One of my favorite sayings from Bruce Arians was what he opened almost every practice with:
“Get your work done.”
Because Bruce invited me to a few Temple practices, that was always a part of his mantra before allowing the guys to get on the Geasey Field astroturf.
Sprinkled in, of course, with a few expletives to put an exclamation point and a sense of urgency on the message.
That’s been pretty much the mantra for every Temple coach since, a few more successful than the others.
From what I’ve seen so far from this Rod Carey year, the Owls are getting some work done.
How successful they will be in my view is what kind of work they get in and how that work translates to on-the-field performance. I feel confident about the running backs, offensive line, linebackers, and corners but the defensive line MUST make a giant leap forward.
One of those Bob Beamon Jawns as the kids might say.
Quite honestly, just from what they showed me last year, I don’t see the Owls moving off that 2-10 most NEUTRAL observers have them finishing this season. That was a shockingly non-competitive team I saw and I’m not sure I can blame it all on COVID, like Carey seems to be doing.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that there are so many moving parts that don’t factor into the above equation.
Pass rush, for instance.
One of the most maddening things about last season to me is that the Owls didn’t put the bad guy’s quarterback on his ass as much as they should have or even as much as those winning Temple teams of the last decade did.
Manny Walker, their 2020 P5 transfer, gave them two whole sacks and he was the team’s leader. To me, he was a big disappointment.
The moving parts are there this summer and they are named Will Rodgers III and Lancine Turay. Rodgers had nine sacks at Washington State and Turay was a big-time recruit the Owls would have had no chance at two years ago who has been moved to the outside.
The middle of the defense allowed too many inside runners too many yards up the middle yet we’ve been hearing good things the last couple of weeks about tackles like Nick Bags and Kevin Robertson. People like Joe Klecko, Dan Klecko, Averee Robinson and Freddie Booth-Lloyd probably were shaking their heads in disbelief a year ago watching their beloved Owls get gouged up the middle.
The stuff we are hearing from the Bronx is the Owls got their stuffing the run game together.
Geez, I hope those things are true because even if the Owls are able to score 30 points a game, they will never win more than a couple if they give up 35 per to teams not named Akron and Wagner.
Getting after the passer and stopping the run is the real work that needs to be done now.
Come Sept. 2, we will find out if that work earns a paycheck or it was another exercise in going through the motions.
Monday: Al Golden Unlocks the Key for Temple success
Friday: Camp Surprises
Monday (8/23): History of Rebounding
Friday: Rutgers fans