Now Drayton starts the hard work

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There were plenty of things to like about Stan Drayton’s opening press conference and what he said.

What he did not say was how hard the work he starts this week will be so what happened on Sunday night added some context.

Props to Scott Grayson of Fox29 for the kind of sit-down interview on Sunday night with a new Temple head football coach we used to see the night of the hire.

Channel 6’s Ducis Rodgers did more of a “stand-up” interview at 11:45.

Better late than never.

The Sunday night show on the other two major Philadelphia channels featured a rehashing of the NFL’s decision to postpone the Eagles’ game with Washington.

Yawn.

Temple legends Ed Foley, Matt Rhule, and P.J. Walker.

At least Philadelphia fans were exposed to Temple, which is also a good thing.

What Drayton didn’t say at the press conference, he touched on in the interviews–which was how tough the task will be to clean up the mess left by Rod Carey, without mentioning either the mess or Carey’s name.

“I’m in the process of interviewing coaches; I’m in the process of recruiting players and talking to my own players,” Drayton told Grayson. “Recruiting will be the lifeblood of any program.

“We’re sitting in a hotbed of talent … there is a pool of talent. There is enough for more than just Temple. Temple has to build that culture right here in that backyard.”

At the press conference, Drayton used the term “chasing greatness.” Geez, since everyone “chases” greatness, I wish he said something more definitive like “we’re going to win championships and bowl games.”

Matt Rhule mentioned that in his presser. Steve Addazio promised “multiple bowls wins” even though he delivered just one.

That’s nit-picking, though, compared to the work ahead.

To me, the first thing should he should do is what Manny Diaz did in his short 18 days–commit to a Temple-centric staff that then included Ed Foley, Adam DiMichele and Fran Brown. Diaz was credited with hiring Gabe Infante. Now Drayton can shore up a lot of recruiting by keeping Infante to lock down the Pennsylvania side of the river and Preston Brown the New Jersey side.

Carey’s biggest mistake was bringing an entire Northern Illinois staff to Temple, and easing out Temple guys like DiMichele, Foley and Fran Brown. He did hire Preston Brown, but it was too little, too late.

It’s a positive that in the Sunday interviews Brown reiterated his desire to bring in “Philadelphia” coaching connections but hopefully, that emphasis is on “Temple Philadelphia” and not “Villanova Philadelphia” or “Penn Philadelphia.”

The first move would be to bring Foley back. Matt Rhule is in trouble and rumors are that he will be fired. Getting the best college special teams coach in the country would be a major coup for Drayton who, if he watched the film over the last two years, knows that Temple’s special teams have been a joke. Foley would also help with local recruiting.

Other than that, you can expect Drayton to build a staff based on his 28 years of contacts at several schools. Let’s hope he keeps his promise about Philadelphia connections and, specifically, knowledge of and appreciation for Temple itself.

Friday: Quick Turnaround

24 thoughts on “Now Drayton starts the hard work

  1. Temple is a tall stepping stone for anyone who works hard.

  2. It’s still wait and see what he actually does. Who he brings in as assistants will show a lot – lots of Texas guys or local Philly guys. He seemed very nervous delivering his press conference speech – certainly not his forte. But when the questions were asked he seemed quite calm and did well I thought. But I couldn’t believe there were only 3 questions from all the media in Philly, and one was Shawn Pastor!

  3. A lot of 1-year stops. Nearly 30 years coaching, and never a coordinator… great programs don’t let great people go if they can help it.

    It seems that until Texas, no one was really interested in keeping him around.

    I hope he works out, but I am tremendously underwhelmed.

    • I think Al Golden and Fran Brown would have sold more season tickets and brought a lot more juice to the program (Temple NFL alumni support, Mid-Atlantic High school coaches, etc.). Drayton seems to think any connection to Philadelphia (Penn, Nova, etc.) will suffice. It won’t. Coaches he knew from Penn and Nova won’t work at Temple. Only Temple guys understand the place and how to win here (post-Golden, of course). A lot of how he will do is determined in the next week or so with these staff hires.

      • Two thing I liked about the press conference are, 1. He acknowledged Temple is a special place, I felt like he understands what makes temple tick. 2. He welcomed alumni players back with open arms. As a letter winner I was shocked how out of place Rod Carey made me feel, I didn’t even want to step near EO while that guy was around. I happily donated during Golden, Addazio, Rhule, And even Collins. I directed my donations to the crew team under Carey.

    • It is ‘interesting’ to find new HC Mr. Drayton did have so many destination changes in his coaching career. Is it possible he was always where a head coaching change was made ? Still maybe, it gave him great exposure to great HC’s he met and worked for.

      • “Is it possible he was always where a head coaching change was made ?”

        Not always:

        UPenn 95 – Bagnoli’s fourth year, on his way to 24

        Bowling Green 2000 – Gary Blackney’s 10th season, fired for Urban Meyer the next year… they went 2-10 that year.

        Miss State 2004 – 3-8 in Sylvester Croom’s first year, a four year stint.

        Tennessee 2008 – 5-7, Phil Fulmer was fired after the season.

        Syracuse 2009 – 4-8, Doug Morrone’s first year, in a four year stint. Should also be noted, that Doug never brought Stan back at his HFC stops in the NFL at Buffalo or Jax.

        Florida 2010 – 8-5 Urban Meyer. Urban’s last year, but Urban brought him with him to Ohio State. That is a big plus. A guy who wins everywhere he goes (in college), thought enough of Drayton to keep him on his staff at OSU. (Along with having him during the first three years if his UF tenure).

        I really hope this is a case of a coach who found his footing a little later in his career. When you spend a year or two at one school, and then leave to go somewhere else for the same position, and never a step up.. it raises questions.

        I still think the fact that he has coached for nearly 30 years and he hasn’t seen a coordinator position is questionable.

        It could also be emblematic of the fact that black coaches do not always receive the same opportunities to progress up the coaching ladder as other do.

        I truly hope he is the real deal.

  4. Nowhere to go but up from here! Looking forward to the 2022 season with cautious optimism. A new era begins! Go Owls!!!

    • Understated idea here, how much worse can it get? As bad as the Berndt?Dickerson/Wallace trio were……….at least we were getting our butts kicked by “bigger” programs for the most part.

      This nitwit Carey was being embarrassed by Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina.

  5. Yep! Let’s hope the new coach is a good recruiter! Gabe ought to be a good asset for him in tapping into the rich talent scattered around in the regional PA, NJ, NY and Maryland high schools.

  6. Too bad – I think he would have been a real plus for the next phase of the program. Where is he going?

  7. Drayton and Johnson will bring in their own crew. Gabe never impressed me.

    • I thought the same thing after Berndt, Dickerson, Wallace and Carey were hired–that they would bring their own crews. Gabe impressed all the kids he coached and that was more important than any fan. Only time we’ve really been successful in the last 20 years two guys (Golden and Rhule) brought in Mid-Atlantic (Pa., NJ, etc.) centric staffs. I don’t see that so far with Drayton and that’s a huge red flag.

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