Coalescing A Depth Chart


It’s hard to get a bunch of guys who played for Temple over different eras to agree on one thing.

There is a big tailgate hosted by arguably the greatest (or second) best linebacker in Temple history, Steve Conjar, and the big topic of the home opener a year ago was Geoff Collins’ abstract “Above The Line” Concept.

There were about 50 ex-Owls there.

No one liked it.

These guys disagree on a lot of things from politics to fashion to music but they all agreed on one thing.


Should be starting against Villanova

Traditional depth charts were a good thing, not a bad one.

Another ex-Temple linebacker who was good enough to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, probably put it best.

“I was a walk-on,” he said. “Seeing my name third on the depth chart did nothing but motivate me to get better. This above the line thing is garbage.”

There are 127 teams that play FBS football and 126 of them have traditional depth charts with at least a projected first and second team. Temple is the only one with an “above the line” concept. It’s an abstract thing, like The Deep State, but Collins is stubbornly sticking with it for a second-straight season.

That makes it hard for us to follow the team closely to get a handle on important things like depth, but to coalesce a depth chart is an important exercise a week before the opener.


From interviews, we can tell you this much:

On offense, Frank Nutile will be the starter at quarterback and Anthony Russo is No. 2. Ryquell Armstead will be the tailback, followed by Jager Gardner. The starting wide receivers will be Isaiah Wright and Ventell Bryant with another veteran, Brodrick Yancy, getting a lot of playing time along with camp phenom Brandon Mack (Cheltenham).

The center is Rimington Watch List candidate Matt Henessey

According to offensive line coach Chris Wiesenhan, the other starters are LT Isaac Moore, LG Jovahn Fair, RG James McHale and RT Jaelin Robinson. Vince Picozzi, a starter at guard last year from Lansdale Catholic, is banged up but should play. Moore, a true freshman, is the surprise.

On defense, the line starters look like last year’s sack leader, Quincy Roche, with Dan Archibong at the other end and Michael Dogbe, Karaomo Diaboute and Freddy Booth-Lloyd in the middle.

The linebackers look like Shaun Bradley, Chapelle Russell and Todd Jones and the safeties are Rodney Williams (a transfer from Syracuse) and Delvon Randall, a potential first-round draft choice.

Lynwood Crump Jr. has nailed down one corner spot with a single-digit guy, Rock Ya-Sin, getting the other corner. Collins said the corners and safeties are “five deep each” with three guys at each spot who could start “for a lot of teams in this league.”

If he’s right, and he sees a lot more of the Owls than we do, this could be a ridiculously good team.

One of these days, though, we and a lot of ex-Owls, would like to see a true depth chart. If we see an nuclear-type spanking of Villanova, though, we’re fine with above the line for now.

My guess is that the rest of the ex-players who hated it a year ago almost to the day would probably grudgingly agree.


15 thoughts on “Coalescing A Depth Chart

  1. i would be surprised if Isaac moore starts, I think it’s more likely Jovahn Fair takes over the LT role considering it’s the hardest position and moore will rotate in for a few plays.

    Safety appears to be solid with keyvone and a healthy jyquis.

  2. Coach’s above the line paradigm doesn’t fool anyone especially the kids. They know where they stand and that’s all that counts. .

  3. I wish they had ATL for my risk management, insurance, and actuarial science courses. I’d have been better prepared for my government job where performance didn’t matter a lick.

  4. I understand that these coaches are all trying to establish a new way of coaching to promote their brand…. but let’s just stick with the traditional depth chart and players mastering their original position without the cross-promotion…it may just lead to more wins and quite possibly….the ever elusive…..mayhem.

  5. LT is a huge issue,

    and just in case nobody noticed…, did Nutile throw more picks than Russo since the start of practice?

  6. This is from Owls Daily:
    “We’re trying to play at a fast tempo,” Patenaude said. “The more fresh legs you can roll through a game, the better we’re going to be.”

    This doesn’t necessarily mean the coaches are looking to go out and abandon a more traditional Temple offense, but it does mean it will be different for everyone – including the players.

    With the offensive weapons the Patenaude has at his disposal, there are sure to be looks that fans may never have seen from an Owl team. The biggest issue will be whether he can organize all the different pieces into a functional offense before the team gets too deep into the season. Right now in camp, it seems to be working effectively, but only a live game will tell the tale about how good Temple’s 2018 offense will be.

    Don’t like the way this sounds. Patenaude is again screwing around with what works-TU Tuff.

    • Don’t like either….establish the run first and then throw

    • I agree with Mike, Establish the run first and then throw, but I don’t think that is what the game plan will be. Where is the fullback?

      • Fullback has a single digit but last year’s fullback did, too, and wasn’t used. Not buying the excuse that he was hurt since same person led the nation in special teams’ tackles. Proof is in the pudding. Use this Nitro to blow up opposing linebackers or risk another mediocre seven-win season.

  7. This above and below the line idea is loosely a depth chart by making use of having the kids ready to play or switch different positions, giving them a greater chance/opportunity to play in games. But it also does indicate who is ready to play and who isn’t. I agree with lawclerk that the kids know where they stand. They still have to win playing time in games thru competition in practice. It kind of makes some sense but we’ll see how it works soon enough.
    BTW, where is John? Haven’t seen any comments from him for a while. I miss his insights.

  8. lawclerk, I’m referring to the John who got riled up at the “Pravda” articles, didn’t mind criticizing what went on with the coaches, etal and seemed to know a lot about the intricacies of football strategies and playmaking and maybe he had played at Temple? He regularly posted on TFF for years. Your comments, while very informative, don’t seem to be like his.

    • Law clerk is the same john. we’re on the same page with Temple running the ball to set up the play-action passing game. It resulted in three 10-win Temple seasons in our lifetime. The spread hasn’t done squat for Temple and probably won’t with this personnel grouping.

    • It’s me. Thre’s been nothing to complain about. If they don’t beat Nova and Buffalo handily and the offense resembles the one TU started last season with both in scheme and results, believe me I’ll be all over the coaches.

  9. That’s more like it John, er, lawclerk (sorry I didn’t remember your last name from before). I’m one of those that can always find something to complain about (isn’t that a Philly thing?), but hope you can’t after the first few games, lol! Go Owls.

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