|“I’ve been telling the coaches to give you the rock and they look as smart as shit when they do,” New England Patriots’ lineman Steve Manieri seems to be telling The Franchise.
Photo by Ryan Porter
This much I do know.
Steve Addazio’s football staff is beginning to come together.
Justin Frye (offensive line coach), Chuck Heater (defensive coordinator), Sean McGowan (defensive line) and, now, Ben Albert as linebackers’ coach.
I’ve heard very good things about Heater, McGowan and Albert, not so good things about Frye (and I’ve got to wonder why a grad assistant would ever be promoted to line coach).
Of course, Marshall’s Frank Piraino was named strength coach early but, while important, that’s not an on-the-field job.
|Ben Albert is Temple’s new LB coach.|
That gives me a sinking feeling that Matt Rhule will be named offensive coordinator soon.
Please God (and Steve Addazio), no.
Rhule and tight ends’ coach Ed Foley have been seen around the E-O as recently as yesterday.
If that’s true, I have reason to believe that Addazio has plans to keep both.
Logically, Foley could be slotted back into both of his old jobs _ as recruiting coordinator and tight ends’ coach. Ed is a very personable and capable guy who did both jobs exceedingly well under Al Golden.
Matt is also a personable guy who was Golden’s best linebackers’ coach ever. Since the linebacker’s job is now spoken for, I can’t see a spot open for Rhule other than his old job.
He was also the worst Temple offensive coordinator I have ever seen and it’s not even close.
(That’s a strong statement considering I’ve seen some pretty bad offensive football over the last 30 years.)
Rhule’s supporters (and there are one or two) keep telling me that it was all Al Golden’s fault, the offense’s lack of execution.
I’m buying a little of it, but not all of it.
The offense was a clusterfuck (excuse my language) from the first play of the Villanova game until the last play of the Miami game.
It never had to be that way.
We’re talking about a team with offensive talent out the wahzoo, a 318-pound (average) offensive line, great receivers like Michael Campbell, Rod Streater, Evan Rodriguez and (if they let them play) Delano Green and Joey Jones, an NFL first-round pick in Bernard Pierce and an NFL third-down back in Matt Brown and a serviceable quarterback in Mike Gerardi.
Rhule never grasped the concept that Brown should have been a third-down back here, too. He never grasped the concept of establishing the run behind a massive offensive line and a great back and then using play-action to keep defenses on their heels.
Brown should have never been on the field when Bernard Pierce was healthy. Rotating those two in was a complete joke. It’s like the Chicago Bears rotating Gale Sayers in on every other play with Rocky Bleier. It’s like the Cleveland Browns taking Jim Brown out every other play for Leroy Kelly. It’s like Bruce Arians taking out Paul Palmer on every other series for Shelley Poole.
It makes as much sense as the Eagles alternating between Michael Vick and Mike Kafka on every other play. (OK, I’m using the literary device called license and exaggerating for effect on that one, but you get the point.)
Some people tell me it was because Brown was a workout freak and that Pierce fell somewhat short in that department. Pierce hit the weight room in the off-season, too, and was praised by Golden for it. You don’t need to bench press 375 to carry a 15-ounce ball. “We gave him the ball 43 times because, you know, he can handle it and it ain’t that heavy,” was Arians’ old quote about Palmer. I don’t think Paul ever hit the weight room like Matty did so, you know, it just is not that important (or important enough to lose the starting job).
Somewhere talent has to be factored into the equation.
If Temple had given the rock early and often to Pierce, it would have opened the offense up so much for play-action. Owl foes would have been so concerned about stopping Pierce that even the simpliest play fake to Pierce would have been an easy six every time. Temple receivers would have been roaming so free through MAC secondaries, Gerardi’s toughest decision would have been which one to pick out.
(And whose fault was it that it took half the season to find out Chester Stewart couldn’t play quarterback worth a lick?)
Maybe Pierce would have still been hurt but, to me, he’s the kind of back who is more likely to get hurt being jerked around like he was than by staying in there and developing a rhythm.
With that kind of game plan against, say, Villanova, the final score might have been 40-14 instead of 31-24. Might have? Probably would have.
It was either Rhule or Golden who never grasped the concept, but Golden’s not here anymore and I don’t want to find out it was Rhule all along.
I want no parts of Matt Rhule as offensive coordinator.
I’m sure 99 percent of my fellow Owl fans agree.