By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Temple Owls are winding down their first spring workouts under new head coach Matt Rhule. They will cap off the spring sessions on Saturday afternoon when they play their annual Cherry and White game at the Edberg-Olson Football Complex at 10th and Diamond.
“Things have gone really well,” Rhule tells KYW Newsradio. “We’ve been able to remain healthy and they’ve really bought in to what we’re doing. It’s a little bit different than what they are used to, but they’ve kind of embraced it and run with it.”
The Owls are coming off a 4-7 season. Rhule, who spent several years on North Broad Street as an assistant before leaving for the NFL, returned in the offseason to replace Steve Addazio as head coach. Addazio left to become the head coach at Boston College.
As with just about any team, discussion always starts with who will be under center. Rhule says they have a lot of options at quarterback.
“Last year, Chris Coyer and Clinton Granger both started different games,” Rhule says. Chris Coyer has been playing some other positions for us now, he’s playing as like a fullback/tight end hybrid type of player, a real weapon for us, so we’re excited about him there. (Junior) Connor Reilly is running with the ones at the quarterback position. He really didn’t play a ton for Steve (Addazio), he’s more of a dropback passer. But he fits what we do. So right now he’s #1 and Clinton’s #2 and Chris is kind of in that hybrid role where he’s playing some quarterback and some other positions as well.
“We’ll play through the spring game and see where that battle’s at and then in the fall we have freshman PJ Walker coming in and he’ll compete as well. We’ll just see who wins the job in camp,” Rhule adds.
And Rhule likes what he sees in some of the other positions on the roster as well.
“Our receiving corps on offense has really come on,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “There’s a lot of young receivers. We didn’t really throw the ball a ton the last couple of years, so they weren’t really featured. But they’ve come on really strong and I’m excited about that. They’ve bought in to running and catching the football. So I think that can be a real strength for us. That’s probably the one that stands out.
“On defense, our linebacking corps, they’re experienced. There’s a couple of guys that started last year as freshmen. So you’d like to think that they’ll continue to develop and be really good players for the next couple years here.”
Temple will open the 2013 season on August 31st as they travel to South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame.
The Cherry and White game on Saturday will start at 1:00pm.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.