5 Plays We’d Like to See More Of in 2016

This would be a great first play on 9/17, P.J. to Cortrelle Simpson.

When Temple head coach Matt Rhule scraped the multiple receiver formations used in the 2014 season, that was a major step forward that resulted in 400 points in 14 games, the most points scored by an Owl team since the 1979 team scored 399 in two fewer games. Now, with some minor tweaking, the 2016 team appears to be talented enough to score more. These are five tweaks.


When you have a 4* TE, got to get him ball more than 1x per game.

  1. Seam Pass to Tight Ends

That is the same pass former Florida recruit Colin Thompson went for 53 yards down the middle in the Memphis, the 12th game.  It also went for 37 yards to Kip Patton in the Penn State game, the first game.  In between, it was not called much, if at all. Thompson is a four-star recruit, while Patton might be the fastest tight end in Temple history. The AAC doesn’t have a rule limiting tight ends to one catch per game. You could not tell that by the way Temple underutilized those weapons in 2015.


Having P.J. fake, then rollout, makes him much more effective.

  1. Roll Out Deep Throw by P.J. Walker

Walker completed two pinpoint throws of well over 50 yards, but both were in the 2014 season–one at Connecticut and one at Penn State. He was able to do it by rolling away from the pressure where he was better able to see the field. This season, he was strictly a pocket passer. Next season, the Owls should roll him out of the pressure and he won’t have to look over 6-foot-5 pass rushers and he can have a run-pass option.


  1. More Options for Tight Ends

When you have athletes like Thompson and Patton, a seam pass isn’t the only way to get them the ball. Short roll outs by Walker and quick 5-yard passes will get them in space where they can use their running ability much like the Owls did with former tight end Evan Rodriguez (see Maryland game film, 2011). Also a jump pass where Walker takes the snap and feigns a run, jumping just before reaching the line of scrimmage and releasing the ball into the back of the end zone worked for the combination of Chester Stewart and Steve Manieri at Miami (Ohio).


  1. Put Jahad Thomas in Slot

Despite scoring 17 touchdowns and rushing for 1,287 yards, tailback Jahad Thomas was nicked up in the final few games of the season. Keeping him fresh should be a priority and one way to do that would be to put him in the slot, where he can get the ball in space and occasionally run a reverse or two. That will enable talented sophomores Jager Gardner and Ryquell Armstead to emerge as featured backs.

  1. Quarterback Draw

If Walker were not a quarterback, he would make a terrific tailback because of his moves in the open field. Using him as a strictly a pocket passer plays into the hands of the defense. A few designed quarterback draws, in addition to the aforementioned rollouts, would drive opposing defenses crazy and that’s the very definition of a well-designed offense.


9 thoughts on “5 Plays We’d Like to See More Of in 2016

  1. It seems to be the theme is we need an offense that uses a wider variety of plays that are already in the playbook but never get called. That leads me to think we need someone new calling plays.

  2. Mike, looks like you have been watching the bowl games!

    year four is the year of validation for the ‘process’…, the perennial good teams do one or more of the big three each year – win their conference championship, win their bowl game, and finish in the Top 25..,,

    the truly great teams do all three, and doing all three usually means a national championship for a P5 school. The 2015 Houston team was a great team by any standard.

    We flirted with all three this year, and if the ‘process’ is as good as advertised then achieving a minimum of one of those is the standard for 2016.., anything less is going backwards

    With three years of hand selected recruits in the fold and a sub-par OOC schedule…, 2016 is the year we’ll know how far this ‘process’ will take us.

    and please send Mr. Satterfield a link to “the five plays”

  3. What ever happened to Evan Rodriguez?? He was with the Bears at one point?

  4. I realize that the members of Pravda will at some point post a response attacking this cogent assemblage of suggestions for next year especially because they still resent that we were right after the first two seasons of Rhule’s reign. One of them will invariably say that it would be pure folly for the coaches to take advice from this blog but as was proved after the first two seasons, many of us did know more than the coaches. The fact is that it is utterly exasperating that these plays weren’t run all season or at least attempted when opponents adapted to stop what TU was doing. UMass is a perfect example. I fully believe that whoever is doing TU’s reverse scouting is not doing his job because if he was our offense would have used many of these plays at the end of the season to counter the moves made by opponents. It seemed that Toledo knew what TU was running the moment TU lined up. It also makes no sense that against cover two that they did not isolate Anderson or Patton down the middle of the field with a combined under pattern to freeze the lb and a flag pattern to influence one of the safeties or use Thomas on flares to take advantage of his open field skills. With any luck the coaches will evolve as they did after the 2014 season.

    • all last year we said (over and over … and OVER) again (and this is documented by the archives):

      1) ditch the 4- and 5-wides
      2) Put in a fullback
      3) Use play action
      4) Use 2 TEs

      and what did they do this year?
      1) ditch the 4- and 5-wides
      2) Put in a fullback
      3) Use play action
      4) Use 2 TEs

      and then the Matt Rhule Apologists (talking to the other JD) claim we’re delusional for accepting any credit for these changes? Matt Rhule deserves a lot of credit for seeing the light. Do I think he saw the light independently? Err. no. That’s too much light to see, even on a 24-day in Alaska.

      the proof is there in black and white.

      • Mike, you know I love your blog and your insights. I just don’t think you need to take credit for the changes in Temple offense. Isn’t it enough that you (and John) recognized the problems with the Temple offense and proposed remedies that later worked. I don’t care if Rhule or any of the coaches ever read your blog or whether they finally figured out for themselves what changes were needed. The important thing is that readers here got clear insight into what was wrong and what could solve the problems. That is what keeps me reading. Keep up the good work.

      • thanks, Phil. you are right. It does not matter where he got these ideas from, just that he implemented them. I don’t care if he got them by reading “introduction to basis play-action offense.” With a defense like Temple’s, have to help it by taking time off the clock and establishing a run game.

  5. A FBS OC would be nice.

  6. Satterfield is moving on to Tenn Tech, think Glen Thomas will step up and he has plenty of arrows in the quiver.., the talent is there

    this is major decision for MR

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