Friday, August 12, 2011

Jarrett's pick for the Eagles and more on Owls

Jarrett with the big pick last night ....and as an Owl (below)
I know a lot of Temple fans who hate the Eagles.
I'm not one of them.
I look forward to every Eagles' game since they don't conflict with those of my favorite football team, the Temple Owls. Plus, I've been running the too often concurrent sentence of being a fan of both all of my life.
I must admit, though, I looked at last night's Eagles' game a little different than most.
I was looking for No. 26, Jaiquawn Jarrett.
When the ball went up in the air in the first quarter and landed in his hands, I couldn't be more happier.
It was one step closer to legitimizing Temple football and some ill-informed comments about it.
Jim Gardner, the Action News' anchor, tweeted on the night of the draft: "The Eagles might have made a reach in the second round by picking the Temple guy" I tweeted him back: "No reach. Mel Kiper and others thought he was the best SS in the draft."
I hope Gardner knows that SS stands for strong safety, but I doubt it.
With each interception, JJ quiets that kind of ignorance so I was happy for him, Temple, the Eagles and the city.
As far as the Owls go, a couple of developments in practice have me intrigued.
  • The loss of kickoff returner extraordinare James Nixon. I don't know why he and the program departed ways and, quite frankly at this point, I don't care. All I know is that it is a huge loss because you can't teach 4.3 speed or the vision and moves he had on the field to go with it. He was a threat to take it the house on every kickoff. I don't see Matty Brown, Joey Jones or anybody else being the same kind of threat. Vaughn Carraway, yes. Carraway was one of the greatest punt returners I've ever seen in high school and I've covered high school sports for 30 years. Like Nixon, he's has the "it" factor for returning kicks. I hope Daz gives him a shot.

  • Daz seems to be moving from the feeling that "it's just asking him to kick" to he needs to find someone to relieve the punting duties from NFL kicker Brandon McManus (yes, he's an NFL kicker getting a four-year education). If he sends McManus out there to punt and he breaks his leg on a roughing-the-punter penalty, I will scream bloody murder. If he's going to break his leg, I'd rather it be AFTER the 54-yard, game-winning, field goal against Penn State.

  • The movement of running back Ahkeem Smith to linebacker. Temple has a returning starter, Stephen Johnson, back there but Smith brings a significant skill set to the backup position. I hope he does well there.

  • Carraway. Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said he had a "terrible spring" at safety and "even he would admit it."  Then he added, "he's doing much better now. That's all I can say." Hmm. Doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement to me. How about trading Carraway back to the offense for Smith, then, putting the former four-star WR recruit back into the mix there and as an explosive replacement for the dynamic Nixon?

Even though Chester Stewart currently is running with the first team, head coach Steve Addazio still calls that position a work in progress and I hope he gives all four quarterbacks an equal shot in the next two weeks.
No need to name a starter now.