Temple Football: A rare chance to get better now

Temple under Chuck Heater.

In perhaps the strangest Temple football spring schedule yet, the Owls practiced for a couple of days and then have a long break before they get together next week.

In between, there is some scheduled downtime.

Logically, there’s no chance for the Owls to get better in the next few days because everything is on pause.

In reality, the Owls can get 10,000 percent better.

Hell, Chuck is 70 now and maybe Stan already hired him and set him up in that nice house across the street. We can only hope.

All Stan Drayton needs to do is pick up the phone and call Chuck Heater.

That’s because defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot left to become linebackers coach with the Philadelphia Eagles.

While there is much gnashing of teeth with that departure, the numbers indicate otherwise.

In the one year Eliot was DC with the Temple Owls, they gave up 29.2 points per game.

Is that the work of a great or even good DC to you?

I must be a hard marker because that’s an F to me.

You know who gets an A in the same job at Temple?

Chuck Heater.

Marshall under Chuck Heater

To me, the sign of a great defensive coordinator is shutting out the bad guys.

Heater didn’t do that just once but twice in back-to-back games in the same season.

The last Temple DC to shut out an opponent twice?

Chuck Heater.

Temple did shut out Stony Brook under Phil Snow in 2016 but I will take Heater’s back-to-back shutouts over Buffalo and Ball State over that accomplishment any two days of the week.

Fortunately for Temple, Heater is sitting by his phone and waiting for a call from Stan Drayton.

He worked most recently at Maryland, Marshall and Colorado State but due to coaching changes at those places is out of a job.

The culprits in all of those cases were the head coaches, not the defensive ones.

While Eliot was known for “simulated pressures” Heater is known for “real pressures.”

Colorado State under Chuck Heater.

Colorado State, under Heater, led the nation in defensive pressures as recently as the 2020 season. He has also worked with Temple defensive line coach Antoine Smith there and would be a great fit at Temple again.

While here, Heater biked from his Spring Garden home to 10th and Diamond every day and told the interviewer from the Philadelphia Inquirer that he loved both Philadelphia and Temple.

The kids loved him.

You know who else loves him?

Urban Meyer, who was with Heater from the beginning and that loyalty led to Heater being the DC for Meyer’s Florida National championship team.

At Temple, Heater held Maryland to only 7 points–a meaningless fourth-quarter garbage time touchdown–in a 38-7 win.

When Temple beat Wyoming in the New Mexico Bowl, it was the Temple players giving DC Heater the Gator-Aid bath, not Steve Addazio, the head coach.

National champion Florida under Chuck Heater.

As good as that job was, I thought Heater’s best job was the next year at UConn when he led the defense to a 17-14 upset win in overtime against 5 1/2-point favorite UConn.

Waiting for the kids to leave Rentschler Field for the Temple busses, I stood next to Chuck at the busses and told him I thought that was a masterful game plan on defense.

“That wasn’t me, Mike,” Chuck said “That was the boys.”

That’s what Heater called his players: The boys. It was never about him. It was always about them.

He would not need to be shown directions to Temple. Stan Drayton shouldn’t need to call anyone other than Antoine Smith to get Heater’s number. Or Steve Addazio. Or any Temple player who played for Chuck.

For all the hard work Temple does before Cherry and White Day, hiring Heater tomorrow probably makes this team twice as good today than it was yesterday.

Monday: Sean Desai

Friday; That’s a Long Drive

Bonus coverage (no truth to the rumor that is AOD running out into the end zone):

Fortunately, Hooter has gotten better-looking with age.

11 thoughts on “Temple Football: A rare chance to get better now

  1. Temple with Heater is Temple looking for a conference title. We’ve got players on d and Chuck can set them up for success.
    Nuf said

    • Agreed. His resume is a P5 resume. We’d be lucky to have him here again. I talked to John Palumbo’s dad at Heater’s first Cherry and White game and he said: “Mike, as good as Golden was and he was, this is a national championship staff and the kids are blown away to be playing for these coaches.” Heater was the DC on a national championship team. For him to come to Temple after that boggles the mind. Helluva staff. Daz was probably not cut out to be a HC but he certainly was an all-world OL coach and Scot Loeffler was a great QB coach for Tim Tebow (and a pretty good offensive coordinator for Temple.). They were big time when they got here and all were pretty humble and Heater especially loved the city.

  2. Has a new RB coach been hired yet, I know there have been a couple of announcements that have fallen through for one reason or another

    • Pretty sure he has but I’d rather have a stud RB than a stud RB coach. If Al Golden can be HC and handle the special teams for a year (and he did), Drayton can be CEO and RB coach at the same time.

  3. Heater would be a great replacement at DC if he is still looking to coach at 70. While I wasn’t a fan of his as HC, I saw that Geoff Collins was in the area recently, think it was posted on the Temple fan FB page, what about Collins as a potential DC candidate. Also, since you mentioned Snow, could he be another possibility if he hasn’t retired after Carolina.
    On another coaching topic, has a new RB coach been officially hired? There had been a couple of announcements recently that feel through for one reason or another.

    • Heater would be a much better fit with Drayton than Collins. He’s worked not only with Smith at CSU but worked with Urban Meyer (as Drayton did). Plus, I can spot a phony a mile away and Collins is a phony. Drayton, Antoine Smith and Chuck Heater are genuine real deals.

  4. Stunning. Snake bitten, the timing on this sucks. All the good DC candidates are gone. Heater and Snow are too old, forget about ’em.

    TUFB needs a break…, broken track report just when the train is about to leave the station.

  5. Temple just never gets a break (timing of DC leaving) but they don’t create breaks for themselves very well either.

  6. I’m sure head coaches working in the situation where their assistants get poached have a list of replacements in their desk drawer. Saban should give clinics on replacing assistants.

    AAC AD’s should have one as well for head coaches. One good season and odds are better than even that you’ll be looking for a new HC.

  7. Word is Heater has low interest in a full time, on field role at this stage.

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