A few weeks ago we wrote that Rod Carey had some “splaining to do” after the incident that caused Temple football to be jettisoned from a loyal soldier, Ed Foley.
The explanation came in a recent Marc Narducci story where Carey said that he had “too many offensive coaches on the field, including myself” and wanted to put a talented young defensive assistant, Tyler Yelk, on the field.
Narducci has been on fire recently, with a piece stating that Isaiah Wright wants an expanded role and another giving detail on Manny Diaz’s departure from Temple, but his stories detailing both sides of the Foley issue might have been the best of the summer.
Foley said he was leaving to go “with someone I trust and respect” and the implication was that he did not trust and respect Carey.
Then Narducci came back with Carey’s side of the story.
A lot of fans, this one included, are still irked that Foley is gone but, given Carey’s explanation, it makes sense.
One, Foley could have remained in an off-field capacity if he wanted and both men admitted that. Two, Temple did seem to be top-heavy with offensive coaches in a program that, as Carey has said, “hangs its hat on defense.”
Plausible deniability should Foley’s absence be felt this season. By that, I mean deniability that he’s trying to get rid of the Temple holdovers in favor of NIU guys. The litmus test going forward for Carey is to protect the other three guys (Fran Brown, Gabe Infante and Adam DiMichele) and give them a chance to thrive at Temple. Rod, we’re watching you.
The bottom line is that Temple, which generally never had to worry about special teams, has one more thing to worry about now. That’s why Carey gets paid the big bucks, though, to make sure everything runs smoothly, including special teams.
The Owls have a serviceable kicker in Will Mobley, who did a nice job when Boston College transfer Aaron Boumerhi had a hip flexor last year. Boomer had the range, while Mobley was essentially a solid extra point kicker. They also have the nation’s best returner, Isaiah Wright, so the special teams should be OK.
Where I think Temple fans will really notice Foley gone is in the area of blocked punts, field goals, and extra points. Foley consistently had the Owls in the nation’s top 10 in those categories because he was an aggressive coach who went after kicks. There is little in Carey’s history to suggest NIU was anywhere near as consistent in that area as Temple was.
When Al Golden got here and brought Foley with him, he said special teams were as important as offense and defense and he practiced what he preached. Let’s hope Carey continues that tradition.
Monday: Up Against The Walls