Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Addazio Era Begins Today

Coach Daz takes his sunny disposition of positive attitude here today.

A sportswriter I know, who is the best at covering high school sports maybe in the country, has this habit of talking to himself.
Or at least I thought it was to himself.
He has one of those little machines, not quite a tape-recorder, but the functionality of which is to make those little mental notes to yourself permanent.
I haven't gone that far but, for the past few years at least, I've become a list-maker.
I carry a little book around in my pocket and, when I have to remember something, I write it down.
The Steve Addazio Era Begins today at Temple and I hope he's making his list and checking it twice.
Who knows what's on it?
One the plane ride up today, Addazio is probably making this list:
Chuck Heater: Just call him Mother (Teresa)

1) Hire an offensive and defensive coordinator _ Florida defensive coordinator Chuck Heater is available and would be a great get for Addazio and Temple. All indications are that he will get the job as early as Monday. Heater has been such a miracle worker with Urban Meyer defenses in several stops along the way that Meyer calls him "Mother Teresa." Ralph Friedgen of nearby Maryland is available for the OC job. He's getting paid by Maryland even if he takes the Temple job (via buyout) and can be sold on giving Maryland some serious payback in a game between the Owls and Terps in Sept. A guy who was fired after being named ACC coach of the year can't be too happy with Maryland right now. If he's not interested, former Addazio coaching mate George DeLeone probably would be. These guys (Addazio and Heater at least)  are national championship-caliber coaches. Imagine Temple being run by offensive and defensive coordinators with national championship experience at the highest level? It can't get any better than that.
2) Talk Muhammad Wilkerson out of going pro _ This could be tougher because it appears Big Mo had his heart set on going pro a few weeks ago. Bad move for Big Mo because his stock could go up significantly with another year at Temple and he's likely to be no higher than a third-round pick this year. That's not guaranteed money. In fact, there's no guarantee that there will even be an NFL next year due to the messy contract negotiations ahead and the possibility (probability?) of a walkout. Give Big Mo the Vitamin A and Destination Temple speech. Getting Big Mo to stay here would be like landing a five-star recruit.
3) Lock up the current Temple recruits. If a current Gator recruit is wavering, convince him to get on the plane for the Destination Temple ride up north.
4) Investigate getting a blue-chipper, like Quinton Alston, a linebacker from South Jersey, who has de-committed from Pitt and now is open. I talked to Alston's coach two years ago about a running back named Najeem Gibson. He told me to forget Gibson but that he had a "stud linebacker, a big-time linebacker" who "loves Temple." That big-time linebacker was Quinton Alston. Give him the Destination Temple speech. Shake the bushes for similar guys, guys with BCS-level talent. That's how to make Temple the TCU of the East. Get BCS-level talent.
5) Look into keeping a member or two of the current staff, like tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Ed Foley, to ease the transition. Foley is a good guy, a consummate professional, who is easy to get along with, the fans like and who would be a positive part of the new team. He knows the Temple ropes and the current Temple targets.
6) Keep the support staff, like video coordinator Fran Duffy (not to be confused with Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy) _ Al Golden said "there is no better video coordinator in the business" than Fran Duffy. I totally agree with Al Golden on this. In fact, anyone who has watched  the pre-game and the banquet videos produced and shot by Duffy has to agree.
That's just part of the list.
Crossing items off that list will be tasks for the days and weeks ahead.
TFF's winning Mega Millions numbers:
Tuesday's Mega Millions is an estimated $290 million.
If these numbers (11, 6, 30, 12, 13, megaplier No. 9) come up, I win, and Temple gets a fully-paid-for
no-frills, 46K-seat, football-only (meaning the fans are right on top of the field, no track surrounding it) stadium to be called, simply, Temple Stadium.
11 _Big East Player of the Year Walter Washington
for the 2004 Owls. Despite getting kicked out of the BE, the voters could not deny Temple had the best offensive player in the league.
6 _ Paul Palmer, 1986 Heisman Trophy runnerup. You finish second in the Heisman Trophy balloting playing for Temple and that's got to be a lucky number.
30_Bernard Pierce, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner (I hope). He's got that kind of talent. He's faster than Palmer, just as shifty, and can knock over D-backs and LBs better than Boo-Boo ever did. What he hasn't been able do to as well as Boo-Boo is stay on the field. All he has to do is that, get 20TDs and 2,000 yards and lead Temple to an 11-1 record or better and the Heisman is his. (Also a tribute to 1979 Garden State Bowl MVP Mark Bright, another No. 30.)
12_Brian Broomell, led the nation in passing efficiency in 1979.
13_Adam DiMichele, heck with the stats, the kid was tough as nails and a winner. Probably my favorite Temple quarterback of all time.
.... and the winning Megaplier goes to No. 9, Steve Joachim, the only Temple quarterback to win a major award as college football player of the year (Maxwell, 1974).
There you have it. If those numbers come up, I will walk away with $290 million. (Unless you play them and it'll be half that and the best I'll be able to do is a 23K stadium.)