Deep Six Above The Line


Zach Gelb goes on an epic and spot-on “above the line” rant. 

Usually, when you change something that has been considered, for want of a better phrase, “the standard” you have to have a pretty good reason.


Geoff Collins, the new Temple coach, is the only coach in the country to deep six the depth chart for a more vague rating of players called “above the line.” As it is, Temple is the only school not offering a depth chart for the press or television.

His logic is faulty. At least at Temple.

That logic has always been flawed at Temple.

“When players see themselves listed as a number two they play like a number two,” Collins said.

That might make sense in the SEC, but it has never made sense at Temple.

Look at the number of guys who weren’t even second on the depth chart who worked their way up and made huge impacts at Temple.

For the purposes of space here, we will just take five.

Haason Reddick was a walk-on who didn’t even earn a scholarship at Temple until his senior year, a fact that his father is still unhappy about. All he did was become a first-round draft pick in the NFL.

Matt Brown, who was a walk-on slot receiver from Peddie School (N.J.), became one of the greatest running backs in Temple history. His dynamic kickoff returns caused then head coach Al Golden to move him to running back, where he was even more explosive than wide receiver. He was part of Golden’s great “Bernie and the Bug” duo that took Temple from a 20-game losing streak two bowl games.

Mike Curcio, a walk-on linebacker for the 1979 team, became one of the greatest linebackers in Temple history and went on to a career in the NFL.

Nick Sharga, currently in Collins’ own words the “best fullback in the country” was also a walk-on, as was current scholarship kicker Aaron Boumerhi.

We haven’t even touched the surface of second-team Temple guys who eventually became first-teamers and went onto great college careers, but that list is a much longer one than that of the walk-ons, who’ve we’ve only scratched the surface so far. At Temple, guys who are on the second team work that much harder to make the first team and do not play like second teamers.

To me, the Collins’ logic is flawed and that’s one reason why this “above the line” depth chart is an idea that deserves to be crumpled up and thrown in the circular file.

Or at least come up with a reason that makes a modicum of sense.

Thursday: Throwback Thursday



17 thoughts on “Deep Six Above The Line

  1. who you put on the field is more important than the names you put on paper.., how they play once on the field is the most important thing…,

    btw, there is a reason why every team in college and professional football have depth charts

    the DC needs to figure out how to stop the run.., and the OC needs to figure out how to move the chains.., both are in over their heads at the moment

    the HC needs to find and recruit an NFL arm with Sunday spunk for 2018

  2. Someone explain to me how an SEC ‘superior’ D C can have allowed our TU Tuff defense 0be playing so poorly ?
    If he is good as a DC mind, then the only rason is that we have poor players. And if we have poor players we will not win many games, and our superior SEC DC person will have to work hard to get better players so they can win in the next season.
    Now if the players are really good players here and now, then……..

  3. Extending the logic applied to the depth chart creates a question in my mind. Is anyone in a 2 digit number not tough? How bout the 10 through 30 numbers? Reasonably tough? 41 – 60? Moderately tough? And so on…..if you can’t get below number ten, well, I guess you just stop playing tough, right?

    Having fun, please take it out on ‘Nova….please, please, please!

  4. I am a classic over reactor. (I still Dont think Marchi is the answer at QB.). However, ND is the most talented team Temple will face all year. I still expect them to go between 7-5 and 9-3.

    • You’re not over-reacting, this will be a rough year: 6-6 at best, 4-8 most likely, 2-10 worst-case scenario. First-year coaches usually get a mulligan, so they swing for the fence and end up in the rough. The Nova game will be an huge indicator.

  5. Why try to fathom the difference between a depth chart and above the line. Coaches constantly rotate players.

    What about Villanova? With a names like Bednarczyk and Gudzak, you must be good. Know your enemy. It took seven quarters before the Owls figured out they needed to key on Matt Szczur. D’Onofrio couldn’t spell his name or Szczur’s for that matter.

    Where will mayhem rear its ugly head? In the Nova backfield or on the Temple sideline and Section 120?

    • the Lehigh QB, Brad Mayes, could start over the four above the line…,

      ‘Nova realizes this year is their best shot to beat Temple.., remember the Fordham game?

      learning curve gets steeper as Temple gets upset in the home opener

      • Lose to Villanova and the place will resemble a Mausoleum for the remaining five home games. Hope Collins has this game on the highest level of urgency. This really is bigger than any conference game from a fan aspect.

  6. Agree on how critical winning this game is to avoiding the loss of fan attendance at future games. But I want to stay positive. I want to convince myself (and anyone else reading this blog including players and coaches) there was maybe 25 minutes of very competitive football played at ND last week that can be repeated and improved on during the remainder of the season.

  7. Good point Easy. There was some good play against ND and some crunching hard hits by Temple on D. Expand on that and improve. I sure don’t want to go back and start ALL over.

  8. Just saw a write up on temple #22 , close to TFForever on my Google. All I know is that watching on TV I saw 22 miss a hell of a lot of plays, and weak hands when he had a chance, The TV crew was all ND and hardly ever went to any trouble announce more than a few Temple names.
    No way in hell will we win 4 games with the current play of #22.
    Hope he plays better fast or someone else goes in, Cheeeze what a bad game he had .

    • Phil Snow once said to us #22 has a chance to be better than Tyler M……, he’ll bounce back…,

      more worried about us putting enough points on the board.., after 4 quarters I’m still trying to figure out our identity on offense?

      are we a power team? no; are we a spread option team? no; are we a pro-set drop back team? no;…, who are we and what are we trying to do?

      guess it won’t matter much if the DC can’t figure out how to stop the run

      • Great point! If the opposing offense is grinding up and down the field with the run, controlling the clock, scoring and stomping the guts out of the D while doing it, then our Offense will be forced to do 1 thing…….try to play catch up.

  9. The idea of not having a depth chart is ridiculous! The absence of a depth chart creates too much uncertainty in the minds of the players. Am I going to player or am I not going to play. The reality is that coach just kicked over the ladder that player have always used to measure where they are and what and who they need to beat and focus on in order to move up the ladder

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