# Einstein’s theory of Owl-tivity

Albert Einstein talks Temple football.

Got to wonder what the smartest man in the history of the world would be thinking right now about Temple football.

Since the 30-minute conversation I had with Wayne Hardin on Saturday was pre-game and not post-game and I lost coach Hardin’s number, I can only move on to the second-smartest man, Albert Einstein.

I think our conversation would have gone something like this:

TFF: Mr. Einstein, you saw the Fordham game, how would you fix this Temple team?

AE:  Simple mathematics, my friend. Ten plus 5+5+5 + 20/12 and 20/23=6, maybe 7.

TFF: Huh?

AE: Look, your No. 10 can catch, throw and run, right? You only have him catching once or twice now. That’s just not maximizing his output.  Have him come around — what do you call it?

TFF: The end?

AE: Yes, the end, and have your No. 12 pitch the ball backward to No. 10  five times and then have No. 10 throw the ball. That’s the first part of the five equation.

I guess only Einstein knows Coyer can run, catch and throw.

TFF: What’s the second?

AE: Keep him at, what do you call it, tight end and throw him the ball five times.

TFF: What’s the third?

AE: Have him come around the end and toss it to him like he’s going to throw the ball, but make it a running play behind that  big guy who blocks well — what do you call it?

TFF: A pulling guard?

AE: Yes, a pulling guard. That No. 63, what’s his name?

TFF: Pete White.

AE: Yes,  have No. 10 follow Pete White and take off through the secondary. There you have it: Five throws, five catches and five runs. The defense won’t know what No. 10 is going to do when he’s got the ball in his hands. It’s called deception. Works a lot in all kinds of endeavors. Mix it up. Run these 15 plays alternately with your normal regular plays. What do you call them?

TFF: The Tennessee-Chattanooga plays.

AE: Yes, the Tennessee-Chattanooga plays.

TFF: What’s the 20/12 mean?

AE: Twelve, the man who throws the ball, is your  what?

This could be Khalif Herbin meeting the media on Tuesday and talking about his time in witness protection. It’s been so long since we’ve seen his dynamic skills on the field we forget what he looks like. He’s 100 percent healthy, thank God.

TFF: Quarterback.

AE: Yes,  quarterback. He throws the ball 20 times. He’s pretty good at it. Have him do that about 20 times a game.

TFF: What does the 20/23 mean?

AE:  That number 23 is fast and he’s got some nifty moves. When 12 isn’t throwing the ball, give it to him about the same number of times 12 passes it. Also might help to have 12 drop back, draw the rush to him and then dump it off to 23. What do you call that?

TFF: A screen pass.

AE: Yes, a screen pass. Get No. 23 in space … and I don’t mean intergalactic space — just in the space behind the defenders and watch him go.

TFF: What’s the six, maybe seven, part mean?

AE:  Six wins, maybe seven. But listen. It all starts with getting No. 10 five carries, five passes, five catches. Nothing else works without that baseline formula. That way, you control the ball, create deception, score a lot of points. Let me ask you a question.

TFF: Shoot.

AE: You know about E=MC2, right?

TFF: Yes. It’s your Theory of Relativity.

AE: Yes. Do you have anyone on your team who matches the C part of the equation, someone with the speed of light?

TFF: Nobody that fast, but Khalif Herbin is the closest thing we have and he’s been on the bench.

AE: Well, get him on the field then and isolate him in situations where he can best use that speed, like quick passes and reverse. If he’s having trouble catching the ball, hand it off to him as a change-up running back.

TFF: Got it. Gee, thanks, Mr. Einstein. I’ll get this off to Matt Rhule and Marcus Satterfield as fast as I can. One more question.

AE: Anything.

TFF: What do you do to fix the other side of the ball, what we call the defense?

AE: Tough question. Who do you think I am, Einstein? That’s a joke.

TFF: Yeah, I figured that.

Thursday: Throwback Thursday

## 24 thoughts on “Einstein’s theory of Owl-tivity”

1. Coyer is bigger and faster than Zach Zwinak of Penn State. Line that horse up as a running back and let him rumble. Then bring in Zaire as a change of pace. Coach Ruhle, you have nothing to lose at this point. Your best players have to play the majority of the time. They can’t help from the bench.

• Coyer had 184 yards rushing and over 300 yards passing against Ohio and that Ohio team was no joke. He’s tremendous in the open field. I agree. Get the ball in the hands of our best players. We haven’t been doing that.

• One more thing. Going to a power running scheme will shorten the game, which will keep the defense off the field. At this stage of the season its imperative that the offense take it’s time scoring because the defense has shown itself incapable of stopping any opponent.

2. Michael

Love the articles Mike, But you can’t honestly believe that 5 Coyer passes/game would be beneficial do you? Im sure you’re just saying this tounge-n-cheek because we haven’t done any yet. No other team in America has thrown more than probably 2 passes in a game by a non-QB, and I’m sure there is a reason for that. It no longer becomes a surprise after the 2nd time. Hell, even if Coyer threw it once a game I’m positive every DC from game 6-12 would have already seen it on tape and sniffed it out… oh, that is unless it was in practice and against a Phil Snow defense. Unfortunately we aren’t playing any Phil Snow defenses this year

3. I’m saying give Coyer a run/pass option. The kid has an IQ of 152, which is about 20 points south of Einstein. If the defense comes up to him, dump it over their heads to an open Zaire Williams or Khalif Herbin and just watch those 2 run. If they stay back in pass coverage, take off and use those running instincts that led to 184 yards against Ohio for a big gain. It’s more of a win/win play than any Tennessee-Chattanooga play we’ve run all year.

• vickmike

Even if you only run it once or twice, the defense will have to respect it. So a fake handoff to CC pulls the D towards him, while Reilly rolls the other way for a pass. Off topic: did DeLoatch play against Fordham? I’m disappointed so far in his productivity, thought a big target TE would help a new QB a lot. Also, with small receivers, can we run some slants, ala Welker?

• JLPG

I’ve been hearing this Coyer arguement for days now. It doesn’t seem to be part of the Temple offensives plan. Whether its right or wrong, I don’t know. Temple defensively is and will continue to be my main focus of concern with the team. The DBs have taken a beating on this website and on the field as well. Temple can’t out score teams this season, so their defense must keep them in the game. This is just not happening. And I’m not sure anymore if its players efforts or talent. I strongly believe we’re beginning to follow leaders, ie. MR and other coaches, that are not putting their players in winnable situations. Football is much like chess, the leader moves pieces who have particular abilities to areas where their abilities will benefit the game. We have great and talented pieces but our leader is putting them in poor positions. MR, I routed for you to be signed as the HC, I dislike and still dislike Snow, and I fear that recruits do not want to play for a leader who can’t maximize their abilities.

• JD

Agree with the idea of running quick slants. Houston killed us with those the whole game and most of the ones Fordham threw were successful as well

4. We are not getting the ball in the hands of our explosive playmakers. Explosive playmakers: Coyer, Williams, Herbin and, in the red zone, 6-6 Deon Miller. All the other players should be complimentary pieces. To use a basketball analogy, Coyer, Williams and Herbin are our Rick Brunson, Aaron McKie and Eddie Jones. Pass them the ball or risk the Evil Eye of John Chaney and you don’t want to risk that.

5. kj

Temple University as an institution should accept responsibility. MR and his gang of second string coaches beget second string results. poor decisions in the C suite….., and nobody cares…., Temple football does not have a brand name…., we are simply not relevant.., my season 50 yard line tickets are in the trash

6. I had this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that this wasn’t the right choice back in Dec. In fact, I campaigned rather hard for the uni to hire an established winning FBS head coach (MacIntryre/Clawson/Lembo/Cristobal all established winning coaches). If the uni was serious about football, they would have thrown the necessary money at MacIntyre, a former Temple assistant. Obviously, the uni was not serious about football and this bit them in the ass big-time on Saturday. Burns me up that Rhule took a much more talented team and lost to a much less talented team. Still steaming. Don’t know if beating Idaho will remove the steam. Beating Idaho and Louisville will but that’s a pipe dream. The reality is that Fordham has a coach much better than ours. That’s the reality. We didn’t spend \$17 million (\$7 mil to build and a \$10 mil add-on) on a state-of-the-art facility to lose to a team that practices on a small rock-strewn field in the Bronx and has to take a subway to the locker room.

• JD

Mike, can’t disagree and you have been pretty consistent in your concern over the choice of Rhule. One point about Rhule is he does seem to be a good recruiter, basing this not just on the current class for 2014 but also talking with my neighbor whose son was being recruited by Temple, his older son plays for Rutgers so I do look at his opinion had knowing more on the inside then mine. When talking about Rhule he was impressed with him and thought he came across as a sharp guy who was well organized. In college recruiting is as important a part of the job as coaching, as someone posted earlier. I think the big problem here is as you pointed out Rhule hired his buddies for the staff. The coaching learning he is going through right now could I think have been mitigated substantially if we had experienced coordinators with recent FBS success. Instead it appears we have a DC past his prime and an OC who is basically in the same position as Rhule, getting on the job training. I still believe the current admin is serious about successful football and I can’t believe it was \$\$ or listening to the players that were a major influence in the hire. We never get all the information but is it possible that a lot of the coaches you listed weren’t interested in the job, do you think we as fans may feel the coaching opportunity at Temple is better than it perceived outside of the Temple community?

• Any recruiting momentum was flushed down the toilet with the loss to Fordham. The belief system needs to be fueled by on-field results. This isn’t Temple prior to Al Golden. I believe these are a lot of Golden’s players and one of Daz’s classes was ranked No. 54 in the nation, higher than any of AG’s. This team had enough talent to lay 62 on Fordham and that’s exactly what they should have done. The Tennessee-Chattanooga plays let us down big-time (should have ran Zaire and Kenny down their 247-pound DL all day). MR is trying to prove he’s the anti-Daz so much that he never realized that this was the ONE team Dazball would have worked against. Plus, his DC is so scary running the ball would have kept Fordham off the field.

7. I know Cristobal WAS interested and WAS interviewed, but he was the fourth on the list. Todd Bowles and Rhule were the final two. I think they went to Rhule because the kids clamored for him. Bowles was a winning head coach in the NFL (2-1 is a small sample, but he was head coach of the Miami Dolphins for 3 games on an interim basis). Bowles might have been a better choice AND also I think Cristobal would have blown the doors off Fordham.
Wish the uni had used my suggested ad here before accepting applications:

• JD

Aside from the players and some players parents pushing for Rhule, which I’m really surprised if the admin let that be a major influence on them, I wonder if they felt Cristobal would have moved on to a higher profile program in a couple of years. While I don’t necessarily agree with that kind of reasoning I can understand it. With regards to Todd Bowles, at the time I looked at him as a question mark like Rhule. My main feeling with Bowles was if we’re going with a novice HC why not go with a Temple guy. At this point if we go with the assumption, which is a big one, that Rhule can keep a level of recruiting momentum going do you think at the end of the season either: the admin can or would put some subtle pressure on which would lead to some staff changes or that Rhule will be able to objectively look at the situation and do some revamping of his staff, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It’s tough to fix everything at once so for now get the kicking game in order, see what underclass men we have on D who can play and put the pressure on Snow to come up with a defensive scheme that workss better. I know everyone keeps talking about our lack of talent on D but someone with Snow’s resume should also be able to utilize the talent available to get better results. If we have more games this season that play out like Houston and Fordham, improved D and kicking moves those to the W column

8. I look at Snow’s resume and see a guy who hasn’t stopped a FBS (or Division IA) offense since 1996. Seventy (73 now) games and he’s held a FBS team to nine points or less just three times. His last shutout was 1996. If I was hiring a DC, his resume would have been in the trash. Rhule is going to have to step in and fix this himself. 4-3 doesn’t work with this personnel. If you go 3-4 and play the two speedy guys (Nate D. Smith and Alwan) outside to rush the passer and the two solid tacklers inside (Nate Coponegro and Tyler Matakevitch) inside to stop the run, you’ve got something. Now I hear that Snow is going to try Nate Smith at DE. I hope that works.

9. JD1984

Mike, I’ll give him up to 2001, I believe his defense at UCLA was ranked number 1 in total defense in the PAC-10, I also think he was DB coach there as well. 1996 looks like it was his best year with 1 shutout and 4 other opponents held to single digits, 18 points per game. Plus during the years he was at Ariz St and UCLA he probably had his choice of top defensive recruits which makes your job as a coach a bit easier. The really scary part of Snow’s career and how the defense is playing right now is that the Temple D is not giving up that many more points per game than Snow’s PAC-10 D’s averaged. Right now in 3 games we are giving up 26.67 ppg, from 1996 through 2002, his best PAC-10 years, Snow’s defense gave up 23 ppg. Including his stint at Wash it rises to 24.3 ppg. I am interested in seeing how Nate D Smith works out at end, I think it could be sort of a hybrid 3-4. Speaking of Nate Smith’s do you know what the story is regarding Nate L Smith the DB from Wood, I thought he was highly ranked coming out of high school and was originally committed to WV. Given the state of out defensive backfield I would think someone like him could crack the starting line up

• Nate L. Smith was the best high school safety in the state (11 interceptions in 2011) for a great Archbishop Wood team. Tremendous kickoff and punt returner. Can’t see the field at Temple. Khalif Herbin was the offensive player of the year in New Jersey. Can’t see the field at Temple. Did these two guys forget how to play or are they being improperly evaluated by our coaches? Don’t see our DBs stepping into passes and intercepting them the way Smith did at Wood and I don’t see our WRs capable of taking a little bubble screen to the house in like 2.9 seconds, like Herbin is.

• JD1984

Seems like we are both scratching our head with regards to these 2 players. I’m more familiar with Smith and I can’t imagine that he would play any worse than our current safeties

10. IhateNoam

Mike,
Great post. Ive been reading all along, but its been a long time since I commented.
I cant help but think two things: While I agree, the play calling has been atrocious for the reasons you’ve nailed down, the man can recruit. Maybe Daz left the cupboard a lot more bear than we thought. You gotta give a coach 2-3 years to recruit for his scheme to see what he can do. Gotta think they deserve a year or two grace period while he has another coach’s guys.
The other thing… my hope anyway… is that the plan all along has been to win the conference. Maybe Rhule doesnt want to tip his hand??? I pray we see a little bit more development of our system vs Idaho and see a whole new team vs. Louisville.

These last two seasons have been tough to watch after it seemed we had such momentum…

S’go owls!

• JD1984

If Rhule was coming in cold so to speak, without any familiarity with Temple I would say yes any college coach probably needs 2 years to get their type of players into the program, but Rhule was here in 2011 so he should have had a good idea of what he would have to work with on the roster. Not saying the team doesn’t need better talent at some positions but I also don’t thing Rhule is working totally with the other coach’s guys. From my perspective, that was one of the potential positives of hiring Rhule even with his lack of HC experience, he would have a better feel for the team than a totally new coach. I do second your feelings about seeing improvement against Idaho. For now I’ll be happen if we’re competitive with Louisville and keep the game within 2 to 3 touchdowns

11. If winning the league was the plan all along, then losing to Fordham was a strange component of the plan. It does not matter if he recruits up to the No. 30-recruiting class in the USA and then loses to Fordham and the class drops down to ranked No. 60 because of the de-commits. Not convinced he can recruit going forward after that unmitigated disaster.

12. kj

Temple is terrible, we suck and will suck for the foreseeable future…., absolutely no upside…, let’s stop kidding ourselves.., the best thing about beating your head up against the wall is that when you stop it feels soo good…, Temple basketball has my thoughts

13. Not that much of a basketball fan, kj, don’t know where TU football is headed. Don’t care much about recruiting successes. That seems for the far future. I want to win and win now. I thought we had the team and the talent to beat both Houston and Fordham, but I HOPED against hope we had the coaching. Now I know about the coaching. Never saw a head coach for Temple panic like that on the sideline Saturday.