Temple’s special teams have pretty much been a humorless joke over the last two years.
You can learn a lot from thumbing through the bios in the latest Temple Football Media Guide.
If fixing teams is a priority–and it should be–the Temple coaches should be pouring over those lists to find guys with moves and speed who can help on that squad.
Does Temple football special teams coach Brett Diersen know backup wide receiver Kadas Reams has been clocked at 4.37 in the 40-yard dash?
Does he know defensive back Trey Blair played offense at Haverford High AND scored touchdown on both kickoff and punt returns as a senior?
You would think so but the Owls were content to have as their No. 1 punt returner last year a guy named Willie Erdman or came to the table with no such speed stats or history of success in the return game even at the high school level. It would be more accurate to call Erdman a “fair catch specialist” instead of a “punt return specialist.”
And both Reams and Blair were on the team last year.
Knowing those facts, it’s not hard to come to a couple of conclusions: 1) they didn’t know and 2) they didn’t care.
Wide receiver Branden Mack blocked a punt under Geoff Gollins but was not on the punt return (don’t know if the Owls even have a punt block) team. He is 6-6 with a wingspan of 97 inches. Mack isn’t here anymore, but the Owls do have 6-6 guys with similar wingspans. It’s just logical to put your tallest and longest guys on your kick block teams. Steve Addazio’s Owls would not have won a game at UConn had he not put 6-6 wide receiver Deon Miller on special teams, where he blocked a field goal.
Having success in the special teams is knowing the, err, special talents of your personnel and using those talents to make plays. The Owls have shown no interest in two years about making dynamic plays in the special teams area and that needs to change starting when spring practice begins in two weeks.
We can talk about Diersen and his shortcomings all we want but the ultimate responsibility for the special teams success rests with the programs’ CEO, Rod Carey. If Carey is more comfortable with personal relationships with members of his staff than he is about getting the most of the talent he has, that’s a problem.
One of many we’ve seen in the last two years.
Opening two books would help: the American Coaches Association’s Complete Guide to Special Teams and one other.
The Temple Football Media Guide.
Friday: Sports Talk and Temple Football