Saturday, April 6, 2013

Open quarterback competition good, not bad

The wildcard in the open competition is incoming freshman P.J. Walker.

TFF welcomes Chris
Coyer, 1/14/2009

As former Giants' coach Bill Parcells once blabbed, "that's a good thing, not a bad thing" was the reaction I had when Matt Rhule announced an open quarterback competition going into this spring's Temple football practice.
I like competition.
Really, he is not going to say: "I don't care what any of these guys do, I've already decided." That's not good coaching business.
That's the position former head coach Steve Addazio maintained two days before he went off to become head coach at Boston College. The first thing he said was that there was going to be an open quarterback competition. The second thing he said was that "this offseason is going to be no box of chocolates." The third thing he said was "I'm outta here like Vladimir." All in a matter of 48 hours.
If Connor Reilly beats out the field and becomes Temple's starter on Aug. 31 against Notre Dame, every Temple football fan, coach and player is better off.
The same can be said of the other five quarterbacks who figure to be in the mix.
Because with the possible exception of when Adam DiMichele dined alone, Temple's quarterbacking training room dinner table is more talented than any in the Golden/Addazio/Rhule Era.
If you beat out those guys, then you have something.
That said, I like John Madden's quote better: "If you have more than one quarterback, you don't have any."
My guess is that Rhule will settle on one quarterback by Notre Dame and stick with him and that quarterback will be Chris Coyer.
There are a few reasons for that:

  • Coyer is the ONLY quarterback in the last 30 years to win a bowl game for Temple;
  • Coyer was recruited by Rhule;
  • Coyer was about to receive a scholarship offer from Ohio State and showed his loyalty to Rhule and the Owls by telling them thanks but no thanks;
  • Coyer replaced starter Chester Stewart in the Ohio game and threw for three touchdowns and over 300 yards passing and, oh by the way, added 184 yards on the ground;
  • Coyer played with a broken hand last year, taking one for the team;
  • Coyer was additionally handicapped by a run-first, second- and too-many-times third-approach by Daz;
  • Coyer can both throw and run equally effectively, a real plus in the days of the modern spread offense;
  • Coyer, without a broken hand two years, ago was UNBEATEN in games he started;
  • Coyer's co-offensive coordinator during that unbeaten streak: Matt Rhule.

The wildcard in all of this is not necessarily Reilly but P.J. Walker. In a perfect world, you redshirt Walker and have him sponge all there is to know from Coyer, Rhule and graduate assistant DiMichele.
All of these facts are rattling around in Rhule's brain right now and probably will continue to rattle until Aug. 31.
When the facts stop and the reasoning starts, unless Coyer completely comes apart (and we hear he's having a good spring, too), Coyer will be under center.
After all, Rhule and Coyer have been an unbeatable combination in the past and there's no reason to think that success can't continue in their final year together.