Experience Best Teacher


When you follow Temple football as much as I do, you inevitably interact with Temple football coaches on rare occasions.

Every signing day during Al Golden’s tenure, he was always gracious enough to take the time to talk to me about a question or two I might have had or share to me his general philosophy about the program.

I liked Al very much, but that did not stop me from criticizing some of his gameday coaching.

When I ran into Steve Addazio at a New York City alumni meeting (I was in NYC that day to audition for the Who Wants to  Be a Millionaire Show), he went into a long story about why he was about to kick Matty Brown off the team because “I’ve had about enough of his shit.” The former Temple players who were standing and talking to Daz with me, Russ and Tom, then explained to Daz that I was the “Temple Football Forever” guy and then Daz begged me to keep that story quiet.

I did, because it was off the record.


TU promotions: Interesting there is an assistant and an associate HC.

Matty never did get kicked off the team, had a great senior season, and I had another great Temple football coaching story that could be told beyond the statue of limitations.

When another Matt, Rhule, got the Temple head coaching job, I dashed off an email that day wishing him luck. Much to my surprise, he then called me and we had a wonderful 35-minute discussion about everything from future assistants to helmets. I liked Matt Rhule just as much as Al Golden, but that like did not stop me from criticizing some of his gameday coaching. (If  he coached as brilliantly as Wayne Hardin did during a 13-year career, he would have been above criticism but he  did not and was not.) At the time, I casually mentioned to Matt that I had Bruce Arians‘ cell phone number, Matt asked me for it, I gave it to him, and it gives me great satisfaction that those two Temple coaches keep in touch from time to time. At the UConn post-game in 2012, I found myself standing next to another great guy and great Temple coach,  Chuck Heater, by the team bus. “You are a genius, Chuck,” I told him for shutting out the Huskies in the second half. “It’s the boys, Mike,” Chuck said.

Yeah, the boys and the best kicker in the country, Brandon McManus.

That brings us to today’s coaching promotions and I feel this is a very good day for Matt Rhule and Temple football because George DeLeone got a position of importance (OL coach, run game coordinator).

I’ve always felt the more grizzled guys a young coach has, the better the staff. Phil Snow has proved that on the defensive end and I think George will be the same kind of guy on the offensive end.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have a George story to tell. At the UConn game in 2012, the UConn team was leaving a pre-game meeting at the UConn hotel (where my fellow Owl fan and friend Phil and I were staying) and we saw George , then the Huskies’ OC, on the way out. He recognized us (we think from signing days), nodded, and we went into the meeting room and came away with a UConn offensive playbook that was left behind. It was beautiful, blue, in a binder, and filled with every UConn play.

I won’t say what happened to the playbook, but Temple shut out UConn in the second half on the way to a 17-14 OT win.

Moral of the story is keep a closer eye on those Temple playbooks this season but otherwise to thank goodness George DeLeone is on our side again.


22 thoughts on “Experience Best Teacher

  1. Daz should have booted Matt Brown off the team for his own good.

    • I think both Matt and Al would have; they saw the big picture. Daz looked at the small picture when he was at Temple. He wanted to win and get out. That’s why he got Montel when Pierce left. It’s also why he burned Matt Ioannidis’ redshirt for 8 plays his freshman year and Nate L. Smith’s for a few kickoff returns.

      • think every year we should have 5-7 freshman get in the games, maybe start a few games, and not redshirt…,

        putting 5-7 senior four year starters on the field every game is huge..,

        we are now in the position to create that healthy balance…, redshirting over 90% of the recruiting class every year has downsides…,

        …., just look at the leadership and experience MI, TM, TY, NS, KF, HW, etc took into every fourth quarter, AND on the practice field every day..,

        the 2016 has talent, and not quite sure it will have the same level of leadership as the 2015 team

    • Do you have any insight into what was going on with Brown that prompted Daz’s ire?

      • by saying “I’ve just about had enough of his shit” and without getting into specifics, I’m guessing it was a culmination of things that led Daz up to that point. Do not know what the things were.

  2. I could see Wright, Bruton, Dioubate, possibly starting. Other first-year Owl starters (with more experience) could include Webb and Ali.

  3. We don’t need 5/7 true freshman playing. maybe more like 3/4. we have a lot of redshirts freshman ready to play next year. we have the depth to redshirt 90% of this incoming class.

  4. are we staying behind the trend, with the trend, or leading the next trend?

    red-shirting 90% does not speak to the depth as much as it reflects the quality of talent you are bringing in.., the teams with the most depth are playing the most freshmen…,

    we would be better off with more TM and MI four-year starter types with game experience



    • seems like we are behind. Most of the P5 conferences redshirt 60-70, not 90 percent. Could not find conference-wide figures on AAC, but Houston having three true freshman start on the OL in the league title game was telling about how ready-made their talent is to step in. Will Aaron Ruff be ever ready to make that kind of impact? He’s having a hard time getting on the field and our OL doesn’t remind anyone of the 1967 Green Bay Packers or even the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.

      • often critical of MR.., and on the other hand he does see the things we see from afar and takes positive actions..,

        bringing in the Deleone was a recognition the OL needed a different focus on technique.., (btw i noted on this blog before the 2015 season Wiesehan was a weak link)

        MR also recognized the team needed more speed to compete at the highest levels and recruited scary fast ballers…, (btw after the ND game my key takeaway was the team needed more speed)

        tiring to see all of those who are quick to defend everything he does w/o really thinking through it all…,

        the note now is the team has reached a point where we should consider changing the strategy on redshirting..,

        we DO have enough talent to change the strategy…,

      • Everything should be on the table, even Anthony Russo playing over Frank Nutile if he’s clearly the No. 2 in practice and P.J. goes down.

      • Mike as I stated b4, the reason Houston started the 3 freshman was bcuz of injuries. believe me, they didn’t really want 2 start them freshman. they would have loved to redshirted them but injuries prevented that.

      • Big question. Would ours have done a better job than theirs? Doubt it.

  5. Since you brought up Matty Brown what’s the latest on his legal troubles? I know he’s innocent until proven guilty but he’s facing charges for some genuinely nasty stuff. Not sure if he’s had his day in court yet.

    Also, what was the ‘shit’ Daz was tired of from Brown? I didn’t realize he had issues while at Temple outside of a few skirmishes. I will say I got tired of Daz’s shit pretty quickly too.

    • He was about to get into the juicy details when Tom and Russ said ixnay on the temple football forever shay. All I know was that it was serious enough for Daz to kick him off the team and Daz was so interested in winning he would have played another Brown, Josh, last night from the jump. I kinda agree with Daz there. We had the crowd and those three Alston turnovers made the hole 7-squat and that’s too much against the No. 1 team. Now, back to football talk.

      • Not starting Brown last night, while commendable from a disciplinary point of view, was a big mistake because Alston showed that he isn’t ready. Couldn’t Dunphy have made Brown run or something? Alston’s mistakes were responsible for ten of Villanova’s early points which gave them a cushion and confidence that they never lost. Any way, the fact that so many TU freshman fb players are unable to play demonstrates the weakness of the classes. As was said by others, the current trend is to have freshman make contributions.

  6. Big mistake. I like Dunphy, but this game was so important from Temple’s standpoint, there have got to be other ways to teach the lessons. Alston doesn’t handle the ball well at all and Archidianco smelled blood. It wasn’t like we couldn’t predict this. Alston is not a point guard. What Dunphy did could be compared to Matt putting the fifth-string Frankford kid in against ND because P.J. missed the team bus. Instead of disciplining P.J. (or Josh), I would have emptied the bus and have all my players look for the kid.

  7. Villanova would have beaten us even with Brown starting. They r simply a better team (hence the #1 ranking).

    • I still would like to have seen what the Owls could have done with Brown and the crowd from the jump. Giving Nova a 7-0 lead on three freshman PG turnovers is never a good strategy. Moot point. We will never know. I hope the Owls can pull a NC State on them in the tourney, but that would take Q going off for 30 and Dingle hitting a trio of threes at the top of the key.

  8. i’m not sure that “Temple freshman r unable to play” or more like we have the depth to redshirt them. if u don’t need them, then redshirt them.

    • why recruit kids you don’t need? kids redshirt because they are not good enough, physically, mentally, or talented enough to play as freshmen…,

      years ago we were forced to play kids who were not ready..,

      the needle has moved in college football regarding the strategy for redshirts, and fortunately enough the needle can now move for Temple…,

      we want kids who will play as freshmen and then move on to play on Sunday before their senior year, and those that choose to stay will be senior four-year starters..,

      interesting correlation between the % of redshirts and the Top 30 schools..,

      at this stage in the evolution of Temple football we should be redshirting no more than 70% of each recruiting class..,

      are we running behind the trend, with the trend, or leading the next trend?

      those who can best leverage the results of statistics to gain a competitive advantage are in the best position to lead the next trend

      • Dude we have 18 players coming off of redshirt next year. we have enough depth where we can redshirt most of this class. to redshirt someone is not saying they r not ready. Your saying u have the depth to redshirt them.

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