Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Changes in the wind on Saturday

This is what Mike Gerardi should be doing mostly on Saturday.

To say there will be a healthy breeze on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field when Temple takes on Bowling Green for Homecoming Day, would be a bit of an understatement.
The National Weather Service in Philadelphia is calling for gusts in the 50-60 mph range and that's a pretty damn good breeze.
Kind of a good metaphor for what will happen on the field as well.
I had a feeling Al Golden would be going to Mike Gerardi as Saturday's starting quarterback no later than with two minutes left in the loss to Northern Illinois when Chester Stewart forgot how many downs there were, ruining any remote chance the Owls had of winning the game.
It was about that time, around 3 in the afternoon, that Golden mentally checked out on Chester Stewart right about the time Stewart mentally checked out on him.

"When the curtain came down on Parsippany Hills' football season, college coaches practically made a conga line into Vikings coach Dave Albano's office.

"The subject of the coaches' admiration: Par Hills quarterback Mike Gerardi.
What was there not to like? Gerardi wowed college recruiters for the entire season, led his team to a state championship game, and was an Associated Press first-team All-State player."
_ Bergen County (N.J.) Record, 2/9/07
It's one thing to forget how many downs there are when it's first down.
It's quite another to forget how many there are on fourth.
Since Mike Gerardi was listed as the No. 2, I figured Golden made the move no later than 3:30 or so Saturday afternoon.
It turns out I might be right.
The word I get from the kids (Temple students) who saw Monday and Tuesday practice is that No. 14 was taking a good deal of the reps.
That's all I needed to hear.
Quite frankly, it's about time.
Quite frankly, too, I don't expect Mike to light it up on Saturday.
If he can learn how to hand the ball off to The Franchise (No. 30) and mini franchise (with a lower case f, No. 22), he should do just fine.
Bowling Green can't stop the run. Bowling Green can't run the ball on its own. It's got a decent passing game, but how decent can passing be throwing into 50mph?
So, if Gerardi can hand it off and avoid the turnovers, he should do just fine.
Save the touchdown passes for next week because even Payton Manning ain't getting anything accomplished in this wind.
Quarterback is a funny, as in curious and interesting, position.
You either have it or you don't.
From my experiences with 20 or so past Temple quarterbacks, I've found that if you don't bring an impressive resume to North Broad Street you are just not going to get it done once you get here.
Vaughn Charlton was second-team all-league in a weak (and now defunct) Southern Chester County League, throwing all of nine touchdown passes as a high school senior.
Chester Stewart threw for 17 as a high school senior in a weak D.C. City League (rough equivalent of the Philadelphia Public League).
Both were projects, guys who Al Golden felt he could "coach up" into serviceable Division IA (or FBS) quarterbacks.
Adam DiMichele, on the other hand, threw for 36 touchdowns as a high school senior in the WPIAL.
He was a first-team All-State player.
Golden never had to coach him up. He was already up when he got here.
Other successful Temple quarterbacks, like Matty Baker, Tim Riordan, Lee Saltz, Brian Broomell, Doug Shobert, Steve Joachim, etc., were either first-team All-State in high school or close to it.
None of those guys were projects but they came to Temple polished and all Wayne Hardin had to do was impart his own shine on them and that worked out well for Temple.
Mike Gerardi was a first-team all-state player at Parsippany Hills in New Jersey, which is a very high level of high school football. He threw for 35 touchdowns as a high school senior.
I like that kind of pedigree in my Temple quarterbacks.
In football, as in business, the best predictor of future success is past success.
If he succeeds at Temple, I would not be surprised.
He deserves a chance to show what he can do both this week and next when the winds die down.