The Nate Smith from Wood (left) and the Nate Smith who starts at linebacker.
A great philosopher (OK, it was Allen Iverson), once said: “Practice, we’re talkin’ practice. Not an actual game, practice.”
|Jamie Gilmore: RB help is on the way.|
I’ve always felt that practice made perfect and it was necessary but, after attending the last 30 or so Cherry and White games, I’ve come away with the feeling that I’ve just watched another practice.
- Chris Coyer gives Temple a huge upgrade in quarterback over last year’s two early starters (Mike Gerardi in the opener against Villanova, the second game at Akron and Chester Stewart after that). Coyer has looked sharper and more confident than ever. There is no truth to the rumor that the Athlon College Football Magazine preview states: “Temple will be strengthened by the graduation of quarterback Chester Stewart.” Coyer has two tall and talented wide receivers to throw to in Deon Miller (6-6) and Malcolm Eugene (6-5) and a potentially explosive slot receiver type in Jalen Fitzpatrick, who currently is getting snaps at backup RB. Incoming freshman Khalif Herbin also has a chance to start in the slot.
- Owls should not lose much at first-team running back as they return their No. 1 all-purpose back, Matty Brown, who replaces the No. 2 all-purpose yards producer, Bernard Pierce. It is not hyperbole to write that Wyatt Benson is a great fullback because he’s proven it. Maybe he’ll be rewarded with a few carries this year as well.
- Owls are deep and talented on defense, returning nine guys who have started for them in the last two years. More impressively, there is a potential upgrade in talent at two positions, where Kevin Kroboth at free safety will be replaced by either Vaughn Carraway (a former five-star WR recruit) or incoming true freshman, Archbishop Wood blue-chipper Nate Smith, a West Virginia decommit. Speaking of Nate Smith, another Nate Smith (Nate D. Smith) provides three-time first-team all-state talent at linebacker to replace Stephen Johnson, a former walk-on from Methacton. Johnson and Kroboth were warriors who played with their heads and hearts, but I can see more “talent” plays being made by the two Nate Smiths that will result in a net plus for Chuck Heater’s defense. If the Smiths bring the same heads and hearts that Kroboth and Johnson have, Temple will be better off at both positions. My guess is that one of the Nate Smiths will inherit a distinctive nickname to distinguish him from the other Nate Smith. Maybe Superman.
- The offensive line is looking good as 2009 starter Sean Boyle has taken over at center and 2011 starter Martin Wallace protecting Coyer’s blindside at tackle. Head coach Steve Addazio was looking to find three players to separate themselves from a large group of that seems to have happened (see holding the line post below).
“He’s a dominant player,” Addazio said of McManus. “Dominant. Kicker. Punter. [His value] is critical.”
Not a game, practice.
Still, it will be the only Temple football we will see until the last night of August so it should be fun nonetheless.