Matt Rhule talks assistants and Logan Marchi in this video among other topics.
Chances are former Colorado head football coach Bill McCartney will not be looking to recruit Matt Rhule to the religion he founded called Promise Keepers.
One of the tenants of that religion is the “three strikes and you are out” rule, meaning three promises broken, find another religion.
Rhule already is oh-for-two in the Temple football promise department but many think—this writer included—that he has a very good chance of making good on both promises this year.
The first promise came a few days after he was hired as Temple head coach in December of 2012. Speaking to a “crowd” of about 4,500 at a basketball game, Rhule promised that he would “win league championships at Temple.” Close, but an AAC East trophy does not count.
The second promise came before a smaller group of people, those holding notepads and tape recorders before Temple’s game with UConn. Talking about fullback Nick Sharga, he went on and on praising the guy and then said, “we are going to give him the ball some time this year, I promise you that.”
UConn came and went and no Sharga carries, as did the Houston game and the bowl game.
No worries because one of the most interesting items coming out of an early spring practice was that Rhule stated that Sharga will be a full-time fullback this fall. That is great news for a couple of reasons. On several of Jahad Thomas’ 17 touchdown runs, there is clear evidence of Thomas following a terrific lead block by Sharga. Thomas will be the first to tell you that Sharga’s blocks helped make the running game go. So Thomas or Jager Gardner or Ryquell Armstead or David Hood following a road-grader like Sharga through the hole means the running game will be going in the right direction this season.
The second great news part of this is that the defensive coaches must have confidence in the returning linebackers, single-digit guys like Stephaun Marshall and Avery Williams and Jared Alwan and redshirt freshman Chap Russell are coming along quite nicely. Sharga played much of last spring at linebacker and Temple football alum will tell you he was the second-most impressive linebacker on the team, behind only Tyler Matakevich.
New run game coordinator George DeLeone has been around the block to know the effectiveness of the fullback kick-out block in a team’s overall run game, so maybe when Rhule forgets the promise to give Sharga the ball, DeLeone will remind him with a friendly nudge.
Who knows? Maybe keeping the second promise at least a couple of times will make the first promise just a tad easier to attain.
Tomorrow: Thoughts On The One and Only Doc Chodoff