Saturday, October 16, 2010

Golden Rhule: Give the ball to Bernard Pierce

I'm glad a brought a transitor radio with me to hear Saturday's Temple game at Lincoln Financial Field.
While watching it, I had the transitor nearby on the ledge but inadvertantly turned off for the entire first half.
I thought I might be going crazy for thinking some of the things I was thinking, but then I turned the radio on in the second half and heard my exact same thoughts spill out of the mouth of a Maxwell Award-winning quarterback.

"We really didn't need this drama. They should have been giving the ball to Bernard Pierce all along."
_ Steve Joachim
"We really didn't need this drama," Temple radio color man Steve Joachim said. "They should have been giving the ball to Bernard Pierce all along. I said that in the first half and I'm saying it now."
That's what I'm talkin' about, Steve.
It's much nicer to learn lessons after a 28-27 win than after a 29-28 defeat, but the lessons must be learned.
Here are two of them:
1) How about going back to what (and who) worked on offense last year?
2) How about dedicating the rest of the season on defense to doing something different, like putting the other quarterback on his ass by rushing eight and dropping three instead of the other way around?

  I trust a career defensive guy, like Matt D'Onofrio, to fix that more than I trust another career defensive guy, like Matt Rhule, to fix an offensive problem.
Right now, we'll concentrate on the offensive lessons that must be learned.
I wish Al Golden had a little violent streak in him because, if he did, after a film session on Sunday to determine what went wrong, he would take offensive coordinator Rhule by the ears and bang his head into the Edberg-Olson film room blackboard after each of these words:

Mark, Matt, I called you here to discuss some things.
 We can only hope ...
"Matt, you are killing me here. Give the damn ball to Pierce. Have Gerardi run some play-action fakes after we establish Bernard. Mark, if you want Bruce Arians here after I'm gone, keep playing that passive bend-but-don't break defense. That's not Philly-style football. Philly-style football is aggressive and attacking. That sign behind us on game day says 'Attack the MAC.' It doesn't say 'Sit Back in a Prevent and Let the MAC Attack us.' Philly-style football is going after the quarterback. Let's go after the quarterback big-time from now on. If we can't get to him with three, we sure as heck can get to him rushing eight and let's do it."
(banged head)
 (banged head)
(banged head)
(banged head)
"the ball"
(banged head)
"to Bernard"
(banged head)
(banged head)
"do you not understand?"
Capisce? Understand?
Am I going crazy here?
Bowling Green could not stop Bernard Pierce if they played 20 guys on defense, yet for reason known only to Rhule (and I hope not Golden), Temple's offensive coordinator insisted on trying plays other than handoffs and pitchouts to Bernard Pierce.
Temple had one play that worked every time.
Every time.
Until Bowling Green, the 111th (of 112) FBS teams against the run proved they couldn't stop it, what sense does it make to do anything else?
Was Matt Rhule trying to help Bowling Green?
I'm sure it was something else (the word incompentence comes to mind).
What the hell is going on here?
Matty Brown is a nice player, nice ... nice ... nice player but he's not a Gosh-darn superstar.
He's a nice player, I get it.
That's all he is, though.
Bernard Pierce is a gosh-darn superstar.
He wasn't hurt.
Give him the damn ball.
When a career linebacker, a linebacker coach, is calling the signals, I have to question his acumen for offensive football.
I trust what I see and when 20 minutes after I see it, a Maxwell Award-winning quarterback who was tutored by the greatest offensive mind in the history of college football (Wayne Hardin) sees the same thing, I trust that more.
When what Rhule does week after week fails to utilize the enormous weapons he has at his disposal, it's time for someone to knock some sense into his head.
Maybe not as violently as I depicted it, but in very strong terms.