Temple Tea Leaves

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Love this photo because it shows the level of fan support in background.

When practices are closed to the media, as they are for all but the last 10 minutes this spring, reading from the snippets is probably the best way to glean information.

What we did learn from the first practice was at least two fascinating things: One, the first play from scrimmage was a handoff to Nick Sharga, and, two, that the guy new head coach Geoff Collins was playing catch with at the end of practice was Anthony Russo.

It probably takes a huge leap of faith forward to interpret those two facts into an increased role for Sharga in the offense to a favorite at the quarterback position, but that’s all we have right now.

It makes sense, though, for at least two reasons.

One, Collins got close to Sharga in the legal activities part of the offseason as his position coach. Collins named himself the fullbacks coach, much like Al Golden named himself the special teams coach in his first year.

Collins probably knows what he has in Sharga is exactly what former coach Matt Rhule said he had: An NFL fullback. An increased role for Sharga only makes more sense in that light. In addition to being a terrific blocker, Sharga also carried the ball effectively a year ago, gaining 97 yards on 18 carries, a 6.9 average.  Giving the ball to Sharga a few times a game, even two or three, keeps the defense from keying in on guys like Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner.

The Russo thing is particularly interesting because Collins could have had a catch with any of his five starting quarterback candidates but chose that one.

Reading too much into it?

Maybe, but until the Cherry and White game, that looks like all that we will have.

Wednesday: Rookie of The Year?

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4 thoughts on “Temple Tea Leaves

  1. Just posting something here to see if the comments section works. John Belli said Keith Kirkwood was quoted as saying the spread offense is being added to the offensive smorgasbord. Interesting.

  2. Didn’t we see the spread O a few years ago ? I thought that O style also had parallel names like Duck-N-drop and Kill-the-QB AND 3RD-N-FN-IMPOSSIBLE

  3. Clearly, when Coach Rhule first arrived and tried to use a spread offense, with the players he had then, especially with the empty backfield, the spread did not work. Mike, you kept telling anyone who would listen that the offense was wrong for our players. What do you think this year? Do you think it can work, and what would you like to see in how they run the spread, if they do?

    • My feelings is that it COULD work because of the quantity and quality of the receivers. I’d hate to waste Sharga’s talents, though, because a spread takes him effectively out of the game. Now if they are considering moving Sharga to linebacker, it could all make sense. To me, if you use Sharga on offense, you go play action with two receivers because you are pounding the ball at the line of scrimmage and the safeties and the linebackers are cheating on the run. That’s how big explosive plays in the passing game work (i.e., Kirkwood’s long TD catch at Navy).

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