When the Temple offensive coordinator position opened up, we put together a wish list of five potential candidates for the job, listed the pros and cons, but came to the conclusion that Matt Rhule will hire “the least sexy” person for the job, Glenn Thomas.
Now, sexy in football and sexy in real life are two different things. To me, Mike Locksley would have been football sexy because he would have locked up the recruiting in DMV (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) and had Power 5 OC experience.
Sometimes, though, least sexy is good when you want to get things done. (I learned that watching Sheena Parveen doing the Tornado Watch last week when I listened to the entire forecast but realized afterward that I didn’t really hear anything because I was so distracted.) Things were not perfect–down 11 in the fourth quarter there has to be an alternative to wasting 20 seconds looking to the sideline for a play–but there was an undeniable upward trend in 2015.
Thomas has the potential of getting things done, especially with the arrival of recruit Anthony Russo. Thomas was Matty Ryan’s quarterback coach with the Atlanta Falcons and Russo’s game is so much reminiscent of Ryan’s that guru Trent Dilfer ended up calling Russo “Ryan Russo” for a day at his Elite 11 camp.
First things first, though, and that is the continued progress in P.J. Walker’s game. For Walker not to be known as a guy who peaked as a freshman, he must slightly improve his numbers in his final year of 2016. Thomas, at least, has him pointed in the right direction. As a freshman, Walker had 20 touchdown throws against only eight interceptions. In Marcus Satterfield’s ill-advised spread formation in 2014 (when Walker got zero protection in the pocket), Walker fell to 13 touchdowns vs. 15 interceptions. A new scheme that featured a fullback and two tight ends—ostensibly two additional blockers for Walker—enabled P.J. to see the field better last year and go 19-8.
Ideally, against this schedule, you’d like those numbers to be around 25 and eight (or less) for 2016. If that happens, another double-digit winning season is in sight and that’s about as sexy as things get for Temple football fans.
Unless, of course, Sheena Parveen comes on the Jumbotron instead of Hurricane Schwartz.
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