Spring football update: Temple Owls

Matt Leon
April 23, 2019 - 4:15 pm
Temple Owls wide receiver Isaiah Wright (13) celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown past Cincinnati Bearcats cornerback Cameron Jefferies (14) and safety Darrick Forrest (5) during overtime.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Spring workouts are an important piece of a college football team's preparations under any circumstances, but they are especially critical when a new coach is taking over a program.

That is the situation at Temple University where new head coach Rod Carey's Owls recently wrapped up their spring practices. Carey is taking over at Temple after a very successful run as the head coach at Northern Illinois University. 

He says the workouts were important not just from an X's and O's standpoint, but also from a personal standpoint as he learned about his players and they learned about him.

"You have to get the new systems in," Carey said. "Although we tried to keep as much as we could from the old system, even though it wasn't our system, just because (it's) easier for us to learn something as coaches than players. But you have to do that, you have to set yourself up. But equally important, you know these guys in the offseason, you're around them some, but really when spring comes, you're around them a lot more. So getting to know them on a day-to-day, through the ups and downs of fifteen practices, really was invaluable information for them and for us."

The Owls went 8-5 in 2018 with Geoff Collins as the head coach. Carey was hired in January. 

Now you can learn a lot watching tape of a team, but sometimes you can learn even more once you get them out on the practice field, and Carey talks about some positions that opened his eyes in person.

"I knew the linebackers were good but then you put them out on the field and you work with them and they're really good," Carey said. "The wide outs, obviously Isaiah Wright, Branden Mack and Jadan Blue and Randle Jones, guys who have played a lot, but then the depth with some of the other young guys and how deep that group is, is really impressive. Then the quarterback (position), obviously (Anthony) Russo came in, started game three last year and never lost control and Todd Centeio played as well some last year, but those two really had good springs and was really happy with both of their progress right there."

Carey will make his Temple head coaching debut when the Owls open their 2019 season on Aug. 31 at home against Bucknell University. 

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