Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Temple football: The road to Super Phenomenal

One last Temple look at Matt Brown. Something tells me we will see him again playing on a different day of the week.

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Right about now, Temple head football coach Steve Addazio is setting the GPS for the road to Super Phenomenal.
If the Owls get there, it will depend a lot on Daz inputing the right coordinates.
At the very least, you've got to figure that Temple is going to be a better football team this year than next.
The Owls played as many as 16 freshmen starters at times this year and a couple of solid teams leave the schedule in Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Addazio says the team is moving in a "super phenomenal direction" and you've got to hope that Daz's definition of "super phenomenal" is not just five wins next year.
What is my definition of "'super phenomenal" .. hmm, AT LEAST flipping the 4-7 into 7-5 next year. I've never seen a "regular" phenomenal 6-6 team. If "super phenomenal" is, say, 9-3 or better in a couple of years, you've got to at least go 7-5 along the way.
Still, though, there are some serious concerns to be addressed before the Owls chose the road that leads them to Super Phenomenal.
Since you've got to go with the current roster personnel, I would tweak things just a big to improve the 2013 Owls. I don't think anybody currently playing in high school is going to make the Owls super phenomenal next year.
My easy fixes:
Looks like the Army Billy Goat followed the Owls from
West Point in this great image captured by Frank Stephens.
The shadow behind John Christopher was not photo shopped.
DEFENSIVE SECONARDY _ Can this be fixed in one year? I don't know but I would give a serious look to former Rutgers' recruit Abdul Smith as a cornerback. Unlike the current starter, who was recruited by FCS Hofstra (now without a program), Smith brings solid BCS recruit potential in there and I thought he played very well in his most extended duty, the UConn game. With lock-down cornerback Anthony Robey on the other end, that's an upgrade. I would give Kevin Newsome the entire spring to become the star playmaking free safety I think he can be and he was proven to be in high school. If the first two QBs get injured, Newsome's 2012 of being third-team quarterback won't be wasted and he could fill in as emergency QB. He's too good an athlete to keep off the field, though.
DEFENSIVE LINE _ Since the Owls appear to be thin there and have plenty of talented linebackers, why not go 3-4 instead of 4-3. With a 3-4 you need to have a good nose guard and I think both Levi Brown and Hershey Walton fit that bill. I would recruit a big, mean, pass-rushing JUCO DE or at least two. Playng a 3-4 allows you to blitz a couple of  speedy linebackers on passing downs, while leaving two back to cover a screen or draw.
OFFENSIVE SCHEME _ I would ditch this run-first approach and rehire Scot Loeffler as offensive coordinator. The Owls' offense was much more smooth under Loeffler and he was even able to make Chester Stewart effective in the Maryland game by a lot of short rollout passes to the tight end and running backs on first down. That made Bernard Pierce a much more effective back. Daz needs more than a yes man as OC and Loeffler would fit that bill nicely. Without Matt Brown and Montel Harriss, the Owls can't be one-dimensional. I think Jamie Gilmore and Montrell Dobbs would thrive under a more balanced approach and the Owls have to show future quarterback recruits they are more than ready and willing to throw the football.
That's how my GPS tells me to get to Super Phenomenal. I hope Daz has the same GPS system.