The Drafted Temple Guys

 

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Two of these guys (9 and 7) got drafted by the NFL

The curious case of Bryon Cowart illustrated just what a strange draft this was for the Temple guys picked in by NFL teams over a very long weekend.

Michael Dogbe, 6-3, 284, who was the most dominant player on the field in a 35-14 win over Maryland last fall, slipped to the seventh round and was chosen by the Arizona Cardinals. Dogbe had 72 tackles, including 12.5 for losses, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. He ran a 4.94 40-yard dash on Temple’s pro day.

Cowart, who was MIA against Temple, was picked in the fifth round by the New England Patriots. Cowart, also pretty much the same size (6-3, 298),  had 38 tackles, no sacks and ran a 5.16 40-yard dash.

You guess who the most impactful player in the NFL will be over the next few years. My money is with Dogbe.

Without getting into boring rep details on the lifts, Dogbe’s strength numbers also dwarfed those of Cowart.

To me, what you do on the field is the most important thing and Dogbe excelled there, especially in the head-to-head matchup at Byrd Stadium.

Rock Ya-Sin went, as expected, in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts so there can be no complaints there.

The other Rock, Armstead, is another story entirely.

The Eagles saw fit to pick Penn State’s Miles Sanders ahead of Armstead in the second round, even though Armstead is faster (4.45 at the combine to 4.49) and had 1,078 yards in 10 games while it took Sanders 13 games to accumulate his 1,274 yards. Plus, Armstead scored 13 touchdowns in those 10 games versus Sanders’ nine in 13.

That’s a much closer call than the Dogbe/Cowart comparison because Armstead has a longer history of being hurt at Temple than Sanders did at Penn State. A strong case can be made that since Sanders has less tread on his tires than Armstead, the Eagles made a better pick.

Fortunately, all of these players will get their chances (as will some Temple undrafted FAs as well, including Delvon Randall, who hitched on with the Eagles) but, to me, Dogbe is the one playing with the biggest chip on his shoulder and those guys usually do very well in the NFL.

Friday: Shot Chart

Fizzy’s Corner: The Green Monster

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Fizzy here at the Boca Raton Bowl, where 6,000-plus Temple fans attended and because of this Independence Bowl fiasco that might be the last time where Temple has more than a hundred fans at any bowl game.

Editor’s Note: Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub, a former Temple player, brings up the interesting concept in this piece that can simply be boiled down to this: If you are going to have a bowl game with no Temple head coach, no Temple star players, then get ready for no Temple fans in the future. 

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Our two best players quit. Our best offensive player, Ryquell Armstead, and our best cornerback, Rock Ya-Sin, who was supposed to cover Duke’s best receiver, both quit and didn’t play in the bowl game.  Instead of coming clean, coach Ed Foley came up with some claptrap about this was a medical staff decision.  If you believed that, then you must also believe that the Eagles’ Jim Schwartz is a great defensive coordinator.

Why?

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Temple fans were not happy with the two Rocks

Both players accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl on January 26th, and Rock will also play in the East/West game on January 19th. That’s why they declined to play; it’s called the green flu.  I sure it’s because they thought they might get hurt and ruin their chances to be highly drafted by the NFL.  Two tough as nails football players let their brothers down after fighting with them through thick and thin. If you don’t think that had a major effect on the outcome of the game, you’re just naive.

I was at a friend’s house watching the game ( I left after the third quarter.), and when I got home I told my wife what happened.  My wife knows very little about college football, but Cheryl’s first words were, “Why does that surprise you?  Their coach quit.”  Yes indeed, their coach did quit as did the previous three before him. Is it any wonder it was only a matter of time before this, me first – screw you, attitude filtered down to the players.  Thinking back to the guys I played with, it’s unimaginable to me that a teammate would do this.  But then again, I’m now sure I’m the one who’s naive.

As far as the coaching, well, I’m so pissed right now that the coaching seems relatively unimportant.  The butchering of the last sequence of plays right before the end of the first half with three timeouts left should go down in the hall of shame. Slowing down the blitzing in the second half only allowed a great pro prospect QB all the time in the world to catch fire.  Of course, we dropped untold passes.

So in college football, the coaches quit on their teams, and now seniors quit on their teams.  When is it our turn?  It’s been sixty years of Temple football for me now. Maybe it’s time I say, “Fer who, fer what?”  How about those who spent a few grand to travel to the game, only to see a half-assed effort?  What about the undecided recruits? Major college football is now as much “pay to play” as the NFL.  I wanna go back to the last century.

P.S. The only good news, was great news. Marc Narducci reports unsubstantiated sources say that Temple’s offensive coordinator, Dave Patenaude, is going to Georgia Tech with Geoff Collins.  Thank you, oh great omnipotent being.  Maybe our Broad Street Offense can become the Philly Soft Pretzel Offense, under the new guy. (You want some mustard on that?)

Wednesday: The Cleanup Begins

 

Winning Is the Only Thing

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TU played like walk-ons, Duke like scholarship players

In a far-off, long-ago era of football, Vince Lombardi probably had the best quote in the history of the sport:

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

The great ex-Green Bay Packers’ head coach, if he were still alive, probably would have repeated his second most famous quote during Temple’s meltdown in a 56-27 loss to Duke yesterday:

“What the hell is going on out there?”

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Good words, Vince, that perfectly described an Independence Bowl where the wheels came off for a 3.5-point favorite.

The quotes are reminders to me of a conversation the other day I had with an otherwise sane and rational Temple fan on my decision not to attend this bowl.

“C’mon, down, Mike,” he said, “bowls are about the pageantry and the band, not really about the game itself.”

“Huh? If I’m going down, I’m going down to win. I don’t give a whit (minus the W) about the pageantry. The only reason I go down is to see Temple win and there’s too much uncertainty and I would be way too pissed off if I spent that much money to see a loss.”

All that said, the night before the game I wrote this nugget:

“If Temple controls the clock behind Ryquell Armstead and Russo is effective in the short passing game, (Duke quarterback) Jones won’t be able to do too much damage.”

To me, there was no doubt Armstead would play. He was quoted as saying on Dec. 17 that he was excited to play “one last time with my brothers” and participated in every practice, several of them full contact. He was listed as “probable.” What did he do in the minutes before the game, trip over the Elvis Pressley statue? This news completely came out of the blue.

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Both cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and Armstead did not play and interim head coach Ed Foley said those were for “medical reasons.” Photos, though, of the two showed them smiling (not grimacing) before the game, so who the hell knows? All I know is that Armstead was a warrior who wanted to come back into the ECU game (and did) despite a sprained ankle and he looked a helluva lot better walking around the sidelines yesterday than he did that day in October.

Jones, the Duke quarterback who is a far better prospect than Armstead or Ya-Sin, did play “one last game” with his brothers and that set the tone for the entire day.

Do I think Temple would have benefited from having Armstead in there to run the ball with a 27-14 lead in the second quarter? Hell yes. Do I think he would have scored the six touchdowns that he did against Houston? Hell no, but three would have done the job and 30 carries would have kept the ball away from Jones for 30 plays. Play-action would have aided quarterback Anthony Russo if he had Armstead to put the ball in the belly of and pull it out.

Do I think Ya-Sin would have batted down a couple of those Jones’ touchdown passes?

Hell yes.

Football is a team game and the next man should step up but Temple had no “next man” nearly as capable as those two. Maybe part of their decision had to do with coaches coming and going at Temple, but it still sucks.  Ed Foley is now 0-2. He talks a good game but I’d rather see actions than words. I always have.

This is what bowl season at Temple has come to, though. Maybe forever. Maybe just for the foreseeable future:  Decide to go down to see the band, go to pre-game events and walk around a small town in the middle of nowheresville but don’t be upset if Temple losses the game.

No thanks.

I feel most sorry for all of those Temple fans who paid their hard-earned money thinking they would see the full Temple team for one more time.

Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. My good Temple friend can go down for the pageantry and the sightseeing next year, but it will be a hard pass for me unless it’s an NY6 game and everyone from Temple from the head coach to the waterboy is 100 percent committed to winning.

Sunday: Fizzy on The Green Flu

Wednesday: Some New Year’s Resolutions for Manny Diaz

Friday: Infante Impact

Sunday: Comparing First Years

Tuesday: (1/9): Pressing Needs

Thursday (1/11): Impact of Bowl Loss on Future

Spring (Practice) Is In the Air

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This is what will be on the ground for the first day of spring practice

Like last year’s Temple football team for instance, the last month of weather has been a tease. Those back-to-back 77-degree days of late February have been replaced by some brutal cold since. Since last year ended OK (not great), we’ll say by Cherry and White Day it will be nice and warm.

We think.

The calendar says the Owls start spring practice tomorrow, but it won’t look that way. Spring practice is in the air. Spring, on the other hand, seems a long way away.

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At least the new indoor facility is the equal to anything a P5 team has.

Either way, the Temple Owls’ football team will have to deal with the 1-3 inches on the ground or move the first practices of the “spring” a couple of blocks away to the spectacular new $50 million Aramark Star Facility at 15th and Montgomery.

That’s a call for head coach Geoff Collins to make, though.

Bruce Arians used to come to Geasey Field on spring practice days—there was no indoor facility back then—and open with “get your work done” in that Southern accent he developed while a player at Virginia Tech, even though he was from York, Pa.

Either in rain, sleet or snow, the Owls have a lot of work to do to address these questions (in no particular order):

What will Trad Beatty’s role be?

The super quarterback recruit from South Carolina obviously is a Dave Patenaude favorite but, in the entire history of Group of Five football, no true freshman starter has led his team to a G5 league championship. That factor has to be weighed in the development of Beatty and the goal of the Owls to win the 2018 AAC title, just like they did the 2016 one. In Frank Nutile, they have a bowl-winning quarterback and a guy who has the best passing stats in the nation against a rush. Juice will be awfully tough to beat out.

Who are the defensive backfield replacements?

The Owls lose three of their four starters at the key positions of cornerback and safety. The only returner is first-team AAC safety Delvon Randall. They will have to plug around the edges. The speedy Linwood Crump Jr. has the inside track on the left corner spot, while the right corner spot will probably be occupied by Rock Ya-Sin, a first-team All Big South performer who had more interceptions against Wake Forest (one) in 2016 than the whole Temple AAC championship team did.

Other than Ya-Sin, who starts immediately?

My money is on Nickolas Madourie, an incoming junior college transfer from Dakota College at Bottineau in North Dakota. Shortly after former Central Florida coach Scott Frost took the same position at the University of Nebraska earlier this month, Madourie rescinded his verbal commitment from the Knights. Madourie had 45 tackles during his recently completed sophomore season, including 17.5 sacks. If the Owls go three wides on offense, look for true freshman Sean Ryan from NYC to join Isaiah Wright and Ventell Bryant. Me, I hope they scrap the three wides, use a tight end (Kenny Yeboah) and a fullback (Rob “Nitro” Ritrovato).

We should find out the answers to those questions by April 14.

Hopefully, by then, spring will have already arrived.

Wednesday: The Greatest Cherry and White Ever