Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Steve Addazio Era (or Error)

If Steve Addazio puts a 55-3 (or even 35-14) beatdown on Villanova, he becomes my new favorite head coach in a hurry.

This has never been a site that says everything we do is just peachy and let's get behind the coach because he's our guy, like a lot of college football blogs.

I've told it like it was since Day One five years ago.
Or at least the way I saw it was.
Five years ago, I thought Al Golden's hiring was a good thing for the program and I wrote about it here.
I never said Al was perfect, but I did predict he would turn things around at Temple.
I trusted him with my team.
That was a bold prediction at the time when many people said this was an impossible job, but I went ahead and did it because everything I had read and heard about Al Golden until that point was positive. I have read a lot of about Steve Addazio in the last three days and I would say about 99 percent of it has been negative and this piece by a great writer named Dave Jones is just a small sample.
That doesn't mean Al Golden was immune from criticism in this forum along the way.
I've criticized Al Golden a few times (the Navy fumble comes to mind).
I've criticized Al Golden's grasp of quarterback recruiting.
Overall, though, I maintained that Al was the right guy to lead the only team I really go crazy over.
As much as I'd like to say the same thing about Steve Addazio,  I can't because it comes with all of the red flags associated with bad Temple football hirings in the past.
With the talent in place to win now, this was a time Temple should have hired a head coach and not take a chance with an assistant coach. The best predictor of future success is past success and there is really no way to predict how Addazio will do as a head coach because his record as such is 0-0.
That would not have been the case if Temple went after a proven winning head coach, like former USF head coach Jim Leavitt (to use just one example) who was 94-37 in his prior job.
I don't have children, so Temple football is like a child to me.
Coaches come and go, players come and go, players' parents come and go, but Temple football and me and fans like me are always here _ and I'll always love it because it's my kid.
If you see your kid playing on the train tracks and there's a locomotive coming, you don't say, "Geez, I hope everything turns out OK for my kid."
You yell for the kid to get off the tracks if you can't get there and carry him/her off yourself.
I'm in yelling mode today.
Well, there's a locomotive coming.
Coaches come and go, players come and go, players' parents come and go, but Temple football and me and fans like me are always here
It might not be the Jerry Berndt Express or the Ron Dickerson Express or the Bobby Wallace Express, but it looks like it's got the same kind bad brakes (or breaks) ahead.
Quite frankly, I'm stunned and appalled with this hiring.
I will go on record right here and now as saying I hope Steve Addazio takes Temple to the MAC championship in 2011 and wins it.
When you have 14 starters returning from a team that won eight games, have an improved quarterback situation ahead and a guy with Heisman Trophy talent (if not durability) running the ball, then that's really the only standard he should be judged on right now.
Fall short of that and he's an abject failure.
I will also go on record right here and now and say this hiring is a step backward.
I've researched everything I could about Steve Addazio over the last few hours and I did not find one (1) positive news or feature story about Steve Addazio, although I found 22 negative ones.
That's telling.
The fans who know Steve Addazio and are more familiar with his play-calling than I am are pretty anti-Steve.
That's alarming.
I will go on record right here and now as saying I hope Steve Addazio takes Temple to the MAC championship in 2011 and wins it
There's a great blog that covers the Ball State football program called Over the Pylon. A few weeks ago, the name Addazio was connected with the Ball State job.
This post thanks God that he didn't get it.
When Ball State fans are happy the coach you hired didn't get their job, that tells you all you need to know.
Five years ago I was excited to write about Al Golden.
Forgive me if I'm a little underwhelmed writing about Steve Addazio now.
If he starts bringing Gator recruits with him up north, like Al Golden stole an Owl recruit last week, I might change my mind.
It will take something that dramatic in the short term to get my attention.
He's married to my kid right now and, as Robert DeNiro says to Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents:
I'm watching you.


Chris Nolfi said...

I normally agree with what you have to say, but I don't agree with this. Gators went 7-5 this year in a down year. With steve as OC they are 20-6 in a tough SEC. Most of the negative feedback I see comes because of this year. As most fanbases do they immediately start questioning the coaching staff when things go badly. Let's remember urban Meyer was hc this year. I bet you if you go to the google news archives and look up the 1 loss gators from 2009 you will find nothing but positive feature stories on steve. I think you might be jumping to conclusions. HC need to be good on game day, which steve has shown in the past, and also need to be the CEO. He can sell programs and recruit. Let's cut him a break. And if he has gameday weaknesses let's hope he can do what golden couldn't do and fill his voids with a good OC and DC. From a CEO standpoint he reminds me of golden. Google vitiamin a.

Henrik said...

I am not dancing with joy, but I am giving A.D. Bill Bradshaw the benefit of the doubt. I doubted both the Golden and Dunphy hires, but both turned out to be positive so Bradshaw has earned my trust. I like the pedigree. Urban Meyer and Florida players really liked this guy and he has been part of a lot of great programs. I like that he is a positive motivational guy and knows how to recruit the Northeast well. I am curious to see if he has some good players lined up who will sign on with us. I am also curious about who he hires on his staff. It looks like Matt Ruhle is gone. Coach Addazio seems like he has been a scapegoat Florida fans and the media. Wasn't Urban Meyer ultimately responsible for the play-calling? Anyway Temple's playcalling and offensive personnel decisions were somewhat dubious this year and I hold Al Golden more than Matt Rhule responsible for that. I think we will get our own sense very soon for Coach Addazio. My biggest concern is he won't bring enough passion e.g. Dickerson and Wallace. Nothing I read supports that fear. I remember when the Phillies hired Charlie Manuel, the Cleveland fans and media had nothing good to say about him. I kind of remember that with Bill Belichick too. Lets support him and give him a fair chance to build this program. Although you want results this year, I don't think we will truly be able to evaluate him until two years from now unless he is a complete disaster and more likely 4 years when he has had a chance to bring in a team he fully recruited. By the way, thanks for the interesting information and opinions you provide on this blog.

Temple Football Forever said...

I'm torn.
I hated what Al did, stealing our recruit and half of our staff on the way out the door yet I wouldn't mind Steve doing the same thing.
Bring me the head of Barabas as an offering of peace!
(By that I mean, bring me at least one Florida recruit and a few highly thought of Gator assistants and I might slowly change my mind.)

Jeff said...

Google Adazzio and 2010 recruiter of the year if you need to find a positive article. Apparently he can recruit the northeast. Which helps.

Jeff said...

Google Adazzio and 2010 recruiter of the year if you want to see a positive article. He can recruit the northeast, which helps.

Temple Football Forever said...

If it said he was the "head coach of the year" I'd be more impressed. I didn't know we were hiring a recruiting coordinator.
AG got us great talent. Now we need someone who can coach it up better than 9-3 and 8-4.

thomas said...

I know there have been a lot of negatives coming from Florida fans and I think Steve is a scapegoat for a just a bad Florida team this year. However, I have deciphered several positives from those negative articles.
1. florida fans loved him for his motivation and he his recruiting. he was recently recruiter of the year and does especially well in the northeast, one article said he was the main reason Shariff Floyd(5* dt out of philly) committed to florida last year. He also recruits CT NJ very well.
2. every negative comment about his play calling was that he is in love with the dive play. Florida fans wanted a flashy offense where they scored 60 points a game. One article said he was committed to establishing the run game and even if he was having success florida fans hated it. I have also seen that he is a very good/ almost genius line coach. in one of your previous posts you said that you hoped that we didn't hire a spread coach because it would set us back years. coach steve is perfectly suited for our massive ol and pierce(who I believe like many others is a special rb if he can stay healthy).
3. we have not seen who he brings in for his staff. his hiring means we get rid of OC Rhule who you blamed for our down offensive year. but we have to wait and see, hopefully he brings in a young hotshot guy looking for his chance to show what he can do.
4. i know he does not have head coaching(except high school) but he is regarded as the man who kept florida together when urban quit the first time. so he knows what it takes to run a program.
I have no idea if Addazio will be a good head coach. i really hope as an alum who spent many cold thursday nights in the almost empty Linc that he dosen't regress temple to the 0-11 team that was my freshman year. However, by your own poll no one praised Golden for his game day coaching. and i feel with all he accomplished we had a better team than some of the teams we lost to.
maybe a few years from now we will look at this hire as the one that re-killed TU football or maybe it will be the one that gets us over the hump in the MAC and beyond. but what i do know is he can recruit the NEast, fits his style with our current personnel, is a great motivator, and hopefully understands what it takes to run a program.
lets get some good assistant coaches and get to the mac championship game. there is still alot of young talent on the team and hopefully we go forwards not backwards. Lets go Owls

Temple Football Forever said...

the best part of this is the talent that AG has in place. I think STeve will fall in love with BP,like I have. Run the offense through him, like he ran it at Florida through Tebow. That is, establish the run, then throw off play-action. The Rhule/Golden combo could never get that simple concept.

SJ said...

Kill and Heywood and gone and Solich has a QB that is a great runner but could not throw the ball in the ocean on the beach. No pressure - but he needs to get it done quick or get gone ASAP. This hire is shit, lets hope he proves me wrong. What other MAC East team will do poop? Ohio? Probably, because it is the only one with any stability. Akron and Buffalo got new coaches last year. Kent, Temple and Miami this year. BG has a new(ish) coach and is shitty - last year I think. We *MAC* produce great coaches, but the North Texas hire - paying big $ will scare the poop out of the MAC. (rant time) the MAC will pay its coaches some cash and expand plus get aggressive or die soon. This is big, risky and mean business. Sitting still will get you run over. - sorry - Good luck Temple, this guy needs to win or go - good talent in a league with a revolving coaching door(s). Good budget. Can he get it done, I doubt it - but just hope he is on a very short leash.
sorry for the rant.

Temple Football Forever said...

My first reaction was very similar to yours as you can see from the above post.
Everybody says he's the best recruiter in the country, yet he was recruiting kids to the best program in the country and in a sunny, warm, climate with plenty of good-looking girls around wearing very little.
Geez, as much as I love Temple, I think I might want to spend the best four years of my life there, too.
This hire should have been for the guy who was the best head coach out there, not a great recruiter, not a great assistant.
That's the way we should have approached it.
We didn't because this guy walked into the room and wowed the committee.
He wowed me with his first press conference so I went from being dead set against to being cautiously optimistic.

Michael said...

As a Gator I wanted to jump on here and see what the buzz is about Addazio. He is a great recruiter, first class person, and held the Florida program last year when Urban Meyer retired for the first time. That being said, I can speak for a huge number of fans by saying we are glad he has left the program. He took over a high powered offense that set several records during the National Championship year of 2008 and in two years created one of the most inept, predictable, and punchless offenses I have ever seen. The offense was actually "booed" on several occasions this year which I had not heard in 35 years of attending football in Gainesville - and that included an 0-10-1 season in 1980. Check out the website to back what I am saying. I am rooting for him very hard to succeed at Temple but it will take a while before the bad taste in my mouth over the last two years clears out.

Temple Football Forever said...

Yeah, Michael, we had the same venom for Matt Rhule (Golden's OC this year).
I would say 99 percent of the fans were pissed off about Rhule's play-calling.
Then, after about the 10th game, a guy named Barry Nagle came on a few boards with a strong take, saying something to the effect that Golden signs off every play called by Rhule and it's Golden, not Rhule, we should be pissed off with.
I understand Urban Meyer has earned some street cred with Gator fans but, geez, is he looking into the stands when the Gators are on offense?
He, IMHO, deserves credit/blame for offensive woes. The buck should stop with him.

Michael said...

Well said, and I totally agree with you. It sounds like both programs experienced similar situations. While Addazio was the OC, it was Meyer who implemented the offense and, I am pretty certain, also had to sign off on the play calling of Addazio. I also think Meyer "checked out" at some point in the season knowing he would retire again. Addazio brought some studs down to Florida from the northeast (especially Connecticut) and I hope he can convince those guys to come your way. Like I said, I wish nothing but the best for him as I do for any coach who put in his time at Florida. You guys will be fine. Are you wishing Golden the same success down here at Miami? For recruiting purposes (and obvious in-state allegiances) I am not. But I hope that should be expected.