Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Loeffler completes Owligator coaching Trinity

Loeffler completes the Owligator Holy Trinity

If Groundhog Day was last Wednesday, you can call this Wednesday Owligator Day.
As good as last Wednesday was recruiting for the Owls, Owligator Day beats Groundhog Day by a good bit.
That's because Temple signed Scot Loeffler as offensive coordinator on Wednesday, completing the "Holy Trinity" of Gator coaches who will be roaming the sidelines at Temple.
Steve Addazio, head coach.
Chuck Heater, defensive coordinator.
Scot Loeffler, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks' coach.
Think about it.
Temple's head coach is a guy who was HEAD coach (yes, head coach) at Florida to be its head coach. (I know it's a technicality but Addazio was head coach for three months while Urban Meyer was on sick leave.) I really think Daz's personality is more suited to being a head coach than an offensive coordinator in terms of being a CEO-type and a motivator. We won't know for sure until he beats up Villanova like Muhammad Ali beat up Chuck Wepner, but Temple is getting a guy who could be a gem as a head coach.
Temple is also getting a guy who was co-defensive coordinator at Florida to be its defensive coordinator. ("Head coach of the defense," Addazio said.)
Now Temple is also getting a guy who was at least partly responsible for the development of Tom Brady, Chad Henne and Brian Griese as Michigan quarterbacks because he there when all three were at Michigan.
Oh yeah.
 He was Tim Tebow's quarterback's coach, too.
Temple is sending a message to the rest of the college football world that its football program is in capable hands by completing this Holy Trinity of Owligators.

The Loeffler File:
• Led a Florida quarterback unit that led the nation in pass efficiency (167.3) in 2009. They passed for 3,305 yards for 28 touchdowns with just five interceptions. Florida ranked second in the SEC in passing offense with an average of 236.1 yards per game.

• Guided Tim Tebow in his final season at Florida, during which he passed for 2,895 yards and 21 touchdowns, finishing his senior year with a passing efficiency of 164.17. The quarterback left Florida with five NCAA, 14 SEC and 28 UF records
• Led the Michigan quarterbacks for six seasons, guiding second-round draft pick Chad Henne. Under the tutelage of Loeffler, Henne became the first true freshman QB to lead his team to a Big Ten title and start in a BCS bowl game. Henne set school marks in career passing yards (9,715), touchdowns (87), completions (828) and attempts (1,387).
• Helped develop John Navarre into the team’s first All-Big Ten first-team quarterback since 1997.
• Helped guide two NFL quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Brian Griese as a graduate and student assistant at Michigan and was a part of the Wolverine staff during the 1997 undefeated season and National Championship title.

With these three hirings, it becomes abundantly clear that Temple is serious about big-time football because these are big-time guys.
Why am I so excited about this?
First off, addition by subtraction.
I've been hearing rumors for the better part of a month now that Addazio might have been planning to keep Matt Rhule as offensive coordinator.
Been there, done that.
Rhule had a lot of beautiful square parts he tried to plug into round holes last year.
He had a Heisman Trophy back (at least, talent-wise if not durability-wise) in Bernard Pierce, great wide receivers in Rod Streater, Michael Campbell, Joey Jones, an all-MAC first-team tight end in Evan Rodriguez and a capable backup in Alex Jackson ... and ... AND ...a New Jersey high school first-team all-state quarterback in Mike Gerardi ... and ... AND ... an offensive line that averaged 318 yards across the front.
Yet he (or head coach Al Golden) doesn't play the all-state QB until the middle of the season, yet he (or Golden)  alternates the Heisman Trophy guy with a 5-5, 150-pound back and doesn't even attempt to do what worked so well in 2009. That is, establish the run behind a great back and throw off play-action. If they had done that, MAC secondaries would have bitten hard enough on the ball fake that Owl receivers would have been so wide open the toughest decision would have been which one to pick out.
With Brown out there, except for the UConn game and the first half of the Penn State game, Pierce was never allowed to establish a rhythm.
As a result, save for those rare exceptions, Temple's offense was a clusterbleep from the opening play of the Villanova game until the final play of the Miami game.
You score three points against The Fake Miami with that talent?
You've got to be kidding me.
Loeffler was on campus doing some quality control analysis on Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, he accepted the job.
Evidently, he saw he had a lot of good moving parts to work with. Maybe he made the assessment, like I have, that a big-time backup needs to be developed with Pierce-like size and speed. Maybe Myron Myles is that guy. Maybe Nate Smith is that guy. But we need to find that guy badly.
By Villanova, with a pair of fresh and capable eyes he should be able to find the square holes for those square pegs.
I like the sound of that nickname for our all-star coaching staff.