Fizzy: Temple TUFF post-Fran Brown?

Baylor had to go through this exact same thing a year ago.

Editor’s Note: Fizzy checks in after Fran Brown checked out. 

By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I coached the junior varsity at West Philadelphia High School.

As this was an inner-city school, hardly any of the guys trying out had ever played organized football. So once they had their physical exams, we had them put on pads and a helmet from a large pile, and go through some skill tests. Of course, we wanted to see who could pass and catch, but our main objective was to find the tough guys. We knew if they were tough, we’d coach them up and find the right position.

Screenshot 2019-12-09 at 8.57.34 AM

Another thing we did was give the players themselves a chance to tell us who they thought were toughest guys by secret ballot. On more than one occasion, we were surprised because we’d overlooked someone. One of my players once said, “Are you kidding? There isn’t a guy in the neighborhood who’d mess with him.”

I’m bringing this up because Temple football recruiting is now in deep trouble. Ed Foley was gone before the season began, and now Fran Brown has bolted to help Schiano rebuild the Rutgers program. These two guys had well-established relationships with high school coaches throughout the tri-state area. I can imagine there were many phone calls to Foley and Brown from High school coaches, and the conversation might have gone something like this.

“Hey Ed (Fran), you should take a look at this kid I have. He’s not on anyone’s radar, but he’s just learning the game. He didn’t come out until he was a junior because his family moved around a lot, and he got into a little trouble. This year though, he started to blossom and is going to graduate. Maybe you should invite him to one of your camps. He’s six-two, 220, and a real hard hitter. He should make a great linebacker.”

We all know the Owls hardly ever got the three and four-star recruits. And yet, this year’s talent level was damn near the equal of any other team in our conference. We got to that level because of situations and players like I just mentioned above. We recruited the late bloomers, the overlooked, and the second team all-conference players. Now, Temple doesn’t have any coach with that kind of local rapport and recruiting experience. The entire coaching staff except for Gabe Infante is from the mid-west.

Well, it is what it is now. So what do we do? One suggestion is Coach Carey quickly look over the top recruiters from the Penn State, Maryland, and Pitt coaching staff because they all heavily recruit here. Find the best. Find the money. Make him an offer he can’t refuse.

Another example is when Matt Rhule arrived at Baylor; he hired the president of the Texas coaches association. Temple football desperately needs someone with proven relationships in the tri-state area.

 If we can’t re-establish a loyal local base of feeder coaches, we’re in deep trouble. The tough kids live here.

Wednesday: The All-Hands Bowl

Friday: A close look at North Carolina

21 thoughts on “Fizzy: Temple TUFF post-Fran Brown?

  1. When previously confronted about thoughts past the next meal, Carey has given the, “too deep into the next game plan” type answer.

    Bottom line, the HC must be a strategic thinker. That is part of his job description. He should have answers for questions about recruiting, coaches clinics, summer camps for HS student athletes, future identity on offense, etc.

    What have we observed and what are the facts? Carey is an introvert who would rather not be bothered with recruiting. The facts are pointing towards a football version of Fran Dunphy. Just an honest decent man stuck in the 80’s. Fran Brown stopped recruiting and Infante can’t/won’t recruit. How does Carey not see this?

    Mack Brown will give him a primer on how to win a bowl game.

  2. #1 LSU Joe Burrow, Portal Transfer, Heisman Trophy Candidate
    # 2 Ohio State Justin Fields, Portal Transfer, Heisman Trophy Candidate
    # 4 Oklahoma, Jalen Hurts, Portal Transfer, Heisman Trophy Candidate

    Is the portal an additional option to upgrade your football team? Or, should we disregard the portal as another fad?

    Sleep on the portal and YOU WILL FOREGO SUCCESS!!

    Hello Coach Carey, Car 54 where are you?Carey,

    • The last time a bunch of us were talking about Car 54 in the Inquirer office, the sports editor ducked his head of office and said loudly: “Boy, you guys are old!” That said, it applies here. Fast Phil, you and others have brought up the Fran Dunphy comparison and it seems to be a valid one. Dunphy was a good-enough gameday coach to have 10-straight years of wins over Top 25 teams but not a good-enough recruiter to bring Temple to the next level. I thought that Fran Brown was his firewall against that problem. Now the firewall is gone. Let’s hope the malware doesn’t get into the program. Dunphy’s thoughts on recruiting were: “Temple is a great school. If you want to come here and get an education, we have a scholarship for you. If not, good luck.” You’ve got to wine and dine these kids and make them feel wanted. Fran Brown did that. Fran Dunphy did not. I don’t see Carey as a wine and diner. If he isn’t, he needs to hire one.

  3. Hello, Temple Bowl Comments here ; we plan on going by car and since we are in south jersey, it’s about a 3 hr drive.
    We hope to again find the Temple tailgate organized party like there was back vs Navy 4 years ago for the AAC Title game..
    Any info on that out there yet ?
    I trust they will allow us to buy Tixx to that event….

  4. Mike Norvell delivers the truth:

    “People can talk about offense and defense, but if you want to see a team that has tremendous culture, tremendous passion, tremendous belief in each other, watch them on special teams”

    • Yes. We once had that.

      • Question regarding special teams, did Carey’s special teams coach stay at NIU and not follow him to TU. The reason I ask is the looking at NIU specials teams over Carey’s last 2 years there (’17 and ’18) versus Temple’s over the same period is the area the everyine is focused on with Foley, blocked kicks and punts, NIUs performance was better. In 2018, NIU was 4th in FBS in blocked punts, TU 11th, both were tied for 5th in blocked kicks. For those 2 years, NIU special teams blocked 11 kicks and 7 punts, TU blocked 6 kicks and 2 punts. In that same time-frame TU special teams also allowed 7 kicks and 3 punts to be blocked to NIUs allowing 3 kicks and 1 punt to be blocked. In other areas, NIU was better covering punts and kicks, Temple better returning. So it seems at NIU, Carey was able to have special teams that performed at a decent level.

  5. JD-Those crying about Foley’s departure are relying on negative evidence to support their claims. By that I mean that they are claiming that the lack of blocks and returns somehow evidences incompetence. That argument is specious and misleading. Also, it fails to take into account human error. No one can plausibly argue that the failed snaps and lack of punt returns were Carey’s fault or that had Foley still been here they would not have problems. All season Mobley kicked extra points low. I don’t know if anyone could have corrected that. Also, I agreed with Wright’s decision not to return a punt over 95% of the time. Carey was not faultless especially with regard to his offense but to accuse him of incompetence on special teams is just plain wrong. By the way, I can remember them giving up a long return only once during the season. I guess the credit for that goes to someone other than Carey.

    • You can give credit to Carey’s hand pick punter who punts 20yds hoping for a 30yd roll.

      • Bowler had better stats than the new punter Carey brought in … Like to know what his thought process was when he made that decision

      • That being said Net Punting yards were still better last year than in 2017 and 2018 under Foley!

      • Mike, I would be interested in that as well since the punt defense based on net punting this year than under Foley the previous 2 years. It would seem to me with Bowler still punting it would have been considerably better than under Foley

  6. Looking Forward here, they play N Carolina Tar , a team I have never seen and I bet most here have not seen .
    How will we do? Will we sort of lay down again with the ol’ who cares attitude OR will they try ?

    The idea the NC team has a one time near great coach in Brown of Texas is so interesting to me, is a reason I plan to go.
    This is sort of like Ohio U’s old time coach, F Solich, who had Big Time experience also and went to the MAC.

    Why can’t Temple land a Big Time coach who is down sizing ..

    I expect NC’s Brown is a superior HC coach with knowledge and skill, but
    Is being at Texas easier because they get good players and ass’t coaches just because, every year even when they loose…

    • Expectations at places like Texas and Miami are way off the charts given the current realities. Fan bases of both teams still think this is the 1980s.

      • Mike maybe you can answer this , when Temple was looking for a coach and they hired Carey. Was Mr. golden really interested in coaching Temple .

      • Not interested enough to apply. Would have been interested if Temple reached out to him is the word I’ve received from people who know him. I thought Temple owed him that much.

    • Brown got hired at Texas because he revitalized the North Carolina program (he started at Vanderbilt), so this is his 2nd time at UNC. And I recall Frank Solich was fired at Nebraska because he had a drinking problem but was winning 9-10 games a year out west. IMO he is staying at OU at a much lower salary and program because he loves coaching and he had a chance to rewrite his life story – he’s been in Athens for close to 10 years now and has them bowl bound every year. Not many if any other stories like that in terms of a great coach staying at a lower level situation compared to where he came from. Interesting stuff……

  7. Fran Brown took our number 1 recruit, Chris Long, to Rutgers. Same Soup boiled over. Carey won at NIU w/previous coaches recruits.

    He won 8/9 games at Temple with MR recruits. His first full recruiting class is dismal.

    Welcome to the TUFB version of Fran Dunphy, nice honest decent man who can coach but can’t recruit.

    • Well at this point that still puts Carey ahead of Collins who couldn’t coach or recruit. At this point Carey’s first full recruiting class, which is not complete yet,it is still rated better than Collins first full class, so I’ll take the better coach and keep an eye on recruiting going forward. Not saying I wouldn’t like to this class rated a little higher when all is said and done but I also think the Xs and Os part of the game is as important and I feel TUFB has that part under control with this staff.

  8. Rutgers is a used tire landfill inferno that Fran Brown couldn’t extinguish with Niagara Falls. He should stay at Temple. RU is a career limiting move.

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