5 Things That Should Be on the Owls’ Spring Cleaning List

cartoon_Temple_Football_r644x425

Great cartoon from the Northeast Times.

Something Temple offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said in the offseason a year ago gave a rare insight into the way the brain trust approaches problem-solving at the Edberg-Olson Practice facility. He said the staff realized midway through the 2014 season that the four- and five-wide sets that had been at the core of the Owls’ offensive philosophy needed be scraped but it was “too late in the season” to fundamentally change the offensive approach. So do not expect any major changes for the bowl game, but these five things need to be addressed in the spring.

buckley

  1. Another Nick Sharga

There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth when fullback Nick Sharga moves to the other side of the ball as ostensibly Tyler Matakevich’s replacement at the “Mike” linebacker position next year. Most of those molars and tears will belong to Jahad Thomas, who was sprung for many of his 1,000-plus yards and 17 touchdowns off lead blocks by Sharga. The Owls will need another fullback to replace Sharga because Nick’s backup, Mike Felton, will be graduating. My recommendation is to give all the Sharga film to Daiqwon Buckley, a 5-9, 225-pound freshman from Dunmore, and tell him to do exactly what he sees Sharga doing. Then work on those lead blocks in the spring. Also, reward Buckley with a few carries a game to keep the defense honest. He rushed for 2,322 and 35 TDs as a senior and led Dunmore to the Class A state final. Since he’s ambidextrous—able to throw with either hand—he might also be a candidate for a few trick plays.

simpson

Elite Edge Speed

The Owls haven’t had a James Nixon or Travis Sheldon type since, well, Nixon and Sheldon. Ventell Bryant, Sam Benjamin and Romond Deloatch and all the returners are pretty much the same type receivers, tall targets that will not necessarily stretch the field.  Cortrelle Simpson, a 5-10, 175 pound freshman who ran a 4.3 as a high school senior, is that guy.  He was the scout team player of the week prior to both the Penn State and the East Carolina games.

ali

Kareem Ali Jr.

  1. Return Punts

Simpson, who had 795 kick return yards in high school, also might be the guy to wake the Owls from their two-year punt return slumber. The Owls haven’t had that flip-the-field guy since Delano “Positive Man” Green. They need to turn the punt return into an offensive play again, the way it was when Green  played, and when past greats like Anthony Young and the late great Paul Loughran played.  Kareem Ali has the speed to handle that role, too.

fbl

Freddy Booth-Lloyd stopped Paxton Lynch for no gain on a QB  sneak.

  1. Build Depth

One of the fallacies floating around out there is that the Owls’ defense will not be elite because of the losses of people like Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis and Tavon Young. Head coach Matt Rhule appears to have a done a good job building a line of succession because Sharga will plug in for Matakevich, Freddy Booth-Lloyd for Ioannidis and Kareem Ali for Young. I don’t expect Sharga to become a first-team All-America like Matakevich was, but he’s certainly capable of making all-league. Ali will be a star and FBL has certainly showed he’s ready for prime time. The challenge is to build the backups for those guys and the next line of succession.

b

The 2-minute drill worked against UMass and flopped against Houston.

  1. Two-Minute Drill

Let’s be honest, the Owls looked lost when they had to preserve precious time for a fourth-quarter comeback at Houston but we know they are more than capable of running an effective two-minute drill because they executed one flawlessly to beat UMass. The challenge is to make sure what happened at Houston never happens again and to learn from what was done well at UMass and make that a permanent two-minute package—even for long stretches like seven minutes. That probably should not wait until spring because it might be needed against Toledo.

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30 thoughts on “5 Things That Should Be on the Owls’ Spring Cleaning List

  1. MR established goals for the defense last September, there were well published. The D played up and inspired all year in an attempt to achieve those goals. It would be nice to see goals established for the offense and and see those responsible held accountable.., the two-minute drill would be a great place to start.., you can’t fire the kids or withdraw their scholarships, but you can find coaches who can maximize their talents…,

    the offense has the same caliber of athletes as the defense, the quality of play should be similar not dramatically dis-similar.., the D finished in the Top 20 in almost every category…, the offense had the chance to win the AAC Championship game….,

    the MRAs appear to be adverse to any form constructive criticism.., Zach Gelp, ESPN, CBS Sports are just a few who have wondered how great this team could have been with an explosive offense.., 2015 is gone, so what about next year? what is the next step in the evolution of The Process?

    • KJ, think you make a good point about and form of criticism about the coaching from folks who post on what Mike calls Pravda. There was a thread that raised some valid concerns about the offensive game planning for Houston and the offense overall and all you get are smarmy quips or pictures tweeted of Satterfield and Russo with a comment like maybe we better hold off on being critical of our OC.

      • TUFB runs in my blood, it ran before the current regime and will run long after they leave…, some of those on the owl scoop site are guilty of drinking their own bathwater.., i want our offense to be as good as our defense, what is so wrong with that?

        Satterfield was the QB coach and the OC last year.., Rhule realized the error of his ways and brought in Thomas.., how long should this go on?

        don’t attack me, attack the problem

        this reminds me of Golden sticking with D’Onofrio despite the facts., very painful to watch history repeat itself

      • One of my friends posts on that site and posted the most innocuous (harmless) comment about Rhule interviewing being a distraction and he got shouted down by the pitchfork and torch bearing MRAs and he emailed me the hilarious responses. It is completely within the realm of reality that it was a distraction because no less an authority than Tyler Matakevich said: “That’s just another distraction that we have to block out.” To paraphrase Shady when he said, “I ain’t shaking shit” …. no interview with Missouri, Tyler wouldn’t have had to block out shit.

    • KJ, nothing wrong with wanting that at all. I know some folks point out that the 2015 offense scored the most points in Temple history and toss out the tired, old “don;t let the facts get the way of an argument”. Well the facts when you look at them in context: Temple’ 2015 offense:

      1. 52nd in scoring for all FBS teams, 7th in the AAC
      2. 94th in total offense, 9th in the AAC
      3. 89th ranked rushing offense, 6th in the AAC. The backs on this team are better than that.
      4. 72nd in passing, 5th in the AAC

      Bottom line I don’t think it’s out of line for any fan to say that this offense needs to get better. To put it in perspective, this offense only averaged 6 point more a game than Addazio’s 2012 offense which most people thought was horrid.So the problem isn’t you it’s the offense, whether it’s the OC, players, whatever it needs to be improved if we want to get back to the AAC championship

      • amen.., makes you appreciate and realize the greatness of MT, MI, HW, TY, SC, etc. hats off to Snow for putting his players in the position to make plays

    • Mike that site is basically ridiculous when it comes to this coaching staff and the mention of anything that isn’t “they’re the greatest”.

      • If they had baseball bats, they would come through the keyboard and hit you over the head for even the most mild criticism of St. Matt. They are like those religious zealots in the middle east without guns and machetes.

  2. Know the Enemy: Better Game Day Strategies and Contingency Plans. Nearly losing to awful UMass and bad games against weak UCF and SMU shouldn’t happen. Houston was the crowning example of poor prep. Did the coaches forget that Houston was king of the turnovers?

    • Bingo. Cannot be arrogant enough to worry about ONLY what you do and not what the other guy does or doesn’t do. UMass couldn’t stop the run, yet they load up in the box on 8 plays in the first quarter and we abandon the run. What we should have done is two tight ends, fullback, and quick toss to put more helmets on their helmets. Instead, we let them dictate us into 48 passes. That should only happen in desperation time in the 4th quarter.

  3. What happen to Greg Webb? He was a DT from one of the resent recruiting years.

  4. Norm Kaner, a huge friend of Temple football and a great professor. We had all football players in my class. Forgot a lot of what Norm Kaner said, but will never forget he always referred to Temple as “Harvard on the Delaware.” If Temple stretched out East to the Delaware (and West to the Schuylkill for that matter), North Philly would be considered one of the city’s great neighborhoods, like Chestnut Hill.

    • It’s getting there. The area from TU to Center City and from 10th Street to 20th Street is being redeveloped at a fantastic pace. many of the houses are huge and fixable. Moreover, they’re close to Center City.

  5. Rhule will be a great recruiter when one of his kids gets an OSU offer and the kid is talked into keeping his commitment. We shall soon find out if “Matt” has the silver tongue.

    • Agree with that Mike, a “great” recruiter will manage to keep at least a few of those players that are being recruited by the likes of Ohio State. Rhule seems to have the first step down he is at least getting them interested but he needs to close the deal on a couple

    • Rhule touched on recruiting today in his weekly presser … “Sometimes when you recruit 4-star kids, you get 4-star problems.”

      I’ve been saying this on this site for some time now. Temple isn’t the type of school to get 5 stars and that’s okay. Temple has to continue to do what Rhule has been doing the last 3 seasons. sign the 2/3 star “Temple kids” and develop them like Tyler, Tavon, Matt, PJ, Jahad, etc. then sprinkle them with a few 4 star kids like Kareem Ali, Aaron Ruff, Colin Thompson. and i think the above Rhule comment has a lot to do with the Simmons kid who left the program.

      Rhule then said that they want the highly recruited kids, but “they have to be Temple guys.”

      don’t think i need to explain this statement.

  6. The Buckeyes are the best pro franchise in Ohio.

  7. the facts are MR offered 39 four stars and is 0-39, 0-1 on the five stars and less than 30% on the three stars for 2016, are those ‘great results”? is he really a “great recruiter?”, the last two fours stars he landed in 2015 and 2014 have been busts, TJ Simmons and Aaron Ruff, so is The Process really working? wanting to understand the facts is a natural desire from a committed booster..,

    Herman from Houston can be called a great recruiter, the jury is still out on MR..,, what is the number one reason why kids we offer choose to go elsewhere? do we really know or are we guessing? what is the number one reason our recruits who committed choose Temple, and based on the facts how are we adjusting our recruiting strategy?

    tactics without strategy is just the noise you hear before defeat…,

    MR said on Twtter we don’t think like other guys.., really? we offered 40 recruits everybody else wanted and came up empty.., sounds like same thinking to me…, our three star percentage of offer to commitment is below average.., our results are below average and the first step to improvement is acknowledging where we really stand

    we are not trying to separate the rocket from the booster like the failed launch in Houston., we are just trying to lead our conference in recruiting

    • Herman has done a fantastic job. a 5-star and four 4-stars.

      • i just went to Rivals100 to see Houston incoming class. so far he signed 4 4-star kids. Ed Oliver was recently dropped from a 5 star to a 4 star. the 4 he’s bringing in this year r the only 4/5 stars Herman has recruited which means next season he will have 4 4-star recruits which is the same amount that Temple will have on their roster (Ali, Ruff, Thompson, Davis).

        Not saying Herman hasn’t done a great job but let’s be fair to Rhule now gentleman.

    • u seemed to forget Kareem Ali, KJ. that’s a big miss. and please explain how Ruff is a bust again? and also do u still wanna fire the RB coach?

      • Holding Satterfield responsible for the 94th ranked total offense is a good idea. Are you satisfied and content with the offense? Do you really believe they are as good as the defense even though the talent level is the same?

        it is a reasonable expectation for four star recruits to start by their third year in the program. Ruff did not start in his second year in the program
        and will not start next year. we have three guards in the program now who have considerably more talent and who are much more explosive off the ball. there is a reason why he ran with the 3s this year

      • This looks like a 5* to me:

        The Chase for the Recruiting Champion powered by 247Sports Composite

        Team Total 5 4 3 Avg Points
        1 Houston Houston 20 1 3 14 85.12 200.46

        2 SMU SMU 24 0 0 13 80.81 145.81

        3 USF USF 14 0 1 10 82.79 143.52

        4 Temple Temple 17 0 0 13 80.40 127.75

        5 Cincinnati Cincinnati 16 0 0 8 80.87 125.97

        6 East Carolina East Carolina 14 0 0 9 81.22 125.82

        7 Connecticut Connecticut 13 0 0 11 81.51 120.04

        8 UCF UCF 13 0 0 9 80.88 116.44

        9 Memphis Memphis 11 0 0 6 81.36 107.55

        10 Navy Navy 22 0 0 7 75.96 103.67

        11 Tulsa Tulsa 13 0 0 7 79.74 101.56

        12 Tulane Tulane 12 0 0 5 78.96 91.80

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