Breaking News: No Spring Game This Year

 

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Turn on one of those 24-hour news channels and chances are we will all see a cryon proclaiming this:

Breaking News.

It used to be in the old days that breaking news meant actually that: a fire here, a holdup there, a tornado farther south.

Now it means something that you knew about yesterday, not today.

So, given those parameters, here’s what we found out through official university channels yesterday: For the first time in 50 or so years, there will not be a spring game. I always thought the game was weird anyway because I never knew to root for the Cherry or the White. It was always the good guys versus the good guys. Instead, there will be an “open practice” mixed in with a “fan fest” and a good time will be had by all.

As Bill Parcells would say, this is good news, not bad news.

The Cherry and White game has pretty much deteriorated into a glorified practice over the last decade or so. If new head coach Rod Carey wants to close out the 15 practices he’s allotted by the  NCAA with No. 15, that should be OK.

All that matters is going 4-0 or, at worst, 3-1 in the first month or so of play so that brings us to the other news out of practice so far: The new offense.

According to a number of ex-players who have seen the Owls practice, the Owls are showing multiple looks. While there is some RPO (run/pass/option), there is also use of the fullback (primarily in goal-line situations), two tight ends and even three wide receivers.

Former Temple head coach Wayne Hardin used to call this his “smorgasbord” offense (“you know, a little of this, a little of that”) and that’s kind of what quarterback Anthony Russo was talking about in an interview with the Temple News earlier this week when he talks about learning a new offense. It’s the kind of offense designed to accentuate the talents of Russo, who has an NFL skill set and probably would have never been allowed to develop it if Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude had been around for another season.

The more looks Temple can show another defense the harder it is to prepare for the Owls on game day. It’s all about beating the bad guys even if there will be no game between the good guys this season.

Friday: Mark Your Calendar

Monday: Glass Houses

Wednesday: Another Nickname for the Darkside

10 thoughts on “Breaking News: No Spring Game This Year

  1. Above the Line, and now Glorified Practice.

    What would Saban do? Well, Saban still uses depth charts and tries to play a real game to mark the end of Spring Practice.

    Forget about the coaching for a second.., the Temple offense will be as good as the talent allows..,

    Who are the returning Temple All-Conference players at the skill positions? None.

    Who are the skill position players with enough talent to be considered All-Conference? Few, if any.

    QB: It will be hard to imagine Russo beating out King, Barnett, White, Ridder, etc for All-Conference honors.

    RB: There are at least six returners AAC starters ahead of the any TUFB RB

    WR: Our star, I.Wright, didn’t finish in the conference Top 10 in receiving yards or receptions.

    Sometimes we have to take a reality check. Fact of the matter is TUFB takes the field in 2019 with no established All-Conference skills position players. And, we return an OL w/talent but w/o beef.

    The Temple offense in 2019 will be a dink and doink show. We don’t have enough talent or bulk to establish and impose an identity.

    Sad but true.

  2. KJ: Given your assessment (which I have no reason to dispute), perhaps the staff sees it similarly, hence the varied offense going in which will differ week to week depending on the opponent. In other words, Owls’ aren’t in a position to make the other team stop them, but have to pick up the other D’s weak spots and attack them.

    Look at it this way: the staff must feel the roster talent is capable of learning the different schemes. Now if they can execute them is another story.

    • My early assessment: We have a great offensive line, great linebackers, great quarterback, one of the 3 best defensive lines in the league and very athletic back line of the defense. We do NOT have a great RB unless we use Wright there. I think that will be decided in the summer, not spring. Plus, we have a complete pro staff (not pro NFL, pro college football) that we did not have last year.
      This defense won’t be giving anybody 52 points nor will this scheme on offense subject Russo to the unrealistic quick decisions that led to 14 INTs.

      • speaking of the OL, is Fair wearing a cast on his right arm/hand? result of off-season surgery?

      • Wright is the most versatile player on this team. I would move Isaiah to the RB position , and let Gardner handle the returns on special teams . I believe Gardner has some experience as a return man .

    • there has to be something else we don’t know as the solution to the RB challenge is in plain site.

      Carey admitted there is some talent at RB but there is no star at the position.

      If these coaches truly are who we think they are then the deal is done. If not, then there is a lacking piece of information. Or, these coaches are not who we think they are.

  3. My only complaint about having a practice instead of a game is that it ignores tradition. Football alumni who played before they made Spring Ball a apparent cakewalk with the limits on the number of days out of the fifteen that practice can be held and on the number of days there can be full contact, looked forward to the game because it marked the end of Spring Ball, which started five weeks before the game and involved live contact on each of the twenty days of practice. Second, the game itself was a break from the monotony of practice and gave guys who were not ever going to play in the fall the opportunity to appear in a “game” wearing the cherry and white before an actual crowd. Third, the fans expect a game and after the record crowd last season at C and W I think fans not privy to the fact that there isn’t going to be a game are going to be disappointed. Carey might have good intentions but C and W is a tradition that he should have honored. I would note that in the late eighties and early 90’s one of the string of losing coaches had a practice instead of a game and everyone there was very disappointed. For a school like TU where fan support is rather tenuous it’s not smart to disappoint your fan base. Finally, for alums on C and W day a lot of alums who don’t attend the game attended. There always was someone who hadn’t seen in years. Without a game those people will not be attending.

  4. *Don’t attend the games in the fall. Should have made that clear.

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