5 Things We Won’t Miss About Mr. Mayhem

maymeister

The promised Mayhem really never arrived in the form of a national top-ranked defense.

Sometimes you have to look back to look forward.

Today is one of those times.

Geoff Collins is now Georgia Tech’s problem.

In my mind, at least, he earned no higher than a “C” grade in his two years at Temple. The Mayhem promised really never materialized and his defensive reputation never transferred with him to Temple, where the Owls were torched for 52, 45 and 49 points in three important games, only one of which was a win. He had 10-win talent in his first season and won seven and probably an even better team in his second and won eight. A good grade (B) would have resulted in more wins than that. A great grade would have been beating the teams he should have beaten and won a game or two against teams he  was not favored to beat.

To me, the essential questions after the Collins’ departure is, “Do you believe Collins was JUST a good coach for Temple and do you believe there are better coaches than Collins for Temple?”

The answer to both questions is yes and I believe Rod Carey is part of an unidentified number of available head coaches who would be BETTER for Temple than Collins was. (I also believe guys like Chris Creighton and Lance Leipold would have been better, but we will never know.) What we do know is that a staff at James Madison University, led by current ECU head coach Mike Houston, was able to beat Villanova with JMU talent 37-0 only a couple of weeks after Collins’ staff lost to the same team, 19-17, with Temple talent.

Whether Carey is better will be determined in December, not before. These are five things that we will not miss about Collins:

above

Above The Line

For a number of great reasons, the tradition of the Temple depth chart will return and not something vague as the “above the line” concept of Collins. I have not talked to a single ex-Temple player who ever thought getting rid of a depth chart was a good idea. Mike Curcio, a great Temple linebacker who later played with the Philadelphia Eagles, told me nothing motivated him to become a starter than seeing his name as No. 3 on the TU linebacker depth chart. Above the line served no useful purpose. Now the players know where they stand and what they have to do to move up the depth chart and that’s a good thing.

moneydowns

Money Downs

Nothing made more a mockery of the money down thing than for Temple to be rated No. 129 in third-down conversions halfway through the season than to see “money down” signs on third down. While the Owls improved after that, they were in debt most of the season.

An Offensive Abomination

Nick Sharga’s lead blocking as a fullback for tailbacks Jahad Thomas and Ryquell Armstead was as big a reason as any for the 2016 Owls winning the AAC title. The two combined for nearly 2,000 yards of rushing and Armstead scored 14 touchdowns, 13 of them behind devastating Sharga blocks. Before the 2017 season, Collins promised that “we are going to use (Sharga) even more than they did last year” and that “I’m his fullback coach; he’s the best fullback in the country.” Yet Collins stood idly by and did nothing as his OC, Dave Patenaude, eliminated the fullback position at Temple. Patenaude was probably the most ill-suited coach for Temple, head or assistant, since Jerry Berndt. His passing on first-and-goal after Isaiah Wright was tripped up at the 1 cost the Owls a win at Army in 2017. His passing on first-and-goal at the Navy 7 with 1:28 left and the Middies with no timeouts left resulted in an interception and a near-loss. His game-calling against Villanova directly resulted in one loss and nearly another. Only 45 offensive touchdowns on a 2018 team that included Anthony Russo, Ventell Byrant, Armstead, Wright, Branden Mack and Rob Ritrovato was malfeasance of the highest order. Atlanta is going to love this guy.

WWE Superstars at Practice

Collins had WWE Super Star Titus O’Neil visit practice in the week before the 2017 Villanova game. I can’t imagine how that helped the Owls avoid three-straight offsides penalties that the defense incurred in that game.

Less Talk, More Action

At Rod Carey’s first press conference, he said that good football teams don’t talk about being tough they just are. Collins talked a lot about juice. The hope here is that the juice will be seen and not heard.

Friday: Comparing First Seasons

 

Red Flags and The Carey Hiring

This is the only (somewhat) Red Flag I care about.

It would not be a Temple coaching search, post-Al Golden at least, to find a red flag or two on the field.

We found several in the short-lived hiring of Manny Diaz that had to do with him never being a head coach before, lack of knowledge and recruiting ties in the Northeast, never having coached north of Jacksonville and having a father who was Mayor of Miami. All those flags pointed in the direction of a U-Turn back South, although we thought it might be a year, not 17 days.


Rod Carey isn’t perfect,
nor without red flags,
but he has won before
in a difficult league
and his green flags
seem to outnumber
his red ones

Steve Addazio, the Florida assistant, was perhaps the most-hated man in Gainesville when he took the Temple job.

Matt Rhule was a guy who the players lobbied for twice before he was awarded the Temple job.  Dick Vermeil said about fans lobbying for the backup quarterback when Ron Jaworski was struggling: “If you listen to the fans, soon you’ll be sitting next to them.”  That pretty much applies to athletic directors listening to players.

Geoff Collins’ Mayhem defense was torched against Tennessee, Alabama and Florida State in the weeks before he was hired at Temple.

The reality is that Hardin was as close to perfection as you can get and any Temple fans who remember him have been spoiled. Golden had a pass in that he was given an impossible job–end a 20-game losing streak and rid the program of malcontents, all while bringing up the APR.

Now Rod Carey comes aboard and his only red flag was that a significant portion of the Northern Illinois’ fanbase was happy to see him go.  I haven’t been able to find a single columnist or beat writer who covered NIU criticize him, but a lot of fans did not hold him in high esteem.

this

nation

Interesting that the middle fan could not spell DeKalb

The Temple Red Flag File

JERRY BERNDT _ For some reason, Temple President Peter J. Liacouras was enamored with Berndt, who never had a real record as a winning head coach before. RED FLAG: He was 0-11 with the Owls (Rice Owls) the year before he was hired by the Temple Owls. He also got to go 1-10 with the Temple Owls, making him the only head coach in history to go a combined 1-21 for two teams named the Owls. Berndt could not recruit his way out of a paper bag.

RON DICKERSON _ Joe Paterno, no big lover of Temple football (thank God in retrospect), urged Dickerson not to take the Temple job. When Dickerson was adamant about taking it, Joe supported Dickerson, saying that “Ron is the best defensive coordinator in the country.” RED FLAG: The “best defensive coordinator in the country” allowed 55 points in his last regular-season game, after moving from Penn State to Clemson. Dickerson was in over his head as a CEO. He could recruit, but he couldn’t coach his way out of the same paper bag Berndt recruited from.

BOBBY WALLACE _ The man won three Division II titles, but those were Division II titles, taking the scraps of players not wanted by the big Southern schools like Auburn and Alabama. Because he was hooked into the Southern recruiting system, he found some good players for that level. Those kind of players would never work for Temple and Wallace found out that the hard way. RED FLAG: He didn’t have the level of drive or commitment needed to succeed at football’s highest level, no desire to live in the Northeast and Temple wasted eight years of their fans’ lives as a result.

With Carey, the red flag (note singular) does not seem to be as egregious as the ones with the above coaches and it seems to be something at least he has owned.

His first words upon hearing Pat Kraft’s glowing introduction:

“That was more nice things said about me than I’ve heard in the last six years,” Carey said.

Maybe those NIU fans were spoiled. Maybe Carey has learned from any perceived flaws.

It’s hard to imagine a Temple fanbase happy to see a coach leave who has won four division and two league titles in six years. Rod Carey isn’t perfect, nor without red flags, but he has won before in a difficult league and his green flags seem to outnumber his red ones.

Wednesday: 5 Things We Won’t Miss About Mr. Mayhem

Friday: Comparing First Years

Monday: Minimal Expectations

Wednesday: This Year’s Lab Experiment

Friday: A Primer

New Staff: Substance Over Flash

 

knowles

From left, Knowles, Rice and Stewart sound like a law firm who are ready to defend the Owls on that side of the field this fall.

The pieces to the puzzle that is Rod Carey’s new staff are mostly there, it’s just a matter of fitting them together.

What we do know is this:

There will be a decidedly FBS flavor for the one taking over compared to the mostly FCS one that left the Edberg Olson Complex for Atlanta over a month ago.

That’s a departure from the previous University of Florida coordinator who took over and represents a trend in a more positive direction for the program as a whole.

When Steve Addazio came from Florida to take over Temple prior to the 2011 season, he brought with him a national champion defensive coordinator (Chuck Heater) and a national champion quarterback coach (Scot Loeffler). When Geoff Collins came from the same school, he bought the Gators’ equipment guy and coordinators from Kennesaw State and Coastal Carolina.

rushmore

Pat Kraft promised the players he wanted stability and both he and Rod Carey delivered it with this “Mount Rushmore” of Temple stability, Fran, ADM, Foles and Gabe. This speaks volumes about both Carey and Kraft.

Big difference and it showed in games the Owls had no business of being close in (the first Villanova game) or losing (UConn and Army, 2017) and Villanova and Buffalo (2018). Two years in a row, Collins’ FCS coaches were badly outcoached by Villanova’s FCS coaches.

While you could argue with the results on the field, the equipment was top-notch.

Rod Carey’s additions from Northern Illinois have much more solid football credentials. Mix in the Temple holdovers, including former Baylor assistant head coach Fran Brown, and this has the making of one of the best Temple staffs in a long time.

We don’t know who the offensive coordinator will be, but hopefully it will be a guy who helps the Owls get back to the Temple TUFF style of offensive football that was run under both Al Golden and Matt Rhule, more of a running game mixed in with a play-action passing one.

The addition of Jeff Knowles as defensive coordinator is probably the best get by Carey so far. Knowles had the NIU defense in the top 35 in the country last year and coached three years at North Carolina State. In his first season as defensive coordinator this past fall, the Huskies were second in the FBS in sacks with 50, trailing only national champion Clemson. The Huskies were ranked 11th in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game (109.2), 10th in team tackles for loss per game (7.9) NIU had six all-Mid-American Conference selections on its defense

Melvin Rice, the DB coach, coached last year at NIU and four years at Minnesota and DL coach Walter Stewart played at Cincinnati (so he’s very familiar with Temple) and had one of the best pass-rushing units in the country at NIU last year. Joe Tripodi, who holds a masters from the Harvard of the Big 10 (Northwestern), is the new OL coach. Craig Harmon, who was the QB coach at NIU, also comes over as Carey’s staff meshes with the Temple holdovers.

While Manny Diaz’s poaching of Temple strength coach David Feeley–who he never met before arriving on Temple’s campus one month ago yesterday–was particularly troubling, the Owls get the NIU strength coach Brad Ohrt, who played on the Appalachian State team that beat Michigan and has been with the Miami Dolphins and USC, among other squads. For all that Feeley did with Temple, the Owls were still pushed around in the Buffalo and Nova games and Ohrt did not allow that to happen to NIU against Buffalo.

The Owls should be strong next year.

In more ways than one.

Monday: Red Flag On The Field

 

 

Getting The Old Gang Back Together

niu

Now that the official Temple coaching directory lists as many as four holdovers added to the new Rod Carey staff, we can assume that they all either have sat down to debrief Carey or will do so soon.

It’s now official that Gabe Infante, Adam DiMichele, Ed Foley and Fran Brown are on the staff with their titles to be sorted out in less than two weeks.

Who knows what has been said?

 

It could have went or will go down something like this:

Carey: I’d like to welcome you guys. Pat (Kraft) said a lot of great things about you all. Just wanted to get a feel of where the program is at and how you would like to improve it.

Foley: I’ll take that question first. We got killed in the bowl game because we had a 27-14 lead and were not able to close it out with some effective running behind a good offensive line. That was our MO the entire season.

edfoley

Ed Foley has consistently had the Temple special teams near the top of the NCAA stats over the last decade and is expected to continue in that role.

Carey: Missouri?

Foley: No, modus operandi. That’s a particular way of doing things. We had Rock Armstead do that for us and he was injured before the game. I think he tripped over the Elvis status on the way out of the bus. Whatever, we didn’t have that feature back and we want to find one.

Brown: I’m on it. I’m looking at a kid in Florida and another in Jersey who can step right in and maybe take over.

Carey: What are our options from the roster?

DiMichele: We’ve got two, maybe three, NFL potential receivers in Isaiah Wright, Branden Mack and Sean Ryan plus a couple of promising guys behind them in Randle Jones and Freddie Johnson. Only one of those guys, Wright, has played tailback before. He had seven carries in a game there in Matt’s last year. He’s a first-team All-American kickoff and punt returner and, for his entire career here, both Matt and Geoff have talked about getting him the ball more and I can’t think of a better way to get him the ball 20 times a game than putting him behind the quarterback.

infante

Gabe Infante is a legendary high school football coach in Philadelphia.

Carey: I like the idea. Offensively, you guys know the roster. What would you run with this personnel grouping?

Foley: Don’t ask me. I’m 0-2 in bowl games.

Carey: I’ve got you beat there. I’m 0-6.

Infante: I’ll chime in here. Being from the Philadelphia Catholic League, I had the pleasure of watching Anthony Russo …

Carey: Who?

Infante: Our starting quarterback, Anthony Russo.

Carey: Yeah, I saw him on TV. He’s pretty good.

Infante: Yes, but the Georgia Tech cabal had him running a pass-run option. With all due respect, that’s crazy. He’s no more of a RPO guy than Tom Brady is with the Patriots and you didn’t see Bill Belichick running that against the Chargers yesterday. Go with the pro set, put a fullback in front of Wright to clear the way, mix in a lot of play-action fakes to the running backs and Anthony will have Mack and Ryan and tight end Kenny Yeboah running so free he won’t know which one to pick out.

Carey: Cabal. That’s a good word. Did you go to the Prep or just coach there?

Infante: The kids were the ones using the fancy words, so a few rubbed off on me.

Carey: Back to the point: Running the ball with a great tailback following a blocking fullback and then hitting explosive downfield plays in the play-action passing game is just good midwestern-style football, Gabe. What position did Manny Diaz have you coaching?

Infante: Linebackers.

Carey: Forget that, I’m moving you to the offensive side of the ball.

Infante: Thanks, Rod.

Carey: That settles it. We’re running a pro set and putting Wright at tailback and Fran, go find me the Rock Armstead of the future to back him up. Anything else? Meeting adjourned. I’ve got to go to Pat Kraft’s office and see what I can do to get Bucknell off the schedule and get us another Power 5 game instead. We’re going to need another P5 win if we’re going to get into the four-team playoff.

days

The official Temple coaching directory as of 1-15-19

Friday: Why This Staff is Already Better Than the One at GT

Monday: Mr. Mayhem is Gone But Not Forgotten

 

Temple’s Rod Carey Has Good Company

 

Since the presser started 14 minutes late, advance timestamp to 14:01

The two best coaches I’ve ever known are both gone now but had very similar personalities and approaches to the game of football.

One, Wayne Hardin, was the best college coach I ever knew and the other, Mike Pettine, Sr., was the best high school one. I feel blessed to have known both so well.

Neither was loved by his players during those playing years. Those coaches were more fathers than brothers, who basically said “if you live in my house, you live by my rules.”

Both maintained the only fun in football is winning.

All the players loved, even worshipped,  both years later. The kids then, now adults, realized they were playing for a tough taskmaster whose only goal was to get the most out of their talent and that’s the best love of all.

conjar

Legendary TU linebacker Steve Conjar (left) feared being called into Wayne Hardin’s office as a player, but loved him like a son years later.

I thought about that because a lot of what I heard at the podium in person from Rod Carey on his first day as head coach of Temple University was what I heard from Hardin while covering the Owls for The Temple News and what I heard from Pettine from covering perennial state champion Central Bucks West in the late 1970s through the 1980s.

Both coaches were respected by their players but there was a dash of healthy fear there, too.

Pettine got the most out of 5-10, 170-pound players than any coach I ever saw and coached a school that had no more than 1,000 boys to a 324-26-2 overall record.

Hardin also did the impossible, taking both Navy and Temple high up the national rankings. No coach has had Navy or Temple ranked as high since Hardin and for some pretty good reasons.

petmeister

CB West never jumped offsides or had false starts because Mike Pettine made sure they ran the drill until they got it right.

Hardin and Pettine set the boundaries between player and coach by laying down the law.

Carey did the same on Friday afternoon, repeating, “Do you hear me?” twice and getting a “yes, sir” from the players in the back of the room. I haven’t heard Temple players say yes sir to a coach in a long time.

That was a “wow” moment because it reminded me so much of Hardin and Pettine.

Carey said he would not talk about being tough because tough teams don’t need to talk about it, that they just are tough.

Carey talked about building trust over time because he knew it would be disingenuous to do otherwise.

More than anything, though, is that he promised to be real and that the players would eventually come to appreciate that.

funpart

If this scene is replicated in December at Lincoln Financial Field, all of the hard work in practice will be rewarded. Suggestion to Carey: Make Isaiah Wright the starting tailback and it will be.

For me, at least, the last two Temple coaches attempted to be “buddies” or “friends” of the players a bit too much. Under the last regime, there was too much talk about swag and money downs and too little action and too many times you wondered if they ever even practiced. Two seasons ago, for instance, in a 16-13 win over Villanova, the defensive line was baited into three-straight offsides’ penalties. That simply does not happen if business is taken care in practice during the week. In the prior regime, Temple was called for 148 yards in penalties in a 34-27 loss at Penn State, robbing the Owls of a chance for consecutive victories over that program and similarly robbing a G5 league champion a win over a P5 league champion. Get even under that low bar of 100 yards of penalties and the Owls win that game. Practice is the time to get things cleaned up.

You can be a good coach as a brother figure.

Only father figures make great head coaches.

Carey is showing clear signs as being among the latter group, just like Pettine and Hardin were and, to me, that’s the best compliment a head coach can get. It’s going to be hard for Carey to be as smart as those two guys were because they were true geniuses, but at least the emphasis getting down to work is there.

The hard part will be spring and summer practice. The fun part will winning on Saturdays and that’s the way it should be.

Wednesday: Foley and Brown Debrief Carey

Bullbleep Meter and The Temple Job

typical

Typical crowd at an Eastern Michigan game, Rynearson Stadium. For Chris Creighton to win there, he must be the best head coach since Vince Lombardi

One of the things that makes me proudest to have my Temple B.A is that you also get an honorary degree in B.S on graduation day.

There’s nothing like going to college and living in the heart of a hard-scrabble (emphasis on scrabble) city to sharpen your bullshit meter.

bestnon

Just about everybody I know who has a Temple degree is able to separate the bullbleep from the regular bleep. For instance, the Bruce Arians’ guys who tailgated on the first Cherry and White Day of the Steve Addazio Era told me that Daz was a phony they could spot a mile away and compared him to Jerry Berndt. They loved Arians. They hated Berndt.

The Steve Conjar tailgate group never warmed up to Geoff Collins for some very good reasons. Collins thought Temple football did not exist prior to Al Golden. Upon being introduced to Paul Palmer, the Minister of Mayhem said this:

“Hey, coach, nice to meet you. What high school do you coach for?”

He had no idea he was talking to arguably the greatest player in Temple football history.

Ugh.

Can’t imagine Nick Saban having the same conversation with Joe Namath.

Have you seen the promised Mayhem yet?

I didn’t think so.

All I got was a lousy cotton T-Shirt that I paid $33 for and a “darkside defense” that allowed far too many points this season. Collins was a big fat blip on the bullbleep radar that should have been shot down by the committee two years ago.

Everybody has that kind of radar except the Temple Football Search Committee, if there is indeed one.

They didn’t spot Steve Addazio.

They didn’t spot Geoff Collins.

They didn’t spot Manny Diaz.

creighton

Chris Creighton is for real

As good a regular artist as Norman Rockwell was, that’s how good a bullbleep artist those three are.

So why was I not surprised that the name “Joe Rudolph” came up on Tuesday and “he was impressive” in the interview?

My first reaction was “are they going to let another assistant coach bullshit his way into the Temple job?”

Geez, I hope not.

The criteria this time should simply be this: Deeds over words.

It’s that simple. Temple is looking for a head coach, not an assistant coach, and this time the university has the big bucks to pay an accomplished guy for the job and not roll the dice on another assistant.

Rudolph, to me, is not an exciting name because no one knows what his responsibilities are/were at Wisconsin. We hear that head coach Paul Chryst called all the plays and he probably did.

If Rudolph shined in an interview process, it was probably because he said what the committee wanted to hear.


One exciting name emerged
yesterday and it wasn’t
Rudolph. It was Eastern
Michigan coach Chris Creighton …
He would fit right in here
and maybe take Temple TUFF
up a notch. He’s that good.

“Will you keep Fran Brown?”

“Yeah, I love the guy.”

“How about Ed Foley?”

“Yeah, me and Ed would work well. Love that speech that went viral.”

“How about Gabe Infante?”

“Who? Yeah, him, too.”

“What about the other assistants?”

“I know some of the best people. Great minds. All FBS coordinators. I’m going to bring those guys in here. No FCS guys like Collins.”

wolverine

“You’re doing great, Joe. What about commitment to Temple? Will you be outta here in two or three years.”

“Nope. If I sign a five-year contract, I’m staying the full five years. When I played with the Eagles, I’d go up and down Broad Street and see those Temple flags and think to myself, ‘I’d love to coach there one day. That’s my dream school.’ ”

The lesson of Daz, Diaz and Collins to take away is to avoid the silver-tongue devil promising the world and gravitate to the better angels who have a track record. This time, Temple should look at what the guy has done not what he tells the school he will do.

One exciting name emerged yesterday and it wasn’t Rudolph.

It was Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton. There is no more impossible place to win than EMU. If you have been there, and I have, you know there are literally no more than 1,000 or 2,000 people at any home game. I’ve watched that team and it plays with a toughness level very similar to Temple. He would fit right in here and maybe take Temple TUFF up a notch. He’s that good.

For him to have taken that team to Purdue and win and to two bowl games in three years is more impressive than anything Addazio and Collins did at Temple.

If you are going to make a splash, go get that guy or Lance Leipold or Rod Carey. Guys who have done pretty impressive things in the very job Temple is looking to fill. Don’t let another bulls hitter talk his way into a job that should be earned.

You are Temple. Act like it. After Diaz, everyone’s bullbleep radar should be on DEFCON 1.

Friday: Smoking Out The Winner

 

TU Coaching Search: Wait and Hurry Up

hurryupandwait

If the prior coaching search at Temple, the one that took place less than a month ago, was all about hurrying up to meet the early December signing period, this one was about waiting.

Then hurrying up.

Since there was only one other high-profile FBS job available, Temple athletic director Dr. Pat Kraft had to wait for what the Power 5 school (West Virginia) did and then move on after that. Kraft didn’t only have egg on his face after the Manny Diaz Fiasco, he had a whole Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast. No use hiring a guy on Thursday, only to have him move on to West Virginia on Friday.

We are exaggerating for effect. We think. 

fastnarducci

slownarducci

Seven hours between these two tweets

First, the waiting part.

Since West Virginia hired Troy’s Neal Brown–arguably the most accomplished proven FBS head coach out there–yesterday, Temple has a smorgasbord of pretty decent candidates to choose from and about $8.5 million to spend on a head coach  ($6.5 million in buyouts and Geoff Collins‘ regular $2 million salary) to spread over the next five years.

This time none of the candidates have a place to jump to after 17 days. One or two years maybe, but not 17 days.

pophead

Temple’s depression-era offer of $12,500K per year lured Pop Warner away from Stanford. The second splash hire, Wayne Hardin, arguably turned out to be a better one.

The Owls can pay Dana Holgorsen money for a superstar like current Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold or national coach of the year Jeff Monken (Army) or they can dig back deep into the coordinator churn pile for someone like Texas DC Todd Orlando. Leipold is probably out because he has shown no interest in the Temple job (not everyone is), although the concept of hiring a guy who kicked Geoff Collins’ ass with Buffalo talent is more than intriguing. Temple produces NFL players so Monken and his triple-option is probably out and hiring another team’s coordinator after Diaz probably would probably not be received well by the Temple fan base demanding a splash with the newfound money. Eastern Michigan’s Chris Creighton pulled a minor miracle in an impossible place to win this year, but he hasn’t shown he can sustain it like Leipold and Monken.

Now Temple has money for a “splash” hire and one opportunity to spend it.

Really, a solid argument can now be made with Neal Brown gone that Leipold is the only “splash” candidate out there. Seven National championships plus an FBS division championship sets him apart from the rest. The only two times Temple went for a “splash” candidate, Wayne Hardin and Pop Warner, it turned out pretty well.


The only two times
Temple went for a
“splash” candidate,
Wayne Hardin and
Pop Warner, it turned
out pretty well

Popular hirings among a certain segment of Temple fans would be Al Golden and Todd Bowles. Golden gave Temple five great years–a lot longer than 17 days–and still has a tremendous relationship with many long-time Temple fans. He probably saved the program and turned a 0-11 season before he got here into a nine- and an eight-win season before he left. He still has terrific recruiting contacts up and the East Coast and good relationships with Ed Foley and Adam DiMichele. He probably has the competitive instincts to prove was better for Temple than Rhule or Collins. Kraft could not go wrong in bringing him back but we don’t know if he’s even interested. Bowles would be popular with players of the Bruce Arians’ Era but he would be a much harder sell in that he hasn’t really won anywhere.

donbrown

Don Brown in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. Note the words “not on anybody else’s terms.” Kraft could be demanding Brown keep Fran Brown, Ed Foley, Gabe Infante and Adam DiMichele, none of whom Brown knows. This problem would be solved by hiring another guy working in Michigan, Al Golden.

Now the hurrying up part.

When Diaz left, Kraft issued a statement that emphasized two words: Excellence and stability.

Fran Brown, the current interim coach, represents “stability” and is well-liked by the players. Still, since he was seen not as a guy who could take over the Temple head coaching job 23 days ago, it’s hard to sell excellence and Fran Brown. Mike Elko, Don Brown and Manny Diaz were by reports the final three in the first search. Elko pulled out of the first search and used it as leverage to sign a new deal at Texas A&M.

That leads us to Don Brown. Of those mentioned so far, he brings both stability and excellence. He has all the big-time coordinator experience (BC, UConn, Maryland, Michigan) of the other coordinator churn pile guys but a 95-45 record as a head coach at three schools. That’s excellence. At 63, Temple would be his last rodeo and he can say with a straight face at the press conference that he’s not going anywhere. Another plus is that this will enable Fran Brown to learn how to be DC (not co-DC) under Don Brown’s watch and make him a more attractive candidate for the Temple job when Don decides to retire.

The narrow criteria of “excellence” and “stability” could make this hurry up phase of the second search go pretty fast and that’s what one Brown can do for Kraft that the other one cannot.

Monday: The special circumstance now