5 Goals Out of Summer Camp

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You can make up all the mock depth charts you want (as we have today) but the power of moving up the charts rests in what these young men do.

According to The Inquirer’s Marc Narducci, the highlight of the first day of Temple football summer camp was the handing out of single digits.

Count me among those loving Temple’s single-digit tradition–perhaps because it gets mentioned on every national telecast–but more significant highlights should be coming in the next four weeks.

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Owls have 2 votes in the coaches poll. Since you are not allowed to vote for your own team, I’m guessing Geoff Collins and Matt Rhule

Temple’s schedule is an odd one in that the Owls have nothing more than a practice game with Bucknell on the schedule on the last day of this month, followed by a too early bye week, then the real schedule.

These should be the 5 goals to accomplish in the next four weeks:

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Dan Archibong (photo by Zamani Feelings) is a good bet to earn a single digit.

Hitting

Few Cherry and White days were more disappointing than the past one. After watching a few drills that did not involve hitting, the fans left in droves. I was gone right after they practiced punt returns with the return guy catching the ball and running through a line of players who had no interest in touching him. That’s not football. After a 35-0 loss to Pitt in 1983, Bruce Arians brought the team out at 6 a.m. and had them hitting in full pads the next morning. “Dumb mistake by a rookie coach,” Bruce said at the end of that season. “We were out-hit that day. We got into a physical mentality in that practiced and we weren’t outhit the rest of the year.” Owls need to create that mentality early.

Depth

The Owls have a lot of promising players on the second units of both lines but few of those actually saw game action. They need to develop that depth this month.

wright

Solving the Running Back Dilemma

Head coach Rod Carey indicated that he’s open to moving Isaiah Wright into a full-time role at running back should no one emerge as a go-to guy. That beats what he said a week earlier when he indicated going to RB by committee was an option. Running back by committee is like having a baseball closer by committee. It never works. I like Jager Gardner as a backup but I don’t see him as an elite No. 1. Jeremy Jennings is fast, but he doesn’t have great open-field moves. Tyliek Raynor strikes me as a David Meggett-type third-down back. Maybe a true freshman will emerge like Bernard Pierce did in the weeks before the 2007 but, failing that, using Wright (where he has been used in the past) there will give the Owls the best running back in the league without hurting a deep and talented wide receiver corps.

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RPO: Blessing or a Curse?

Quarterback Anthony Russo talked about the Owls using more of a run-pass-option this year than in the past couple. That’s a blessing if the run option is to a running back instead of a quarterback. You won’t catch Bill Belichick using Tom Brady as a run option nor should Carey expose Russo to getting killed on similar plays. While Russo is no Tom Brady (yet), he is like Brady in that he’s more valuable as a dropback passer than as a run decoy. A good coach designs schemes to best utilize the talent he has, not the talent he wants and, for Temple this year, the RPOs should be delayed draws and an occasional swing pass out of the backfield and little else.

A place for Franklin

The Owls need to get Sam Franklin on the field and, with a linebacker corps that includes Chapelle Russell, Shaun Bradley, Isaiah Graham-Mobley and William Kenkewu, snaps will be limited there. He has an opportunity to play safety and that’s where he should line up.

Other than that, and getting the timing down, the Owls are all set to build on expectations that have them getting more votes in the coaches poll than Tennessee and Ole Miss.

Saturday: Around The League

Monday: 5 TUFB Headlines We’d Like to See

Saturday (8/17): Depth Chart Thoughts

18 thoughts on “5 Goals Out of Summer Camp

  1. Goal Number One: establish an identity.

    AG: House of Brick, Temple Tuff
    DAZ: Run the ball between the tackles, meh
    MR: Body Blows, Temple Tuff
    Collins: Hype, and more hype directed by a hype coordinator

    Carey: RPO, and a vanilla defense?

    My vote is back to the future with body blows, smash mouth, Temple Tuff Football. IMHO Coach Carey has not fully embraced the TUFB tradition.

    Collins didn’t get it. Temple is unique and will never win by playing an uptempo RPO spread type offense.

    • Great coaches adjust their schemes to the personnel they have, not the personnel they want. Just because Rod’s offenses were heavy on RPOs at NIU doesn’t mean they have to be heavy on RPOs at Temple. When you have a pure dropback passer like Russo, accentuate those skills.

      • You are correct. I want to see the RB picking up the blitzes, and Russo hitting the open man. Coaching staff seems to be Ditka/Bear-oriented. Walter Payton is not on the roster. but we may have an Elway.

  2. I would hope that Carey is flexible and does what Collins should have done when handed a team coming off a championship and run a scheme that fits the talent and not one that he likes. The biggest hope for camp is that the injury bug stays away especially on the O-line. .

  3. Just read a Narducci story about Russo. He is scheduled to graduate in December. That likely means that if he has a great year (we can only hope) he will enter the portal and go to a Power 5 school for his last season. That seem to be what all the QBs in such a position are doing.

    • 30 tds and 8 interceptions move him into the first 3 rounds. 25/8 makes him 4-7. Not worth coming out in that no-man’s land. That said, I hope it’s 35/6 and he’s a no. 1 pick

      • I think it’s more likely he gets drafted than enters the portal. I’ve talked to him. He’s an owl through and through and his family loves coming to the games.

    • The QB’s that are transferring (Fields, Martell, Hurts, Hornibrook, etc) all transferred because they didn’t have a chance to start for their teams. And Hornibrook’s made no sense cause he’s not starting at FSU.

      Russo has two years left, the only way he leaves Temple early is if he has a big year that gets him into the early rounds of the draft, which means Temple is most likely a 11-12 Win NY6 team.

      • Probably not even the wins factor into it because Duke went 6-6 and Jones was a No. 6 overall pick with 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions and a passer rating of 131.7. Russo, as a G5 guy, probably needs 30/9 and the roughly the same passer rating to get that kind of interest and I think he’s got a shot, if not this year, next.

  4. Hey Mike, will you be at any practices to ask Coach Carey and the staff some questions?

    • Tulane is going to be a tough out for a lot of teams and but if this game was in New Orleans, I’d put it down as a loss.

      Instead, it’s a Southern team who plays a brand of football that matches with Temple well in Mid November and the Owls have extra days rest to recover and get ready.

    • Yeah, at least 2 years in a row. Collins’ southern recruiting strategy that focused on Georgia and Florida was designed to develop a network for his next job and he didn’t give a hoot about the owls’ traditional mid-Atlantic footprint

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