On the way down to the game today on the subway, I ran into four very attractive 40ish ladies wearing Louisville gear.
One of them saw my Temple football T-Shirt.
“You are going to love Teddy Bridgewater,” she said. “He’s very enjoyable to watch.”
I nodded and told her I was all too familiar with Bridgewater from last season. Then they asked me for directions to McFaddens, I walked them there and they thanked me profusely. (Louisville had their pre-game tailgate at McFadden’s.)
All in the name of being a good host for fellow American Athletic Conference fans, even if it’s only for a year.
I walked away thinking about the “enjoyable to watch” comment. I guess he’s enjoyable to watch, if you are into watching the bad guys. I haven’t really enjoyed watching a quarterback since Adam DiMichele and that’s because he played for the good guys. (Chris Coyer was also good the bowl year, but he’s no Adam DiMichele because that kid made more good throws in pressure situations under duress than any Temple quarterback I could ever remember and I really admired ADM for that.)
Still, I saw enough of P.J. Walker today to know I’m going to like what I see in the not-too-distant future. He’s no Adam DiMichele, at least not yet, but he reminds me a little of Teddy Bridgewater Light, at least the Teddy Bridgewater I saw two years ago when he quarterbacked Louisville to a 7-6 record. Walker is nowhere near as good as the current Bridgewater, but maybe by the end of the season he’ll be throwing more than one touchdown pass a game and we can start the discussion.
Last week, the problem with Connor Reilly was the brutal play-calling. I’m still convinced had Temple committed to moving the sticks with a short passing attack instead of throwing 50 long bombs, the Owls would have beaten Idaho fairly easily. Still, the few times Connor was allowed to throw an intermediate pass, he seemed to throw it through the receiver instead of leading the receiver. On Walker’s long first-half pass to Robbie Anderson, he led the receiver perfectly just like Bridgewater does on many of his throws. That’s encouraging.
Who knows how good Walker is going to be, but I think there’s enough of an upside there to think he’s going to be really good. The best predictor of future success is past success and Walker is last year’s New Jersey High School Player of the Year, giving Temple its second N.J. Player of the Year in as many seasons. Khalif Herbin, the 2011 winner, was spotted on the sideline and I would love to see him get a chance to play, too. He’s a playmaker, like Walker, but, like Walker before today, it’s pretty hard to make plays from the sideline.
All I want from Walker is to be American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and, while that won’t happen this year, I think it can not too far down the line. Hopefully, I’ll be on someone else’s subway one day telling people, “You are going to love P.J. Walker. He’s very enjoyable to watch.”