A full day before Manny Diaz was brought to a city he had never been to and probably had no interest even visiting, we wrote this in the comment section of this blog:
And, of course, Temple athletic director Dr. Pat Kraft made that official a little over 24 hours later when the first news leaked out that the Owls had hired the Miami defensive coordinator.
It was a disaster for all the reasons outlined in the illustrated paragraph. Not quite the disaster it would have been if Diaz stayed and coached a year with the Owls, but a disaster nonetheless.
This week’s sick feeling revolves around Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Maybe Pepto Bismol will help. The divining rod seems to be pointing in that direction, though. Kraft likes shiny coordinators from P5 teams.
Like Diaz, he would be the WORST POSSIBLE selection simply because of the number of returning starters the Owls have–the most they’ve had on both offense and defense since the 2016 championship season–and the learning curve on “how to be a head coach” every newbie to the job has.
Temple has a great quarterback returning in Anthony Russo and enough depth at wide receiver to switch “touchdown-waiting-to-happen” Isaiah Wright to the tailback position he flirted with during a game or two in the 2016 season. They have TWO potential superstars at wide receiver in Sean Ryan and the pride of Cheltenham High, Branden Mack, and a solid tight end in Kenny Yeboah and return most of the offensive line that dominated Houston for 59 points, 35 against Boston College and 49 against ECU. (When you have two star wide receivers and a run game that came up short in the bowl game, time to move the guy you want with the ball in his hands, Wright, to take care of the run game problem.)
On defense, they have Zack Mesday and Quincy Roche returning at the ends, Dan Archibong and Karamo Dioubate to anchor the middle and great linebackers in Shaun Bradley and Chappelle Russell. Linwood Crump mans one corner and Benny Walls and Keyvonne Burton have plenty of experience in the secondary.
This is a team built to win now and doesn’t need the additional handicap of someone who has to learn on the job.
Russo is a classic pro set quarterback with an NFL skill set and bringing in someone who forces that square peg into a run/pass option round hole would be counterproductive. Hopefully, all of this is part of the interview process.
You would think.
For a team like this, getting a guy who has been through the wars making the decisions only a head coach can make really is the best way to help them achieve their potential and that potential is lifting the AAC title trophy at Lincoln Financial Field.
A guy like Lance Leipold would be the best-possible guy to help these kids achieve their dreams. He’s already beaten one September foe, Geoff Collins, and his knowledge of Buffalo would be an immeasurable aid in beating another. Eastern Michigan’s Chris Creighton would also be good and Kraft can’t go wrong by reuniting the long-term staff with their old boss, Al Golden. Michigan DC Don Brown, who has won twice as many games as he has lost as a HC, is also an acceptable option. Another named mentioned on Sunday, Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey, would be nowhere near as attractive as Leipold. Kraft played offensive line at Indiana. Carey played center at the same school. No doubt in my mind they know each other and that might have something to do with it. Geez, wish Pat played with Leipold because Carey is 0-6 in bowl games.
It’s Leipold or Creighton for my taste.
No need for a nightmare like Orlando.
Wednesday: Comparing First Years