Media Day Primer For Coach Collins

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Some questions need to be answered

There have been a lot of firsts for Geoff Collins in his short tenure as Temple football head coach and today marks another one.

His first Summer Camp Media Day.

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While he has had other significant days with the media before, like the day he was signed as head coach and a post-mortem on a rainy Cherry and White Day, this one in the most special because he has an intimate knowledge of the personnel available to him.

This one also has a little more urgency in the sense that it will be month or so until kickoff. While Collins has pretty much winged these things in the past, here’s a primer offered to the coach for free on how he should answer some of the questions posed:

Are You Any Closer to Naming The Starting Quarterback?

What GC will probably say: “We’re going to let the process play itself out over the next couple of weeks and then make a decision.”

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What GC SHOULD say: “I could pick Russo, I could pick Centeio, I could pick Frankie Juice or Logan. I’m waiting for one guy to create enough separation so he makes the decision for me. If not, we’re going to throw four names into a hat, throw the hat up into the air and the first slip of paper that hits the ground will be the guy who starts.”

What Are the Chances of Switching to a 5-2 Defense?

What GC will probably say: “We went to a 4-3 in the spring and we’re comfortable with that going forward.”

What GC SHOULD say: “When I took the job here, I said the No. 1 thing I’ve learned as a coach is to use a system tailored to the talent you have, not try to fit the talent into a system. What I learned in the spring is that we have eight great defensive linemen and a lot of inexperienced guys at linebacker. To get another great player on the field and create the kind of Mayhem I want in the bad guys’ offensive backfield, I think we will go to a 5-2.”

What Will  Mayhem Look Like?

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What GC will probably say: “You wait and see. You’ll be pleased.”

What GC SHOULD say: “A lot of sacks, a lot of fumbles and interceptions and maybe a pick in the flat by Sharif Finch. We want to do something with those interceptions and fumbles, like return them for touchdowns.”

 

Why Has Recruiting Gone So Well?

What GC will probably say: “I can’t talk about recruiting until Signing Day.”

What GC SHOULD say: “I learned a lot of tricks as recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech and Alabama. I’m applying them here, but can’t tell you what they are because some of our competitors might be listening.”

What Do You Tell Recruits Who Ask You If You’ll Be Around in Five Years?

What GC will probably say: “I tell them to not think about that, but to concentrate on the here and now.”

What GC SHOULD say: “I’m absolutely going to be around in five years, hopefully a lot more if they will have me. I read a great quote the other day on Temple Football Forever from coach Wayne Hardin that he made when he was head coach at Temple where he said he was happy to be here today and expected to be happy to be here tomorrow and that he had nothing to prove and no hills to climb and that winning was the most important thing to him. I feel the same way. These kids have had enough turmoil. They need a coach who is going to be around for a long time and I plan to be that guy. This fan base has enough with the revolving door of coaches here and I plan on ending that.”

Wednesday: Analyzing the Real Answers

 

 

 

 

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Media Day: Sign Season Not Far Away

When I used to vacation in the Poconos, there was no more significant sign the summer was coming to an end than ads along the side of Route 209 promoting the West End Fair or the Carbon County Fair.

Since I wasn’t interested in county fairs but was very interested in an endless summer, those were always signs of trouble up ahead like, you know, the  end of vacations and the beginning of a long, cold winter.

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The last time TU was picked to finish third in the East, it won the division.

I always had Temple football to fall back on, which was nothing to write home about—or even blog about—during the Dark Ages of 1991 through 2005. Now, that’s much different.

College football’s way of telling you the summer is coming to an end are the various Media Days.

The American Athletic Conference held two of them the last two days so as one door closes another opens and it was the AAC’s way of telling you that before the long, cold, winter comes is some exciting football ahead.

Players on the way into the facility at Newport (R.I.) were greeted with the photo of the P6 helmet. The AAC likes to market itself as a P6 Conference. That’s a little silly. While it is the best of the rest, it is still a G5 Conference. What is the Power 5 to do? “Oh, yeah, that helmet reminds us that you are just as  good as us, so here is your invite to join us.” Not happening. As George Carlin says, “it’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”

Commissioner Mike Aresco inadvertently made news when he said that Temple and Miami have signed a home-and-home and Temple quickly denied that a contract had been signed. Temple needs to add more ACC schools to its schedule and Miami would be a nice addition with Duke and Boston College. Maybe Aresco misspoke; maybe he jumped the gun. Hopefully, Miami replaces Bucknell or Idaho.

Even Cincinnati, Temple, Houston and UConn—the four most likely future P5 schools—are stuck in this conference for a long time and they might as well make the most of it.

From Temple’s perspective, even after a championship, there is still a lot left to accomplish and those were basically the answers the players provided on Tuesday morning. There is a great opportunity to beat Notre Dame on Opening Day, and a chance to beat even a more hated rival the next week. There’s a chance to prove to the people picking South Florida and Navy to win the AAC that, not so fast, Temple is really the Gold Standard of this league.

Then there is the challenge of going to a bowl and winning one for a change, a reminder that all this could be accomplished before the real cold part of winter.

Friday: The Big Uglies

Monday: The Gold Standard