Special Teams clues abound for Temple

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.

Special teams used to be elite at Temple. Love to get back to those days again.

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


9 thoughts on “Special Teams clues abound for Temple

  1. Paul Loughran’s thrilling punt return in 1972 put Temple Football back on the map. A blocked kick broke the 0-22 streak. Carey’s and Brett Diersen careers may hinge on a FG, kick return, or blocked kick. Put the best talent on the field during every play.

  2. Tickets Please, Tickets …. OK I Reserved my 2 Season Tixx yesterday for TUFB. I was told since the Linc was now shifting Home side for Temple to the shadey other side, they were taking time to reseat people to the new other side.
    I said we like our traditional end zone corner seats and would keep them.
    (Beside, I’ll guess that for most games just maybe OTHER seats in the LInc will be ‘available’ ; ha ha ).
    So then , we are committing again to support TUFB.
    This HC can’t be so stubborn , he’ll have to be better, right ?

  3. This is a real question: Why would a HC (Carey) be so reluctant to adjust things in that 3rd facet of the game that is obviously and woefully in need of improvement? Any thoughts?

    • Nothing I’ve seen in Year No. 2 has indicated to me that this guy has any respect for the importance of special teams. So many things needed to be fixed after the first year and it got worse the second. His intransigence is part of the reason why I think he’s beyond redeemable and Temple should let him go sooner than later but we all know Temple’s leadership is at a frozen stop. We can only hope he changes, gets Zendejas as his kicker and puts someone like Trey Blair on the punt and kickoff return teams. Hope doesn’t get me a championship, though.

      • Well,here’s another cogent question: what were his special teams like when he was at NIU? Just as bad? And if so, another reason TU should not have hired him. It really is amazing how he can so deliberately ignore how bad his special teams are coached and not see the need for change or refuse to make necessary changes. And like you said Mike the TU higher ups just let it go and don’t make a move to press him about it. I guess we’ll see soon enough if he’s going to get serious about it. As I said before, PLEASE not another Bobby Wallace era……

  4. Sometimes it is difficult to step back and see the truth. We are all so knee deep in TUFB…, our perception is misaligned w/reality.

    Here is a good independent third party assessment:


    Carey’s contract plus the financially disastrous Linc contract equals a Red Sea for the Athletic Dept budget. No small wonder why Temple is having difficulty filling the Athletic Director’s position – first three choices have declined.

    Really, who in their right mind would take the AD job? You’ll be making considerably less the an incompetent football HC, the program is underwater, football and b-ball teams and coaches suck, student body and alumni support lags,etc.etc. And, to top it all off, the BOT lacks vision, commitment, and is populated w/political appointees who really don’t give a sh**t.

    • Looks like things are worse than I thought – Carey has a SIX year contract? I thought it was only 5 years. It will be a long time before TU can/will consider axing him, if ever. And he was on a down hill slide at NIU? and TU not only hires him but gives him such a ridiculous contract? And according to the article he sits on the hottest of hot seats of all AAC coaches and TU having no intentions of making an early change. Makes one think if the TU brain trust is on the verge again of dropping football.

  5. I do not want TU to drop football, taking away student athlete’s opportunity to participate in athletics is not the right strategy. That being said, with this coach, AD and current direction, it may be time to drop down to 1-AA football. You drop from 85 to 63 scholarships, still provide the football experience, then you build a much smaller stadium where you can then have soccer games in the fall (M,W) Field Hockey, add a D1 lacrosse program (Nova/ST Joes/Penn/Delaware, Lehigh, Monmouth/Rutgers all have one), you can compete there competitively in 3-4 years, women’s lacrosse can also play at the stadium, football Saturday w/ a smaller venue and more student attendance might create a better atmosphere than a cavernous Linc.

    Granted, this is not ideal. But w/ the way things are going with this program and the tough situation most colleges are in due to this pandemic, some radical moves may need to be made. Build a 15k stadium. Intimate. Create a central point for students to gather. You keep football, add some other sports and try to get your athletic program in gear. This coach would still be way overmatched at 1-AA football.

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