Editor’s Note: Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub is one of the few ex-players we know at Temple who has actually played in a game against Bucknell. His review of the latest gridiron clash between the two schools follows.
By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub
The day after Temple announced the hiring of Rod Carey, I got this message from a friend who lives in Boulder, Co. “TEMPLE DID WHAT???”
Let me explain.
My friend Erik, in Boulder, was an alum of Northern Illinois University (NIU), and two of his college buddies still lived there and went to all their football games. Erik would get a weekly message during football season from his buddies, who were not at all happy with Carey’s play calling. Basically, they said he was a run-oriented guy who rarely did imaginative things. Erik predicted I was going to go crazy watching and writing about Carey’s offense. So all winter long, I was dreading Temple’s first game, expecting to see a boring offensive game plan that wouldn’t make use of all our inherent talent.
Just one more qualifier, please. Long ago, a West Philly High student was asking me about my career. When I got done a brief summary, he looked up and thoughtfully said, “Weinraub, you older than shit!”
That I am, and I’ve seen so many Philly football coaches at all levels, I couldn’t begin to list all their names. In two weeks, I knew Andy Reid couldn’t call plays in the Pop Warner league. I saw so many Temple coaches way over their heads and continually call time outs because they couldn’t get the plays in on time. Then, more often than not, run the ball up the middle. Many of these coaches didn’t make use of their talent and even had students carrying posters running up and down the sideline signaling in the plays. Those coaches learned on-the-job and at our expense. Lots of times, Temple players won games despite their coaches.
Well, that was then. Yesterday, however, I was the most surprised fan at the LINC. Yes, it was only an overwhelmed Bucknell team, but I saw a flawless offense. There was no hesitation on play calls. We started out throwing the ball and then mixed everything up continually. The shovel pass for the first touchdown was a beautiful call. Later, we went to an up-tempo, no-huddle scheme that rocked Bucknell’s defense. And guess what? After all my years of bitching, I saw an offense make excellent use of misdirections. As promised, Carey got our all-American special teams player (Wright), the ball in every conceivable fashion. I was thoroughly impressed because I saw an offense truly designed around the skills of our talented players. Coach Carey and offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich, are to be congratulated. The coaching staff showed how years of working together pay off.
I do have one coaching complaint. Can you explain to me why Russo and the first-team offense was on the field and risking injury into the fourth quarter?
The only player negatives revolve around Anthony Russo. Many times, our outstanding quarterback looked directly at his primary receiver as soon as he got the snap. Perhaps that had a hand in the pick-six interception? Also, would someone please teach him how to slide? (If we had a baseball team, that coach could do the job. Wait, maybe our baseball team is playing in our new 160 million dollar campus stadium. Duh!)
Today, I’m not going to get into the defense because I really want to see how they do against stiffer competition. However, I believe it was only once they had to call a timeout to set the formation near our goal line.
To sum up, color me thrilled. I hope yesterday wasn’t a mirage.
Thursday: The Newbies
Saturday: Things to Look for