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.

Drayton seems to have won half the battle

Chuck Heater was so popular with Temple players he received this post-game Gatoraid shower after leading the Owls to their first bowl win in 30 years.

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.

Chuck Heater went over to Marshall and had success after leaving Temple

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

Current Staff? Meh ….


This is the resume Nick Rapone could have brought to Temple.

Everything in life is a trade-off and, so it is with Temple football coaching staffs as this story illustrates.

“My son said, ‘Dad, it’s like Night and Day between this staff and Al Golden’s staff,’ “ John Palumbo’s father told me during Steve Addazio’s first Cherry and White Day. “He said, Dad, these guys are all National Championship coaches. They know what they are doing.”


Palumbo knew what he was talking about. He started at center for both Golden’s last team and Addazio’s first team. Daz took Golden’s talent and made it a bowl-winning team.

Golden was the great CEO-type, someone with a binder full of recruiting contacts up and down the East Coast and nobody was more well-equipped to stock the Temple roster with the talent it needed to succeed—if not win—the MAC.

Addazio was the ambitious successor, a guy who supposedly loved the macaroni and South Philly Italian food so much that he would stay here 10 years. We later found out what he was, a bull-bleeper who could sell snowballs to the Eskimos. In that sense, Daz bought an all-star staff with him to Philadelphia—the defensive coordinator at Florida, Chuck Heater, and Scot Loeffler, a damn good offensive coordinator.


They were a good sight better than Mark D’Onofrio and Matt Rhule, Golden’s last coordinators but part of the price of bringing that kind of talent to Philadelphia was that Daz probably promised that he would take them along to a P5 stop in a year or two.

When the Owls hired Geoff Collins from Florida, I had a feeling it would be more like a Daz hire than a Golden or Rhule hire in that he’d poach the Florida staff of a couple of top position coaches with a promise of making them coordinators here. No such luck. The only person he poached from the Gators was the equipment manager.

It wasn’t what I expected.

You get what you pay for. Two days after he was hired, Steve Addazio wooed his buddy, then Florida national championship co-defensive coordinator (really, THE guy according to Urban Meyer), Chuck Heater. Temple paid Mark D’Onofrio $200,000 to be DC in the 2010 season. Daz convinced Lewis Katz, his guy, to kick in an extra $200K to secure the services of Heater. Katz is gone and probably so are the days of Temple outbidding P5 teams for any assistant football coach’s services. Heater loved it here, biked every day from Center City to 10th and Diamond and had a good relationship with many Temple fans, big donors and small.

Now, we have an offensive coordinator from Coastal Carolina, a defensive coordinator from Kennesaw State and position coaches from West Alabama and Georgia State. It’s particularly sad in that Nick Rapone, a former FCS defensive coordinator of the year who spent the last few years with Bruce Arians with the Arizona Cardinals, expressed an interest in the DC job after Taver Johnson left. So did Temple legend Kevin Ross, who was the DB coach with the NFL team.

Instead of NFL guys, we have Kennesaw State and West Alabama guys. Not the kind of resumes that will make sons of the current Owls tell their fathers that the Rhule and Phil Snow did not know what they were doing.

Maybe the trade-off is a little more loyalty for fewer wins. Give me consistent wins on Saturday or any day of the week against mediocre 7-6 records and loyalty every year of the decade. I know I would have them with guys like Scot Loeffler, Chuck Heater, Nick Rapone and Kevin Ross.

These small school guys?

Not so much.

Friday: Developmental Program?


Rolovich gone, Heater not forgotten

Nick Rolovich’s decision was a case of Reno 911 meeting 10th and Diamond.

With the announcement yesterday that Nick Rolovich was staying at Nevada comes the news today that Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater is leaving for Marshall.
Both developments, while disappointing, are not surprising.
We speculated in this spot a week ago that Chuck was going to Marshall and this is what we said when Rolovich was rumored to come to Temple as offensive coordinator:

I’ll believe Rolovich comes when I see him on North Broad Street. It might be a culture shock for someone who has worked in Hawaii and near Vegas the last two years to work at 10th and Diamond.

I published those words on this site Dec. 28. My instincts proved to be correct.
Rolovich was offered a double-salary pay raise to stay in Nevada.
Good for him. He’s got twins on the way and doesn’t want to uproot his family.
Plus, it’s better he decides now than sometime mid-way through the season. After all, 10th and Diamond isn’t for everybody. Scot Loeffler was the consummate professional while here and did a great job as offensive coordinator in 2011, but I could tell his heart wasn’t into being here.
Fortunately, Matt Rhule’s heart is into it and that should bode well for the make-up of the balance of the staff.

He was one of the best defensive coordinators I’ve ever seen at Temple. Nick Rapone was the best, Chuck was the second, Vince Hoch was the third and Mark D’Onofrio was a distant fourth.

I’m sure Marcus Satterfield will do a fine job as offensive coordinator. There will not be a search for a coordinator on offense. Satterfield will be the guy.
I don’t watch too much television, but one of the few channels I do get is the Comedy one and, while The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (my favorite) was off the air last month, I watched a couple of episodes of (awful) Reno 911.
The only thing that made me laugh about that show was imagining how long those cops would last at 10th and Diamond.
Two minutes.
Chuck, though, was another story altogether.
He loved living in Philadelphia, loved Temple, and was a terrific person to be around.
He was one of the best defensive coordinators I’ve ever seen at Temple.
Nick Rapone was the best, Chuck was the second, Vince Hoch was the third and Mark D’Onofrio was a distant fourth.
Like Nick, Chuck was as humble as they come.
After he made the second-half adjustments to shut out a UConn team that beat Louisville, I found myself standing next to Chuck in the parking lot while waiting for the guys to board the buses. He had a big smile on his face while watching the whole scene.   I turned to him said: “I don’t know what you did or said at halftime, but you are a genius.”
“It wasn’t me,” Chuck said, “It was the boys.”
That will be my lasting memory of Chuck at Temple.

What’s Up With Chuck and Marshall matters?

Doesn’t seem right if Chuck Heater goes from Temple to Marshall.

Over the past few days, we’ve heard some positive developments along the coaching front at Temple University.
Matt Rhule became a full-time coach four days ago and that’s a big plus, a couple of days after hiring an offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, who many believe will be a future great head coach at the BCS level.
That leaves me with one question and one question only:
What’s up with Chuck?

Marshall website added this tidbit four hours ago.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him. Hopefully, he’s working on that now and that will be wrapped up in a couple of days.
I’m getting a little nervous because I saw running backs coach Tyree Foreman and Ed Foley at the Rhule press conference and  I did not see Chuck Heater.
Usually, that’s a bad sign but Steve Addazio hired Don Brown to be his defensive coordinator and Heater is a defensive coordinator and I’d doubt he’d go to BC to take a demotion.
From all accounts, Heater loves Philadelphia and loves Temple.
Still, Heater has plenty of contacts in the business who would like to lure him elsewhere.
One of those is Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, who worked with Heater in Florida.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him

Holliday tried to get Heater when Daz took him the first time and now it looks like, according to a Thundering Hurd website, the doctor has written a prescription with Heater’s name on it again.
Can’t blame Chuck for wanting to work with a guy who he worked a long time at Florida with but Chuck also worked with Matt for a year and Temple and knows that Matt is a tremendous guy, too.
Whatever happens, and we hope Chuck stays, we wish him the best. Unlike Daz, who I won’t miss even a little bit, I will miss Chuck Heater a lot. Always a great guy to talk with at any Temple function and  I really enjoyed talking with him in the parking lot after the UConn game.
If Chuck leaves, though, hopefully Rhule takes a serious look at current University of Delaware DC Nick Rapone, who is past FCS coordinator of the year and a former DC at Temple under Bruce Arians. The bright lights and the big city and big-time football won’t affect Rapone, who has coached not only at Temple but at Pitt. He’s also written six books on defensive football, all available on DVD.
Plus, if you are going to have a Nick as OC you might as well have one as DC.
Rapone’s daughter currently is a college student.
She could have gone anywhere, but she’s at Temple.

Former Temple Owls talk Nick Rapone:

Rhule’s complete staff is …

BREAKING NEWS: Nick Rolovich accepts position as Temple offensive coordinator as of 6:30 p.m. Saturday night … as Tyler Haddock-Jones might say … #geniuses ..

The Wisconsin football website “Bucky’s 5th Quarter” has high praise for Rolovich.

Nick Rolovich

The most agonizing thing out of Matt Rhule’s first few days as Temple head coach has to be the delay in the staff hiring announcements, which has to be expected.
The fans want to hear who now and that’s just not happening.
After all, Rhule’s got a job to finish at New York first.
Yet, if we are to believe the recruits, they seem to know who the assistants will be and they are not telling.
One of them, Tyler Haddock-Jones, used the hashtag #geniuses to describe the staff Rhule is assembling (see post below). He tweeted that he got off the phone with Rhule at 1:23 on Sunday afternoon and that Rhule told him what the staff would be then.
Haddock-Jones must have been impressed or maybe he’s just easily impressed.
We should find out one or the other in the next few days.
So far, two assistants have been named and while both appear to be solid hires, I wouldn’t use the hashtag #geniuses next to either one. Brandon Noble is going to be defensive line coach, while Rhule hired a guy from Tennessee Chattanoga, Marcus Satterfield,  to be an offensive coach in some capacity.
Of course, there are more announcements forthcoming and I would use the hashtag #geniuses next to these two:

Genius, miracle-worker, same thing.

Heater, for obvious reasons well-documented here. He’s been an outstanding defensive coach everywhere he’s been and his 2011 Temple defense might have been one of the school’s best ever. It’s not his fault two of his starting defensive linemen were suspended or that his defensive ends lacked closing speed on the quarterback. A 3-4 defense utilizing linebackers as pass rushers would fix that problem until the Owls can recruit some stud sackers. Love to see Heater retained.
Rolovich’s pistol offense would work well at Temple. Chris Coyer was not the same quarterback in 2012 as he was in 2011 simply because Scot Loeffler wasn’t around to utilize he talents.
If Coyer can get out of a pass rush and throw on the run, that makes him a more effective dual-threat. The same can be said for Juice Granger and Kevin Newsome, who have similar skill sets.
I’ll believe Rolovich comes when I see him on North Broad Street. It might be a culture shock for someone who has worked in Hawaii and near Vegas the last two years to work at 10th and Diamond. Still, it can’t be too different from the Gainesville to Philly trip Heater enjoyed and, from all accounts, is apparently enjoying.
We don’t know yet if Rolovich and Heater are in the fold or will be in the fold, but if they join Rhule the staff IQ goes up exponentially and Haddock-Jones can use that hashtag without fear of contradiction.

Five things I want under the E-O Tree

According to at least one recruit, Matt Rhule is putting together an all-star staff.

Hate to make rash judgments, but I saw enough of Nick Foles over the last few weeks to know one thing: The guy would make a good NFL backup, but he’s not a starting quarterback in this league.
Nick Foles can’t play.
He reminds me of a more polished Vaughn Charlton.

Owls need a DE with a game to
match a game face.

 Saw enough of him that I was jumping around on the TV at the gym yesterday and settled on the movie “Lord of the Rings: Helms Deep.”
Then I saw exactly what the Temple defense needs: An Aragorn. The guy chopped off more heads than King Henry VIII and that was just with one swing.
That’s just the type of defensive end Temple football needs right now, a Warrior who doesn’t use excuses like “getting injured” or “lack of foot speed” for not getting to the quarterback.
If I had a dollar for the “almost” sacks of John Youboty, I’d be a rich man. Youboty was a split-second late on a lot of would-be sacks that became touchdown passes (Matt McGloin’s long one in the PSU game immediately comes to mind).

 Temple needs a DE, preferably two, who routinely chops off quarterback’s heads, at least figuratively.

Mum is the word with Tyler Haddock-Jones, but
he’s excited about the new staff after talking with
Matt Rhule  at 1:22 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

I’m starting to warm up to the idea of Matt Rhule as Temple’s head coach because the recruits and other coaches like him so much and because he’s so connected to the available talent out there. If Rhule has to dip into the JUCO ranks to get a guy with an Aragorn motor, so be it.
 I don’t think the kid currently is on the roster.
 Four other things I want to see under the Edberg-Olson Football Complex tree soon:
2) A practice bubble
 It’s ridiculous that Temple has to travel to the Nova Care Center to practice in inclement weather. Here’s hoping a temporary structure at least can be put up immediately until funds for a more permanent one can be located. The week before the Louisville game, the Owls missed a whole day of practice time due to Hurricane Sandy and that certainly didn’t help.
 3) Chuck Heater wrapped up as DC
 I know a lot of people were down on him at the end of the season, but he had absolutely no pass rush and, without a pass rush, you can’t have a pass defense. When you look at his body of work wherever he’s been, if he’s not the best defensive coordinator in the country he’s right up there. Indications, though, are that Heater will be around. One of the Temple recruits tweeted that he “talked to coach Rhule about the staff” and he’s stoked about Rhule’s impeding announcements, calling the group “geniuses.” Genius is always the first word that comes up in my mind when I think of Chuck Heater.
 4) Size on the lines 
Steve Addazio did a lot of things half-hazardly as Temple’s head coach, but none more than recruiting. He would recruit an inordinate amount of small guys and that really took its toll on the field of play this year with bigger lines pushing the Owls around. It’s nice to get smaller-size guys with heart, but it’s even nice to get larger-size guys with heart. Something tells me Rhule will restore some sanity to the overall recruiting model.
5) Another quarterback 
Right now the Owls are down to one recruit, P.J. Walker. P.J., I think, is going to be a great one but consider this: He’s the only true QB in the entire program after the 2013 season. The Owls need to sign another big-time arm now.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas everyone and wouldn’t it be great if the football team could do to Notre Dame what the basketball team did to Syracuse?
(Nah, I haven’t been dipping into the egg nog early, if that’s what you are thinking.)

Exchange between Idaho fans on Scout.com board:

Dead period: We’re still alive


“What are you doing here?” Coughlin asked Rhule. “Go home.”
“Well, coach I have a lot of things I have to do yet.”
“No, go home. Your family comes first.”

Is it the end of the world if there is no Temple football news?
No, thank God.
Fortunately, as we learned this morning, the abacus used by the Mayans for their calculations was just a little, hopefully a lot, off.
On Monday, Temple head coach Matt Rhule said this would be a “dead period” but he was referring to the recruiting world. No contact with recruits is allowed until the end of the holiday period.
I love reading the gossip column by Dan Gross in the Philadelphia Daily News but his last column of the calendar year was Dec. 15. Since Tom Cushman, Mark Whicker, Gary Smith, Ray Didinger and Stan Hochman left the DN, Gross’ column is the first thing I turn to in my DN.
There’s nothing grabs my attention in that sports section anymore.
If they were on top of things, and they aren’t, they’d interrupt eight pages of their non-stop ad naseum Philadelphia Eagles’ coverage for a story on Rhule’s developing staff.
In the absence of hard news, substantive rumors will have to suffice.
The latest “Gross-like” gossip is defensive coordinator Chuck Heater stays in his current position and adds the title “assistant head coach” to the job description. I think that’s quite likely and Heater’s retention would be welcome news. The first sign that was going to happen was that Chuck remained at Temple to both interview for the head coaching position and keep the recruits together.
Like most things he does, Heater performed those duties flawlessly.

Bill Cubit made it to the semifinals in 2010, not the finals.

The second sign was that Steve Addazio hired Don Brown as his defensive coordinator. Hopefully, Heater told Daz he was planning to stay at Temple before that.
When Temple beat UConn, 17-14, and shut out the Huskies in the second half, I found myself standing next to Chuck by one of the buses post-game.
“I don’t know what you did or said at halftime, but you are a genius,” I told him.
“No, it wasn’t me, it was the boys,” Heater said. (Yes, Chuck did use the word boys.)
In my mind, Heater was the best defensive coordinator in the country in the 2011 season. Temple finished third in the nation in scoring defense, behind only Alabama and LSU. Temple did not have Alabama and LSU talent.
I saw a lot of Temple’s defensive problems in 2012 as being Daz-oriented.
A nonsensical run-first, second and third approach resulted in a lot of three-and-outs and a tired defense. Two suspensions to linemen gutted front five depth. Daz kept the team’s potentially best defensive player (in my mind, at least) on the bench as a Scout team quarterback.
Bringing Heater back and giving him Kevin Newsome and allowing him to work out the X’s and O’s of a 3-4 defense would be a big plus for Temple.

Future Owl kicker Jim Cooper, Jr. in this week’s SI.

Another lively development in the dead period was future Owl kicker Jim Cooper, Jr. featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd. He’s the first  future Temple football player featured there since Kevin Harvey played at Paulsboro. You are not likely to read about that development in the Daily News, either.
The latest offensive coordinator rumor has former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit, the former OC at Rutgers, coming home to Sharon Hill and helping Rhule out. I like that move, if it happens.
Cubit is an offensive mastermind and would allow Rhule to concentrate on being team CEO, which is really a full-time job.
Speaking of that, hate to say it, Matt, but I’m rooting against the Giants the next two weeks.
In the presser Monday, Rhule told a story about his wife getting sick and Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin telling him to leave and go home.
“What are you doing here?” Coughlin asked Rhule. “Go home.”
“Well, coach I have a lot of things I have to do yet.”
“No, go home. Your family comes first.”
Well, Temple is his family now.
Somehow, I think the Giants can get along for the final two games without an assistant offensive line coach. Heck, the Eagles fired almost their entire staff over the last few weeks and they seem to be doing just fine.
Err, maybe that’s a bad example but you get my drift.

Five Rhule changes

“You know, coach Rhule, the thing I like most about here is our TEMPLE helmets.”

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
There are exceptions and rainy days and Mondays when Temple replaces a 4-7 coach stubbornly stuck in his losing ways with hope and change is definitely one of them.
I wrote this on the first Sunday in December:

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Daz would concoct a harebrained, one-dimensional, offensive scheme that would lead to so many three-and-outs and put Temple’s defense in an impossible position. The question then becomes, “Do you see him as a reasonable person open to change or a stubborn former offensive lineman who wants to run the ball all the time?”

In my heart, I knew what the answer to that question was and I thought Temple would be stuck with that guy, Temple Football Forever as it were.
Now, through some miracle, Steve Addazio is gone.
Matt Rhule represents that hope and change and he will be introduced today at a 2 p.m. press conference (Howard Gittis Room, Liacouras Center).
Rhule wasn’t my first choice, but he is Bill Bradshaw’s and I hope he’s the best one.
I can see him making five “Rhule Changes” that could both work and be popular with Temple Nation, as Al Golden used to call it:

2011’s best DC in the country.

1) Four and three minus 3 and 4
No, that’s not some mathematical formula. Somehow, due to a couple of suspensions and over-recruiting at a position, Temple has about eight linebackers who are able to play at a high level of FBS football and about half of that number of quality defensive linemen. Go from the 5-2s and the 4-3s of the past to, at least temporarily, a 3-4 defense. That gets a lot of playmakers on the field and gives the DC an option to blitz a couple of LBs and keep a couple more in pass coverage. I’d love to see Chuck Heater, who I called the best defensive coordinator in the country a year ago, stay and work out those Xs and Os. If not, former Temple DC Nick Rapone, who is Delaware’s defensive coordinator and three-time National DC of the year in FCS football, is available (and his daughter goes to Temple).

2) Binder of men
Mitt Romney had “Binders of Women.” Al Golden had his binder of men. I asked Golden what was in his binder once and he said he had how to run a program, down from hiring the grad assistants to how to recruit. Golden always believed in recruiting a “team” of 25 guys, one for each position, including specialists, every year. I always thought that was sound thinking. Steve Addazio flew from the seat of his pants on a lot of things and one of them was recruiting, which explains why Temple had eight good linebackers and not enough good linemen this year. Somehow, I think Rhule will adopt Golden’s binder philosophy.

3) Best athletes on the field
Since Matt last left us, Temple was able to recruit one of the best athletes in FBS football, former Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome. For reasons known only to Addazio, Newsome was kept holding a clipboard on the sideline and running the scout team offense. Meanwhile, the back line of the Temple defense was dreadful. Newsome was only a first-team All-State defensive back in Virginia, along with his national top 5 quarterbacking skills. If Newsome is going to be third-team QB again, he deserves a chance to play defense. He’s only 6-3, 215, runs a 4.5 40 and has a 37-inch vertical leap and good ball skills. Somehow, call me crazy, I think the back line of the defense improves with a talent like that.

Hands off my helmet, baldy

4) The King Solomon Solution
After Addazio ditched the most distinctive and, in my mind best, helmet in college football history, I ran a poll  on this site. Overwhelmingly, Temple fans wanted the TEMPLE helmet back but there was a minority who liked the T and had good reasons, too. I’m in favor of splitting this baby right down the middle and the beauty of this solution is that nobody gets hurt. TEMPLE on one side. T on the other side. That way, you get the Temple University brand out there (T) and the Temple football brand (TEMPLE) on the field together.

5) Elephant in the Room
I think the issue of stability and depending on a coach long-term should and will be addressed today and I hope Matt does just that. I grew up as a Temple fan watching Harry Litwack, who was here for decades, Skip Wilson who was here for decades and John Chaney and Wayne Hardin who had double-digit-year runs as Temple coaches. All of those coaches loved Temple enough to make long-term commitments. They “got” Temple, as does current hoop coach Fran Dunphy. If there’s are two common threads there those are loyalty and success. All those coaches as successful as they were loyal. Only lately, and only in football, has the position of head coach become a revolving door. That Elephant needs to addressed and I’m confident it will.
If Matt Rhule becomes as successful and as loyal as Litwack, Wilson, Chaney, Hardin and Dunphy, today will be one of the great days in Temple sports history.

Tomorrow: Complete coverage of the Matt Rhule Press Conference

Our picks: Lembo, Bowles, Rhule (in that order)

BREAKING NEWS: CBS Sports and Owlscoop.com are now reporting as of Thursday night it’s down to Rhule or D’Onofrio … God help Temple if it’s D’Onofrio, whose Miami defense was ranked No. 118 of 120 FBS teams in 2012 …

Todd Bowles, because he represents the diversity this university  is all about and  proudly rocks the Temple colors and has a winning head-coaching record in the NFL, should be named the next Temple coach if it’s between him and Rhule. I think it might go to Matt Rhule , though.

Lembo and Cristobal have “home run” power while Bowles and Rhule, at best, are gap hitters and it’s more likely that Bowles or Rhule will strike out or pop up than the other two guys

Getting information from inside the walls of Temple athletics is almost impossible.
Bill Bradshaw runs a tight ship and that approach has navigated Temple through some troubled waters in the big-time college football world.
I’m OK with that because of the nice ports this trip has taken Temple fans of their major sports.
He hired “the most underrated head coach in college basketball” in his old baseball infield mate at LaSalle, Fran Dunphy.
He hired a program-builder without peer in Al Golden who lifted the Temple football program off the scrap heap and into respectability.
Love him or leave him (cough, leave him), Steve Addazio was able to talk his way into two high-profile jobs after Florida and was able to take Golden’s talent and win Temple its first bowl game in 30 years.
Addazio might have done Temple a huge favor by leaving after this  4-7 disaster.
That’s 3 for 3 and the best Bradshaw hit at LaSalle was .312, so I’ve got to like him better as an AD than a lead-off hitter.

Bradshaw’s track record is good, so I’m OK with his stealth methods.
The latest news is that Temple fans may have to wait until next week to learn of a new coach.
In the meantime, all we can do is read between the scraps of information we’re able to get out of Broad Street.
Reading the tea leaves, as it were.
We’ve learned that early last week Bradshaw called a current NFL and former Temple player and asked him who he would chose between Matt Rhule and Mark D’Onofrio, two former Temple coaches.
The player said without a doubt Rhule.

That was before Eagles’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles entered the picture and I’m told Bowles is now considered a very serious candidate.
Former Florida International University coach Mario Cristobal already interviewed, as did current Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. No confirmed status on two great head coaches already available, Dave Clawson of Bowling Green or Pete Lembo of Ball State.
My choices are Lembo first, Clawson second and Cristobal third simply because they have taken FBS teams to bowls as head coaches. They would remove all the guesswork about how they will do at Temple simply because they’ve done it as a head coach before.
I’m thinking, though, that Temple will hire someone like Rhule or Bowles because this delay speaks more to Rhule and Bowles finishing their NFL games this week. If you are into conspiracy theories, and I’m not, you might guess the delay might have something to do with new Temple president Dr. Neil D. Theobald, an Indiana guy, flying out to the Hoosier state to try to convince either Colts’ head coach Bruce Arians or Lembo to take the job. Arians might win the Super Bowl, so that’s not happening but I would gladly take Lembo instead.
Borrowing a phrase from Facebook friend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo “gun to my head” Bowles gets the job. (I wrote this Thursday afternoon and still believe Todd should get the job over Matt Rhule or Mark D’Onofrio for a multitude of reasons.) The reasoning will be that Temple is looking for stability in the position above all and Bowles will beat out Rhule based on his small sampling (2-1 record) as an NFL head coach. Plus, he has OWL in the middle of his name and the marketing people love that kind of stuff.
That said, I’d rather see either Lembo or Cristobal sitting there at the presser on Monday. To use a baseball phrase Bradshaw might understand, Lembo and Cristobal have “home run” power while Bowles and Rhule, at best, are gap hitters and it’s more likely that Bowles or Rhule will strike out or pop up than the other two guys.
That would make it 3 for 4 for Bradshaw.
Good enough?
Yes, in baseball, but maybe not athletic administration.