eagles
Great blocking WR
Love to hear the story behind that one
Posted by Temple Football Forever at 12:35 PM
Saturday, April 06, 2013
|The wildcard in the open competition is incoming freshman P.J. Walker.|
|TFF welcomes Chris|
As former Giants' coach Bill Parcells once blabbed, "that's a good thing, not a bad thing" was the reaction I had when Matt Rhule announced an open quarterback competition going into this spring's Temple football practice.
I like competition.
Really, he is not going to say: "I don't care what any of these guys do, I've already decided." That's not good coaching business.
That's the position former head coach Steve Addazio maintained two days before he went off to become head coach at Boston College. The first thing he said was that there was going to be an open quarterback competition. The second thing he said was that "this offseason is going to be no box of chocolates." The third thing he said was "I'm outta here like Vladimir." All in a matter of 48 hours.
If Connor Reilly beats out the field and becomes Temple's starter on Aug. 31 against Notre Dame, every Temple football fan, coach and player is better off.
The same can be said of the other five quarterbacks who figure to be in the mix.
Because with the possible exception of when Adam DiMichele dined alone, Temple's quarterbacking training room dinner table is more talented than any in the Golden/Addazio/Rhule Era.
If you beat out those guys, then you have something.
That said, I like John Madden's quote better: "If you have more than one quarterback, you don't have any."
My guess is that Rhule will settle on one quarterback by Notre Dame and stick with him and that quarterback will be Chris Coyer.
There are a few reasons for that:
- Coyer is the ONLY quarterback in the last 30 years to win a bowl game for Temple;
- Coyer was recruited by Rhule;
- Coyer was about to receive a scholarship offer from Ohio State and showed his loyalty to Rhule and the Owls by telling them thanks but no thanks;
- Coyer replaced starter Chester Stewart in the Ohio game and threw for three touchdowns and over 300 yards passing and, oh by the way, added 184 yards on the ground;
- Coyer played with a broken hand last year, taking one for the team;
- Coyer was additionally handicapped by a run-first, second- and too-many-times third-approach by Daz;
- Coyer can both throw and run equally effectively, a real plus in the days of the modern spread offense;
- Coyer, without a broken hand two years, ago was UNBEATEN in games he started;
- Coyer's co-offensive coordinator during that unbeaten streak: Matt Rhule.
The wildcard in all of this is not necessarily Reilly but P.J. Walker. In a perfect world, you redshirt Walker and have him sponge all there is to know from Coyer, Rhule and graduate assistant DiMichele.
All of these facts are rattling around in Rhule's brain right now and probably will continue to rattle until Aug. 31.
When the facts stop and the reasoning starts, unless Coyer completely comes apart (and we hear he's having a good spring, too), Coyer will be under center.
After all, Rhule and Coyer have been an unbeatable combination in the past and there's no reason to think that success can't continue in their final year together.