Red flags and green flags for the Owls

The Owls probably won’t even need Matt Falcone (15) to punt because they
will  be scoring touchdowns on every possession like depicted here. Still,
it would be nice to save Brandon McManus strictly for the 157 extra points
he will need to kick in the 2011 season.

Follow Temple football for 30-plus years, like I have, and you might have seen a lot of red flags along the way.
A red flag, by my definition, is one thing that leads a person to believe that the outcome of a particular endeavor probably won’t be desirable.
I saw a red flag in Temple’s hiring of Jerry Berndt, for example. How could Temple hire a guy to coach one group of Owls when he was coming off an 0-11 season coaching another group of Owls (Rice)?
I saw a red flag in the hiring of Ron Dickerson. Joe Paterno called him the best assistant coach in the country. If so, how come Dickerson, as defensive coordinator at Clemson, gave up 55 points in his last game?
Bobby Wallace? Don’t get me started. How do you expect a guy who has no East Coast roots to coach an East Coast team?

This is the only red flag I care about.

Red flags all.
Big red flags.
I’ve met Steve Addazio.
I like Steve Addazio.
Spring practice, by all accounts, is going very well.
That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have to jump over some red flags to earn my trust or really the trust of every Temple fan.
I’m willing to overlook the one red flag that every Florida fan seems to hate the guy because, in my mind, the buck stops with a head coach and he hasn’t been a head coach since Cheshire, Conn. If Addazio has any Florida sins, they were forgiven because no less a football expert than Urban Meyer saw fit to forgive them.
Still, I have some concerns.
I have not heard yet that there is a plan for a reliable, explosive, backup to Bernard Pierce. Maybe there will be. Geez, I hope so.  I don’t see a kid with close to Pierce-like talent in the program and that includes Matty Brown. Maybe when Nate Smith gets settled he will be but we don’t even know if he will  play running back.
No Pierce-like backup in sight so far. That’s a red flag.
Having Brandon McManus punt?
Not a big deal to Steve Addazio.
It’s a big deal to me.
I don’t want that valuable leg exposed to twice the injury risk so, by Villanova, I hope I see Matty Falcone punting (I know he’s injured now). Falcone was a first-team all-state punter at Palmerton High. Falcone was a special teams’ star for the Owls in the 2009 season, who missed all last year with a leg injury. Hopefully, he’ll get to kick some by July. If Matty can’t do it, somebody can. I find it hard to believe that in a school of 37,000 full-time students (OK, 18,000 boys) you can’t find a kid who can punt a football dependably.
Other than that, more green flags so far.
According to a few of the players I’ve spoken to, to a man they say “Addazio has us working twice, maybe three times, as hard as Golden did.”
Not one kid complained about it, either, saying that the extra conditioning will pay off in November and December.
Maybe even January.

Cherry and White game, 2:30 p.m., April 16

Practices are superbly organized and everyone seems ultra impressed with the way offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and defensive coordinator Chuck Heater go about their business.
Loeffler is a professional at moving the ball and scoring touchdowns and Heater is the same way about stopping the ball and going the other way with it.
Addazio seems to be respected and hands-on, but not a micro manager like the last guy was.
That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Being a big-time college coach requires wearing too many hats to be a micro manager. You’ve got to hire great people and give them shared responsibility.
Addazio seems to have done that.
If all we have to worry about are backups at punter and running back, I’ll take it.
For now.


10 thoughts on “Red flags and green flags for the Owls

  1. Mike,great synopsis….., but just as it has been the last several seasons, our degree of success this season will be determined more by the quarterback position than the running back position. We'll need one of our guys to step-up and become a productive spread QB. I disagree with you on the impact of BP and a back-up to BP. College football today is all about the QB. The team who enjoys better play at QB wins over 80% of the time. The dominant defense is the one that gets more QB sacks in the 4th quarter – that is college football in the 21st Century.

  2. Nice, esp the players liking and not complaining….I can't wait till kickoff. So where's the Temple football forever meet and tailgate at the linc this yr. gonna be a good one.

  3. Thanks to you both.Good comments, Northern Va., Owl but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree.Penn State bunched the LBs up REAL close to the line when BP was in the game and they still couldn't stop him.They had no prayer. He kept beating them to the corner and he was too strong for their DBs.That opened play-action for Chester but, unfortunately, he couldn't hit you or me from five feet away, let alone a big-time college receiver roaming through open seems.When MB came in, they laid off and stopped MB (easily) with DTs and DEs.That's the difference in the passing game an ELITE runner like BP can make.Play-action.They must respect the running back the ball is faked to …Give me BP, of course.But I'm not sold that they will respect MB, Myron Myles, Ahkeem Smith or even Kee-Ayre.Nate Smith, he's got the same kind of "explosives" BP has. I'd like to see him get a shot.

  4. Ant,As far as the tailgates, the unofficial TFF is set up near Mr. McManus, Mr. Coyer, the Temple football alumni, Cap Pokelmba, Our Own Scott Hartkorn … Mr. Adrian Robinson's Harrisburg group is not far off …we're all along the row nearest the porta potties in Lot K.Should be a fun year.Great people.Great times.

  5. As much as I want to see the long sought-after back up for BP, I gotta say I'm kind of with Nova on this one; I'd like to see a solid QB. Kinda tired of hoping someone has a great game; it'd be really nice to have someone we can depend on.A little internet prowling does have some fairly recent BP interviews saying he's leaner and feeling healthy. That makes me a little more optimistic for this year, but down the line..(I also did find out why Brown and a punter were suspended; some on-field fight or outburst with staff members/team mates..which given his size, is kinda funny to imagine.)Def an encouraging post though. Looking forward to this season.

  6. I'm hoping the program has evolved to the point where we follow one Adam DiMichele with another Adam DiMIchele and one Bernard Pierce with another Bernard Pierce.The dropoff between Adam and his successor was way too dramatic for my taste these last two years and, unless Addazio can work that "recruiter of the year" magic I see a similar thing happening in the post-BP era.There's no NCAA law that says Temple can't have a great QB AND a great RB every year.

  7. this is all good, tinkering on great; but, where are the comments from our current TU students? how can we inspire and solicit comments from them? we are just a bunch of old passionate farts who refuse to let go! our opinions would benefit greatly from an on-campus youthful perspective….., ?

  8. Nicholas is a student, I believe. We have about 3-4 regular student posters.

  9. I was an undergrad at Temple till 07, I'm currently a grad student/instructor there now (Temple lifer.) I do my part selling my students on the games too, haha. Got a few of them to come out to the UCONN game last semester and they were hooked, made all the other home games. Can't beat free tickets to the Linc (Especially when we win.) As for TFF, I've said it before, it's my one-stop for Temple news/rumors/commentary. As TU football gets better, its definitely gonna see a lot more people I think.I really hope Temple gets to that point where we can have a Dimichael or BP every year. Temple students are finally starting to catch on and it def has to be nurtured.

  10. Thanks for the kind words, Nicholaos.If we ever come close to filling the stadium, it's going to have to be Temple people doing it.A decent chunk of Temple students (37K).A decent chunk of Temple graduates (270K).A decent chunk of full-time Temple employees (12.5K)About 5K "Joe Philadelphians."Thanks for spreading the word.I hope every Temple student sees the wonderful video I have permanently posted by the lovely Laura on our right sidebar. It shows how much fun you can have at a Temple football game. I like the part about "being mean to Villanova people" at the end.

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