P.J. Walker is ready for a big senior year in 2016. Interesting that Adam DiMichele (background) is never far away.
So far, I haven’t seen the word “ameliorate” as a word of the day at the end of the Bill O’Reilly show, but it is a good word as any to describe how the Temple football practices have evolved this spring.
The definition of the word is “to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory” and, since head coach Matt Rhule has not canceled any practices in the last two weeks, the trend has to be interpreted that, in his mind, things have gotten more satisfactory.
Rhule canceled practice a couple of week ago citing concerns about both senior leadership and the speed the redshirt freshman were learning the system. Since Rhule the football CEO, we fans—the shareholders—should have been concerned that he had practice concerns. Since those concerns have “ameliorated” we have less to worry about.
The senior leadership has gotten markedly better and hopefully they will show the red shirt freshmen the way.
There is not much about this team I worry about. I think it is a double-digit win team but that doesn’t mean it is perfect. A little more girth in the middle of the defensive line would help. Not all that concerned about the linebackers, safeties or corners.
On offense, I have confidence in the line as tackle Dion Dawkins is the next NFL draft choice and Brendan McGowan has proven to be a capable replacement for Kyle Friend and there is a whole lot of talent battling for the remaining spots.
The running backs are deep and talented and I have a gut feeling that Jager Gardner is a future star.
In the passing game, I would like to see P.J. Walker able to fake it into the line, sucker up the LBs and safeties to the line of scrimmage, and float a long ball in stride for six. I haven’t seen that since Jalen Fitzpatrick (UConn, Penn State) in 2014. Maybe Cortrelle Simpson is that guy; maybe it’s Marshall Ellick. I was somewhat surprised Robby Anderson ran a track 4.37 on pro day, because he didn’t show it on the field last year. Maybe a guy like Ellick, who runs a track 4.5, runs a football 4.37.
On special teams, would be nice to see a Delano Green, a guy who can flip the field position all by himself, and fewer fair catches. Maybe, out of Sean Chandler, Simpson and Kareem Ali, one guy will emerge.
Either way, since it snowed last Saturday and will be 70 and sunny this Saturday, any other concerns have been, well, ameliorated.
Friday: Good Guys vs. Good Guys