Where’s The Beef?

Leon Johnson and Michael Dogbe are now grizzled veterans.

Every once in awhile, an advertising agency comes up with something brilliant and the 1984 Wendy’s commercial “Where’s The Beef?” was certainly an example of that.

That, incidentally, was one of the questions many of the Temple fans had filing out of the Boca Raton Bowl. They knew the Owls were losing a big beefster, Matt Ioannidis, on one side of the line and Kyle Friend on the other.

Without an official depth chart, it’s hard to tell but, at least on the defensive side of the ball the Owls have the potential of fielding a speedy defensive line that can not only hunt down opposing quarterbacks, but is beefy enough to be lock-down run-stoppers.


Jacob Martin (left) and Ventell Bryant

My dream starting lineup would be a 5-2 with Haason Reddick (6-1, 230) and Jacob Martin (6-2, 240) at the ends, Michael Dogbe (6-3, 280) and Praise Martin-Oguike (6-1, 255) at the tackles and Averee Robinson (6-0, 285) at the position he was born to play, 5-2 nose guard.  Robinson was a two-time heavyweight Class AAAA (largest school) wrestling champion and those same gap leverage skills would make any opposing center’s life a nightmare. Lining him up right on top of the center would create havoc right away.

Instead, defensive coordinator Phil Snow is more comfortable with the 4-3 and that’s what we will probably see.

Martin, who earned a single digit on Wednesday (No. 9), would be a surprise starter at DE. Since that was Ioannidis’ number and Muhammad Wilkerson’s number, I believe the message was clear that is Martin will be a starter. Martin had one of the 10 sacks in last year’s opener against Penn State, so he’s a proven Prime Time player long before the single digits.

Either the 5-2 or the 4-3 lineup will give the Owls more than enough beef up front. Another possibility is that former defensive line starter Brian Carter (2014 game at UCF), who lost his starting offensive guard job on offense could be moved back to defense.  It’s quite possible that Carter is more suited to defense than offense and that would give the Owls a 6-1, 304-pound body should one of the converted defensive ends (Martin-Oguike or Dogbe) not work out at tackle. It’s good to have that kind of flexibility.

Monday: Game Week Starts



12 thoughts on “Where’s The Beef?

  1. nice thought provoking piece Mike, unlike the Pravda random streams of consciousness

    Elijah Robinson is making a strategic gamble taking quickness and speed over strength. Why? he believes the AAC is three step drop conference that throws more than runs.., my question to him was what about PSU, USF, and UConn?

    let’s see how this plays out in the 4th quarter, and how an injury or two affects the strategy…, this is a big change in DL philosophy.., past philosophy was stop the run and wear down the OLs…, will this DL get pushed around in the 4th quarter?

    ER will look like a genius if the Temple offense can throw up a lot of points and enter the last 15 minutes with a sizable lead..,

    • * taking quickness and speed over size and strength

      • Got to do it to win the AAC. We had two wake-up calls with the speed of SMU offense and USF offense. We’ve recalibrated and went back for speed and now I think our defense is faster than both offenses. Can’t allow 40 points against those types of teams. I don’t think they will wear us down because we can always swing in guys like Bronson, Freddy Booth-Lloyd and Sharif Finch, who have first-team-type talent.

  2. Is Webb out of the picture?

    • No. 89 on the roster, but listened to all of the Rhule interviews and he was not mentioned once. So, until Temple posts a depth chart (which will probably be Monday), I assume he’s running with the 2s and 3s and that’s not a good sign. So much talent..

    • Webb and Dioubate are running with the 3s and 4s.., Dioubate has been distracted w/tough legitimate personal challenges.., think Webb is just not physically in-shape

      • …I remember an earlier entry where Mike had pointed to Webb and Dioubate as almost-immediate contributors and I thought it was idealistic at best. It’s rare for true freshman to play DL effectively and with Webb, while he was a JuCo AA, there’s quite a difference between JuCo shape/ ball and D1A. Both still have time to develop but IMO it’s a pipe dream to think both were going to be significant contributors for you this year.

        Joe P.

  3. Webb has had a million chances. He’s going to run out of them sooner or later.

  4. It’s good to see that they are going to use Jahad in the slot. We on this site have been saying that it would be prudent to play him there since the end of last season. I would have worried about the coaches if they hadn’t also seen the great advantages that move gives the Owls.

    • Nothing to lose by doing it. One, you put another great weapon on the edge to join Marshall Ellick and Bryant, among others. Two, you save Jahad’s body the pounding week-in and week-out. Three, you’ve got guys back there that can reproduce the RB production in Armstead/Gardner. No use sitting one or both. Four, if they are not able to keep the run game on a high level, you can flip Thomas back there for a few plays. Five, it gives Phillip a guy he has great chemistry with to look to get a pass downfield when he’s in trouble, ala Robby Anderson. Win, win, win. No lose in the move.

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