There are plenty of battles ahead for a team that finished 1-6 and 3-9 in consecutive shocking seasons, but new Temple football coach Stan Drayton seems to have won half the battle in just two short weeks.
He applied the tourniquet and seems to have stopped the transfer portal bleeding. No significant players have announced they are leaving and that’s something that couldn’t be said in this same two-week period a year ago.
That’s something that cannot be minimized because former head coach Rod Carey took a figurative knife to work every day and there was more bleeding at the E-O than in the movie Psycho.
The players didn’t like him, and their dislike for him never seemed to bother Carey. In the era of the transfer portal, that kind of indifference is a death sentence.
Not surprising that you needed a bucket to clean up all of the bleeding of the players who went out the door.
The other half of the battle is assembling a good staff. Without mentioning names, there is some discussion of bringing in a guy from Kansas and Colorado who allowed more than 30 ppgs in high-profile DC jobs.
Drayton promised at his opening-day press conference to attempt to bring in staff members with ties to Temple and Philadelphia but, so far, the new DL coach has a tie to Lafayette and a recent job at Colorado State. Bringing in Chuck Heater as DC would seem to me to be a no-brainer since Heater was the new CSU guy’s boss AND was the last DC at Temple to post back-to-back shutouts (2011). Math was never my best subject, but I’ll take a guy who allowed zero points in consecutive games AT TEMPLE over one who averaged 30ppg any day of the week and Heater is available, seemed to enjoy his time at Temple (biking to practice every day from Center City) and understands Temple TUFF as well as any outsider.
The staff evaluation will have to wait until Drayton’s full Gang of 10 on-field assistants are assembled, but the early returns in that area are not good.
Most of the staff remains to be picked so, if Drayton has as good a second half this week as the Eagles had yesterday, everybody in “Temple Philadelphia” and not “Lafayette Philadelphia” will be happy.
Drayton’s first message to the team indicated a good sense of evaluating the film and this quote was particularly telling:
“The little bit of film that I did see, I saw some quit show up,” Drayton said. “And we talked about what greatness is. Greatness has no quit in it at all. And that showed up. And that bothers me. However, if as a football team we can face that as a reality, accept it for what it is, then I know we can move forward.”
That’s something just about every Temple fan noticed post the Memphis game and even some players alluded to it.
It appears he will be moving forward with the bulk of this year’s roster buying in and the first step toward program health is stopping that bleeding and maybe as much as half the battle. Don’t know if choosing assistants can be called the other half, but it’s at least the first quarter.
Friday: Areas of Need