Temple football coach Rod Carey focuses on health and speed

The Owls enter the season with Rod Carey looking to turn his new philosophies into wins.

Temple University football coach Rod Carey watches his team at Geasey Field on Aug. 13, 2019. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Every coach has a different approach. 

When Rod Carey was hired to replace Geoff Collins, he became the fourth person to coach the Owls in the last four years. 

The Owls are adjusting to another style of coaching. Compared to Collins’ practices, Carey’s are shorter, feature fast-paced drills and more time for rest.

At Collins’ camps, players could be at practice in full pads until 10 p.m., said senior linebacker Shaun Bradley.

Now, players have gone home around 7 p.m., giving them more time to rest.    

“Not being in full pads every day takes some weight off our shoulders and allows us to recover faster,” Bradley said.

Carey and his staff are allowing players to sit out of practice when they get injured more often than Collins’ staff did, Bradley added. 

During the offseason, redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo, redshirt-junior wide receiver Branden Mack and junior cornerback Harrison Hand were held out or limited for multiple days of practice. 

Carey’s practices are quicker than Collins’. Carey likes to see the players run to all of their drills and switch between coaches frequently, Bradley said. 

Along with installing quicker practices, Carey has implemented a fast-paced offense, similar to Collins’offense last season. 

Players said Carey’s style is quicker this season, and his fast-paced practices have prepared them for this. 

“I think we will have a smoother transition for running uptempo. Last year was our first year running it,” said Jovahn Fair, a graduate offensive lineman. “We had a lot of practice with it over the summer and over the winter to get it down.” 

The new offensive scheme will allow the quarterback to have more control through the use of run-pass options. 

“In the older offense, we had RPOs but in this offense, almost every run play has some pass options,” Russo said. “Instead of me just handing the ball to [Ryquell Armstead] like I was last year, this year I’ll be reading maybe a safety or linebacker.”

Last season at Northern Illinois University, Carey’s offense averaged 20.1 points per game while Temple’s offense averaged 34.92 points. 

“We are not going to be perfect,” Carey said on Aug. 16. “We are not asking for perfection, but we are asking to control the controllables.” 

The Owls will have their first opportunity to showcase the new offense and new tempo against Bucknell University on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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