Stan Drayton takes time from his busy schedule to talk to the fans in Lot 10.
Movie stars from the West Coast were really branching out on Saturday at Cherry and White.
A friend of mine standing on the bleachers behind me tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to Kurt Warner only a few feet away.
Technically, Warner wasn’t the star in his own movie (American Underdog)–Zach Levy played that role–but he was arguably the closest to one we will ever see at the E-O Football Complex.
He wasn’t the only high-profile person. Haason Reddick and Shaun Bradley of the Philadelphia Eagles were there, as were coaches Nick Rapone and Kevin Ross of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All former Temple football Owls were there to show support for the current Temple football Owls.
It was a pretty good day, all designed to get Stan Drayton’s first Owl team up to game speed.
Hopefully, future stars. Maybe even movie ones.
Weather-wise, there was everything–a little rain, some clouds, some sun, even some hail–so at some point if the Owls have to play under those conditions they will be ready.
We won’t make any predictions on records for the season off an uneven performance except this one: Nobody is going to score 61 points or more on this defense again. You read it here first.
The defense beat the offense, 64-54, but it seemed to me to be a more dominating performance than that. The defensive line was into the backfield on numerous occasions and disruptive.
That might cause some concern about the offensive line, but Drayton said a number of them were playing out of position in order to provide some flexibility in the fall (tackles playing guard, guards playing tackle, etc.) When you have guys like Adam Klein, Isaac Moore and Victor Stoffel coming back–people who played at a high level pre-Rod Carey–offensive line shouldn’t be a big concern right now.
Running back and quarterback is somewhat as Darvon Hubbard didn’t have the breakout game some might have expected. Still, it’s a deep unit with a couple of high-level P5 recruits (Hubbard and Iverson Clement) who didn’t play last year and the guys who did nipping on the depth chart behind them. Have to expect at some point they will shake off the rust and perform at a high level.
Drayton, for his part, seemed to get the above nuances and connect with the Temple fans on a level we have not seen since Matt Rhule.
Drayton walked through Lot 10 and took the microphone from former Owl offensive tackle Kevin Jones (see above photo) and said a few words of appreciation to the fans.
“We’re going to do everything we can to get this thing back to the way you are all used to seeing it,” Drayton told the Lot 10 crowd. “I just love you all and I thank you all for the way you received me and I’m going to give you everything I can. I promise you that.”
The last coach to walk through Lot 10 and shake some hands? Rhule, who posted consecutive 10-win seasons here.
On a day when there were a lot of good omens, here’s hoping Drayton’s appreciation of the Temple culture off the field produces impressive results on it.
Friday: Stories from Cherry and White