Owls Need Experience at DC

cardinals

When Matt Rhule was putting the final piece to the puzzle that was his Temple coaching staff, he said to me over the phone two days after he was hired that “I have a older guy with a lot of experience in mind and with a young coaching staff, I think that’s the kind of guy we need.”

I later learned that was Phil Snow.

After a rocky start at Temple, Snow put his defense in place and, by the second AAC championship game he coached in, there were few better in the country. I wasn’t a big fan of Phil at first, but he won me over four years later when it took him that long to put in his defense.

formerowls

All but one of the above played for Rapone at Temple

Geoff Collins might be wise to consider the same approach now that Taver Johnson is headed to Ohio State to essentially fill the 10th coaching spot Adam DiMichele filled at Temple.

With all due respect to Andrew Thacker, he simply doesn’t have the experience at an important position that a school as large as Temple should demand.

Nick Rapone, who was the defensive backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals (Temple West, located in Tempe) for Bruce Arians, does and he has the ability to put any type of defense in at a faster rate than even the Sainted Phil Snow did for the Sainted Matt Rhule. You want real Mayhem? Hire Nick Rapone.

Rapone’s daughter graduated from Temple and Rapone himself has some deep ties to Philadelphia and the Owls, having served two stints as an assistant here already.

As DC at  Delaware, Rapone was a part of two NCAA national runner-up teams, including in 2010 when he helped the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record and a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title. Rapone was named the 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year as his defense led the nation in scoring (12.1 ppg), ranked fifth in total defense (280.7 ypg) and was 12th in rushing defense (105.3 ypg). The secondary included four All-CAA performers, including All-American selections Anthony Walters and Anthony Bratton at safety. The Hens also ranked ninth in the nation in passing efficiency (102.7), and the team’s 21 INTs were the third-highest total in the nation at the FCS level.

He was the Owls’ defensive coordinator under Arians and the Owls more than held their own as a defense against two top 10 schedules under him.

Most importantly, he’s available and he does have extensive DC experience at the highest levels of football, not at developmental programs like Kennesaw State.

That’s what Thacker does not have nor did Johnson. Neither of those guys have any history of stopping offenses. Rapone has a long and storied one.

Like Rhule said back then about Snow, I think that’s just the kind of guy Temple needs.

Collins should at least pick up the phone and give him a call.

Or vice-versa.

Valentine’s Day: Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes

Friday: A Closer Look at the AAC Schedule

Monday: Developmental Program?

2/21: Philly Special

2/23: New Transfer Rule

 

 

 

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Temple and the coaching dominoes

Bruce Arians’ first HC job was at TU in 1982 and now, 30 years later, gets his next one.

Round and round the coaching Merry-Go-Round goes and where it stops nobody knows.
Well, at least until a couple of hours ago.
For those who have Temple football connections, it appears to have stopped for awhile now.
Former North Carolina offensive coordinator John Shoop is actively seeking a NFL job. If he doesn’t get one, he reportedly told Matt Rhule he will accept Rhule’s offer to be OC.
Geez, I hope he gets an NFL job because I don’t really want someone here who says, “Well, if nothing pans out, I’ll have to take the Temple job, honey.”

Snow’s defenses gave up 44 points per game in 2010 and 38
points per game in 2012.

I’d rather have Marty Mornhinweg. First, he lives here already, his kid went to St. Joseph’s Prep and his presence might beget a five-star quarterback named Skyler Mornhinweg, currently at Florida.
When was the last time Temple recruited a five-star quarterback?
(Answer: Paulsboro’s Kevin Harvey, recruited by Ron Dickerson.)
Instead, Temple fans will end up with a DC, Phil Snow, whose best days were in the last century at Arizona State. Since 1996, his defenses have not posted a single shutout or had more than three games (in 72 tries) of limiting FBS foes to single-digits. He’s lost a lot off his fastball. In Snow, Rhule sees the 1952 Robin Roberts, not the 1967 Roberts, who ended his career with the Reading Phillies. I hope I’m wrong, but I see similar decline in important career numbers with Snow.
I must admit, after hearing names like Bill Cubit, Nick Rolovich and Nick Rapone thrown out there, ending up with Marcus Satterfield and Phil Snow as Rhule’s top two lieutenants is a bit underwhelming.

In the pros, former Temple head coach Bruce Arians landed as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. To me, that’s the hire of the NFL year and Bruce having coached at Temple has really nothing to do with it.
Was there a candidate out there with two Super Bowls under his belt as an OC, a reputation of turning young quarterbacks into all-pros and someone who turned a losing culture into a winner as a head coach?

I think Rhule is in love with the 2001 Snow, not the Snow of 11 years later. If you take a step back and look at Snow’s resume objectively, he has not done much since 2001. He had a decent year for a non-winning Eastern Michigan team in 2011, but even then the Hurons didn’t limit any offense under double-digits.
I think Satterfield could be very, very good but I don’t know for sure.
But Rhule built that squeaky bed and now he’ll have to sleep on it.
In the pros, former Temple head coach Bruce Arians landed as head coach for the Arizona Cardinals. To me, that’s the hire of the NFL year and Bruce having coached at Temple has really nothing to do with it.


“Coaching is relationship-building
not just great players
but ballboys, managers
kids at Temple that I still
stay in touch with today
and they are my family.”
_Bruce Arians
head coach
Arizona Cardinals


Was there a candidate out there with two Super Bowls under his belt as an OC, a reputation of turning young quarterbacks into all-pros and someone who turned a losing culture into a winner as a head coach?
Other than Bruce, who got his last full-time head-coaching gig 30 years ago, I know there wasn’t.
I can’t imagine Chip Kelly bringing much more than suspect college assistants to Philadelphia.
Arians’ 20 years of contacts is going to build a solid NFL-ready staff and his first staff member is Todd Bowles, a former Owl player of his, as DC.
Good move by Bruce.
Bowles was unfairly blamed for the Eagles’ defensive woes because he inherited a backfield that was on strike and bereft of talent  all season. Bowles will have plenty of defensive talent in Arizona.
Speaking of Bowles, had he been hired as Temple head coach head coach instead of Rhule, his two coordinators would have been Mornhinweg and Rapone. That would have given Temple a guy who posted 11 shutouts since Snow’s last one as DC, an NFL OC and (possibly) a five-star QB recruit.
A little birdie, a red one, told me.
Funny what happens on the coaching Merry-Go-Round before it comes to a complete stop.

Rolovich gone, Heater not forgotten

Nick Rolovich’s decision was a case of Reno 911 meeting 10th and Diamond.

With the announcement yesterday that Nick Rolovich was staying at Nevada comes the news today that Temple defensive coordinator Chuck Heater is leaving for Marshall.
Both developments, while disappointing, are not surprising.
We speculated in this spot a week ago that Chuck was going to Marshall and this is what we said when Rolovich was rumored to come to Temple as offensive coordinator:

I’ll believe Rolovich comes when I see him on North Broad Street. It might be a culture shock for someone who has worked in Hawaii and near Vegas the last two years to work at 10th and Diamond.

I published those words on this site Dec. 28. My instincts proved to be correct.
Rolovich was offered a double-salary pay raise to stay in Nevada.
Good for him. He’s got twins on the way and doesn’t want to uproot his family.
Plus, it’s better he decides now than sometime mid-way through the season. After all, 10th and Diamond isn’t for everybody. Scot Loeffler was the consummate professional while here and did a great job as offensive coordinator in 2011, but I could tell his heart wasn’t into being here.
Fortunately, Matt Rhule’s heart is into it and that should bode well for the make-up of the balance of the staff.

He was one of the best defensive coordinators I’ve ever seen at Temple. Nick Rapone was the best, Chuck was the second, Vince Hoch was the third and Mark D’Onofrio was a distant fourth.

I’m sure Marcus Satterfield will do a fine job as offensive coordinator. There will not be a search for a coordinator on offense. Satterfield will be the guy.
I don’t watch too much television, but one of the few channels I do get is the Comedy one and, while The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (my favorite) was off the air last month, I watched a couple of episodes of (awful) Reno 911.
The only thing that made me laugh about that show was imagining how long those cops would last at 10th and Diamond.
Two minutes.
Maybe.
Chuck, though, was another story altogether.
He loved living in Philadelphia, loved Temple, and was a terrific person to be around.
He was one of the best defensive coordinators I’ve ever seen at Temple.
Nick Rapone was the best, Chuck was the second, Vince Hoch was the third and Mark D’Onofrio was a distant fourth.
Like Nick, Chuck was as humble as they come.
After he made the second-half adjustments to shut out a UConn team that beat Louisville, I found myself standing next to Chuck in the parking lot while waiting for the guys to board the buses. He had a big smile on his face while watching the whole scene.   I turned to him said: “I don’t know what you did or said at halftime, but you are a genius.”
“It wasn’t me,” Chuck said, “It was the boys.”
That will be my lasting memory of Chuck at Temple.

What’s Up With Chuck and Marshall matters?

Doesn’t seem right if Chuck Heater goes from Temple to Marshall.

Over the past few days, we’ve heard some positive developments along the coaching front at Temple University.
Matt Rhule became a full-time coach four days ago and that’s a big plus, a couple of days after hiring an offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, who many believe will be a future great head coach at the BCS level.
That leaves me with one question and one question only:
What’s up with Chuck?

Marshall website added this tidbit four hours ago.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him. Hopefully, he’s working on that now and that will be wrapped up in a couple of days.
I’m getting a little nervous because I saw running backs coach Tyree Foreman and Ed Foley at the Rhule press conference and  I did not see Chuck Heater.
Usually, that’s a bad sign but Steve Addazio hired Don Brown to be his defensive coordinator and Heater is a defensive coordinator and I’d doubt he’d go to BC to take a demotion.
From all accounts, Heater loves Philadelphia and loves Temple.
Still, Heater has plenty of contacts in the business who would like to lure him elsewhere.
One of those is Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, who worked with Heater in Florida.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him

Holliday tried to get Heater when Daz took him the first time and now it looks like, according to a Thundering Hurd website, the doctor has written a prescription with Heater’s name on it again.
Can’t blame Chuck for wanting to work with a guy who he worked a long time at Florida with but Chuck also worked with Matt for a year and Temple and knows that Matt is a tremendous guy, too.
Whatever happens, and we hope Chuck stays, we wish him the best. Unlike Daz, who I won’t miss even a little bit, I will miss Chuck Heater a lot. Always a great guy to talk with at any Temple function and  I really enjoyed talking with him in the parking lot after the UConn game.
If Chuck leaves, though, hopefully Rhule takes a serious look at current University of Delaware DC Nick Rapone, who is past FCS coordinator of the year and a former DC at Temple under Bruce Arians. The bright lights and the big city and big-time football won’t affect Rapone, who has coached not only at Temple but at Pitt. He’s also written six books on defensive football, all available on DVD.
Plus, if you are going to have a Nick as OC you might as well have one as DC.
Rapone’s daughter currently is a college student.
Where?
She could have gone anywhere, but she’s at Temple.

Former Temple Owls talk Nick Rapone: