Friday, May 11, 2012

Depth chart blues

 Steve Addazio talks about John Youboty, Marcus Green and Ryan Alderman.

Summer reading season is near and, like a lot of people, I like to curl up with a good piece of fiction from time to time.
As a junior in high school, required reading was "1984" by George Orwell (some time before 1984, which I thought was centuries into the future at that time) and I polished that off in one six-hour sitting.
My latest reading material is the depth chart released by the Temple football coaching staff to editor John DiCarlo.
Steve Addazio is a much better football
coach than he is an author.

I'll call it "Depth Chart Blues" because I know it can't possibly be serious, to borrow a phrase from John McEnroe.
The author, presumably a manuscript submitted by Steve Addazio, didn't sit around at the typewriter for a long time.
Al Golden told me a long time ago (well, it seems like a long time ago) to take the depth chart with a grain of salt and I've followed that advice. Golden has a Masters in Sports Psychology from Penn State and often used the depth chart as lab work to light a fire under some talented-but-underachieving guinea pigs. I don't think Addazio plays mind games using the depth chart or anything else.
Still, it is interesting to look at from time to time in order to figure out a starting lineup against Villanova.
The first clue I got that it wasn't etched in stone was that Matt Falcone is listed as the second-team WILL linebacker. Matt Falcone hasn't played in a real game since 2009. Not only that, he hasn't practiced over a year (although he should by summer).
Yet unquestionably the best linebacker in the spring, Nate D. Smith, is not listed on the first or second team anywhere.
I'm going to stick my neck out here.
Nate D. Smith will start at middle linebacker no matter what the depth chart says.
Heck, I'd like to see Matt Falcone start at punter to relieve franchise kicker Brandon McManus of those duties but that's a tall order for someone coming off a knee injury. Right now, the backup punter is listed as Nick Holland.
Falcone was a first-team Associated Press all-state punter from Palmerton High when he was a senior. He was also the team's star quarterback, so he can make an occasional pass out of punt formation if called upon.
That's non-fiction.
Until August, any review of the depth chart will have to be listed under the fiction category.