Zach Gelb at the EO interviewing Chris Coyer’s kid back in the day.
Make no mistake, Geoff Collins has a quarterback dilemma.
Not necessarily a quarterback PROBLEM, but certainly a dilemma.
A “problem” is picking between Chester Stewart and Vaughn Charlton. Both came to Temple with dubious credentials, with Charlton throwing for only nine TDs as a high school senior at Avon Grove. The Strath Haven assistant coach who called in track results to the Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say about him: “Mike, what is Temple thinking? That guy blows.”
A little harsh, but Charlton was never a high-end FBS quarterback. Or, in my humble opinion, a quarterback you could win a FBS championship with under center.
These four guys new coach Geoff Collins has to work with all had much better high school careers than Charlton or Stewart and these are four guys Temple can win a championship with now.
This group of guys is a significant upgrade from those days.
The press is allowed only to see the last 10-15 minutes of every practice, so the appearance of the Zach Gelb Radio Show on campus recently gave some clues about what will happen. Two hours of unfettered access on one day tells you a lot more than 10-15 minutes on every day.
Gelb, a Temple grad, got really the first unfettered press access but, despite his pleas of “it’s my birthday” Collins wasn’t going to give him the icing on the cake with a premature anointing of a starter.
Suffice it to say that a parade of guests—heard through the prism of what sounded like someone stepping on the transmission lines—indicated that the guy throwing to the ones (Keith Kirkwood, Adonis Jennings and Ventell Bryant) the most this summer camp was Frankie “Juice” Nutile.
In other words, there is a scrimmage on Saturday at Franklin Field and Nutile (pronounced NEW TILE) would have to throw about three interceptions to cause the quarterback depth chart to shift.
Combine that with the fact that Collins himself let slip the quote “the team seems to move the ball best with him in there” and the unmistakable notion is that in the next week or so Nutile will be named the guy.
Is that reading too much into it?
True freshman Toddy Centeio also has received high praise from his teammates, but he unmistakably is running with the third team and throwing against third-team DBs. He appears headed for a redshirt.
That leaves Anthony Russo and Logan Marchi and those two mostly with the “twos” (in other words, Jager Gardner is the back he hands off to most, while Nutile hands off to Ryquell Armstead).
Collins told Gelb a lot will depend on this weekend’s scrimmage at Franklin Field (closed to the public) and how they do against live bullets. He also told Gelb that this isn’t a “gut” decision and that he and offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude (pronounced Patton Nude) have set up a baseball-like metrics system that tells them which quarterback moves the team better. That’s comforting to know the decision won’t come down to pulling the name out of the hat.
Other gems from the interviews:
Pat Kraft (Temple AD):
Gelb, who asks the best questions of any of the Temple media (hell, Pravda could learn a lot from his questions), started out by asking Dr. Kraft what he knew about the stadium situation and Kraft said: “You know more about it than me.” Not an exaggeration, since Kraft has been taken out of the loop because, as he explained, a “subcommittee of the Board of Trustees is handling all of that now and that’s where it is.” So, in short, the stadium is all talk and no action.
Scott Walcoff (Temple associate AD):
The intro at the stadium on the Jumbotron will be new and improved, but he could not spill the beans despite Gelb waving the birthday card. Also, people going to the Billy Joel concert the day Temple plays will get into the Temple game for $10 by simply showing their Piano Man ticket.
Delvon Randall (safety):
Said that no Temple player sits and “chills” during practice, like they did with Matt Rhule, but that the drills going on can look like a cluster. “You want to add another word after that, don’t you?” Gelb said. OK, we’ll say it: Cluster Fuck. That might not be a good thing for game-day preparation, but we shall see. All I want out of Temple practices this year is so much concentration on detail that we will never again see a 120-yard penalty day like we did at Penn State last year. Matt Rhule screwed the pooch with his preparation the week of that game and it cost Temple a win over a P5 champ.
Said the best thing about being a Temple coach is “being around these kids. They are the best group of kids I’ve been around as a coach anywhere. They are competitive. They love to practice. They love to compete and they love to be coached” and that he doesn’t want to put the pressure of getting another 10-win season on them but “I want to take all of that on myself.”
Monday: Quarterback Casting
During the Spring I attended the alumni scrimmage, which took place two weeks before Cherry and White Day and to those present Centeio looked the best of the bunch. He was adept enough to run out of trouble and threw two of the best passes that day. He also had a field presence the others did not appear to have. That being said, I can’t say what team defense he was facing. Nevertheless, he showed that he has the talent to play D-1 football and it now comes down to whether the coaches want to place their futures in the hands of an 18 year old true rookie on one of the biggest and most famous stages in all of college football. It is not an enviable position to be in because the decision goes well beyond the ND game because coaching indecision at the QB position affects the entire team and the faith it has in the coaches. Rotating QBs never works. See Pittsburgh and Dallas in the seventies. Frankly though, the coaches can design an offense that limits the importance of the QB. Short passes and power runs makes it less likely that the QB will make a catastrophic error. I hope the coaches realize that regardless of who they select as the QB.
Trust our QB’s more than JoePA trusted John Hufnagle, who was a great QB who never achieved greatness at Penn State. I say let the the Boy Band duck it, tuck it, chuck it, and huck it.
Temple gets the brush-off again. Sports Illustrated’s latest issue on college football had an opportunity to at least mention Temple in the USF (their #17 ranked team) writeup, considering that Temple beat them last season by over 2 TDs. But no, instead mentioning their games with Houston, Tulsa and UCF but not Temple. Why does this always happen to Temple even when the Owls are doing well? And they totally missed any mention of the AAC. Pisses me off.
joninohio: Simply put, it’s a wonder that the AAC was mentioned at all. Fact is that the consensus among the experts is that this is a down year for the Owls and they are not relevant in the discussion about the league. It’s not personal because a lot of other AAC teams also were not mentioned. I’m more upset that our home town rags don’t have a story every day about the Owls and the upcoming season. I don’t care where you go, it is almost a given that the home town D-1 football team gets blanket coverage daily.
I can understand UCF being mentioned .
USF and UCF have a rivalry since 2005 called “The War of I 4”
PS: SI had a picture and caption of Matt Rhule, saying, “Coach Rhule will implement a new offensive philososphy at Baylor that could become a model for other Big 12 teams.” Obviously it’s not the O he orchestrated at Temple his first 2 years! Another kick in the Owls tail feathers, sort of.
PPS: Actually they did mention the AAC when highlighting the Tulane-Memphis game.
Ryquell Armstead, “we are a spread team now”…., who is the best QB to run the spread?
That indicates a diminished role for Nick Sharga. A diminished role for NS cannot help this team. If they put him out there only 15 plays on offense, then they should get him on the field for at least that many on defense because he is their best linebacker.
Nick Sharga is better than John Kuhn. He’ll be wearing an NFL ring soon.
Have qualms Armstead said in an interview yesterday that the Owls are a spread team now. The only thing that eases some of my concern is that they have the personnel to run it something they did not have when Rhule ran it. Nevertheless, fact is that with Gardner, Armstead, and Sharga and more wins the last two seasons than the Owls had all of the nineties, the coaches are crazy for changing what surely worked.
Not a big fan of the spread. It invites blitzes and quarterback sacks.
Excuse my ranting but, SI mentioned Houston who is Street&Smith’s 3rd ranked team in the west div. while Temple is their 3rd ranked team in the east, making them as relevant in the conference discussion as Houston this year, AND, as I said and you all know, was in the championship game the last 2 years and won it all last year but they left the Owls out. They didn’t have space to add the word TEMPLE? I’ve just been seeing Temple being slighted too many times over the years, that’s all.
Me, too. I’d be a little more concerned if Temple was not more loaded than the pundits are aware of … for example, everybody mentions the departures but not a single publication noted that a guy who was out with an injury all of last year was perhaps the second-best defensive player on the team in 2015. Father forgive them for they know not what they say.