Leon Johnson and Michael Dogbe are now grizzled veterans.
Every once in awhile, an advertising agency comes up with something brilliant and the 1984 Wendy’s commercial “Where’s The Beef?” was certainly an example of that.
That, incidentally, was one of the questions many of the Temple fans had filing out of the Boca Raton Bowl. They knew the Owls were losing a big beefster, Matt Ioannidis, on one side of the line and Kyle Friend on the other.
Without an official depth chart, it’s hard to tell but, at least on the defensive side of the ball the Owls have the potential of fielding a speedy defensive line that can not only hunt down opposing quarterbacks, but is beefy enough to be lock-down run-stoppers.
My dream starting lineup would be a 5-2 with Haason Reddick (6-1, 230) and Jacob Martin (6-2, 240) at the ends, Michael Dogbe (6-3, 280) and Praise Martin-Oguike (6-1, 255) at the tackles and Averee Robinson (6-0, 285) at the position he was born to play, 5-2 nose guard. Robinson was a two-time heavyweight Class AAAA (largest school) wrestling champion and those same gap leverage skills would make any opposing center’s life a nightmare. Lining him up right on top of the center would create havoc right away.
Instead, defensive coordinator Phil Snow is more comfortable with the 4-3 and that’s what we will probably see.
Martin, who earned a single digit on Wednesday (No. 9), would be a surprise starter at DE. Since that was Ioannidis’ number and Muhammad Wilkerson’s number, I believe the message was clear that is Martin will be a starter. Martin had one of the 10 sacks in last year’s opener against Penn State, so he’s a proven Prime Time player long before the single digits.
Either the 5-2 or the 4-3 lineup will give the Owls more than enough beef up front. Another possibility is that former defensive line starter Brian Carter (2014 game at UCF), who lost his starting offensive guard job on offense could be moved back to defense. It’s quite possible that Carter is more suited to defense than offense and that would give the Owls a 6-1, 304-pound body should one of the converted defensive ends (Martin-Oguike or Dogbe) not work out at tackle. It’s good to have that kind of flexibility.
Monday: Game Week Starts