- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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So much has been made about the Temple offensive line during the offseason.
Not only do the Owls have four new starters, they also have the added challenge of playing much tougher competition every single week as Big East members. Understandably so, depth is a major concern.
"We have to stay healthy, but I do think we have some weapons," coach Steve Addazio said recently.
Particularly at quarterback.
This has been a position of major flux at Temple over the past several years. If you go back to 2005, Temple has not had the same quarterback start every single game in the same season. Injuries have played a role, and so has ineffective play. Quarterback competitions have seemingly become a rite of fall.
But this season could be different. Chris Coyer goes into the fall No. 1 on the depth chart after distinguishing himself with his play down the stretch in 2011. Both he and backup Clinton "Juice" Granger are multi-threat, multi-purpose players who fit perfectly into the Addazio spread-style offense.
Addazio says of Coyer, "We have a quarterback, and he’s maybe a little underrated right now. But that guy is a good football player. We don’t have an identity crisis. I feel like we have two guys we can win a lot of football games with. That’s a positive for me. I know from experience, if you don’t have the trigger guy, that outweighs some of the other pieces. I feel like we have two. That gives me a lot of optimism. You can’t win without a quarterback. You’re not going to compete for anything. I don’t care if you have five granite stones, you’re not doing anything."
As for Granger, Addazio says, "We're counting on him. Juice had an outstanding spring. Not a good spring, an outstanding spring. He’s 6-foot-3 ½, a 240-pound guy who runs a 4.6 or better. He can throw and run. He’s stout and so is Chris."
This also could be the first time in his coaching career that he has two quarterbacks with similar talents and similar styles on his roster at the same time. At Syracuse, he had Donovan McNabb. At Florida, he had Tim Tebow. Luckily for him, that is all he needed.
A third is on the way to Philadelphia in Penn State transfer Kevin Newsome, who played in 16 games in two years for the Nittany Lions. He arrives this summer, so the Owls are not quite sure yet how they are going to use him. He also is a dual-threat quarterback in a similar mold to Coyer and Granger, perfect for fitting into the Addazio offense.
So what was once a position of shakiness could be one of strength going into this season. Will that make up for concerns about the offensive line?
1dDavid Ching and Edward Aschoff
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