PHILADELPHIA, PA - Chase Senior (@Chase_Senior)

When head coaches take the helm and begin a new regime, they tend to set the tone from the start and navigate the ship in whatever direction they see as fit.

Temple’s Matt Rhule is no different, but it’s the big name football coach in South Philadelphia by the name of Chip Kelly who is influencing Rhule.

Kelly made the jump from the University of Oregon to the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League after compiling a 33-3 record with the Ducks.

After spending 6 years in various roles at Temple from 2006-11, including stints as defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator, quarterbacks coach, tight ends coach and offensive coordinator, before working as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants in 2012, Rhule finds himself back at the college as Temple’s 26th head coach in the history of the university.

During his time as coach of Oregon from 2009-12, Kelly made a name for himself as one of the most evolutionary offensive play callers the college game has ever seen.

Now, Rhule is seeking out to establish Temple into a consistent winner at the Division I-A level after the Owls flirted with success under previous coaches Al Golden and Steve Addazio.

Kelly brought a fast paced offensive scheme that was one of a kind, and his coaching tactics caught the eye of a handful of notable head coaches throughout professional sports, including 3-time Super Bowl Champion, Bill Belicheck of the New England Patriots and two-time NBA Champion Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat.

Both of the aforementioned coaches reached out to Kelly and picked his brain about the coaching tactics Kelly used while in Eugene.

So to did Rhule, who is just a short drive, or a few subway stops away from South Philadelphia, where the Eagles practice at the Novacare Complex and play there regular season games at the same field as the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field.

After watching Rhule run a practice and seeing the intensity and passion he exudes, it is evident that Rhule takes his job seriously and wants to make a statement

With Kelly such a short distance away and an exceptional resume at the college level already in place, Rhule recently reached out to the Eagles headman.

“[Chip’s] been great. He said we’re welcome down there anytime,” Rhule said after Training Camp on Tuesday. “He’s a heck of a coach and we try to take advantage of that. Coach Satterfield (Offensive Coordinator) and I went down there just to see what they were doing and it really brought back some things that they were doing and maybe we hadn’t been doing.”

Kelly is ahead of the curve in the X’s and O’s aspect of football, but also in the way he runs his practices, and Rhule has adopted some of the coaching and practice methods that Kelly has implemented.

“One thing about Chip, he’s always at the forefront of what’s going on,” Rhule said. “He’s cutting-edge even with just the little things, and we’re trying to steal some of those things here.”

Like Kelly has been known to do, Rhule has been playing music during periods of Temple’s training camp, which began on Monday.

Rhule also adopted a drill from Kelly where wide receivers are instructed to catch passes while standing behind large poles. The poles act as “defenders.” The object is to make sure the wide outs are concentrated on keeping their eye on the football and reeling in the pass.

During Kelly’s training camp, offensive lineman have worked on drills where trash cans serve as defensive lineman. On Tuesday, Temple’s defensive linemen were working on pre snap counts with trashcans flipped upside down serving as offensive lineman.

During ball security drills at Tuesday’s training camp, wide receivers and tight ends were catching balls with a string attached to the nose of the football. As soon as players would catch the ball, a coach would yank the string (serving as a yo-yo). Another dimension Kelly has used.

Another drill that caught my eye during ball security drills for running backs (and not something I have seen or heard of Kelly using) was a coach holding a baseball bat with a boxing glove taped to the end of the barrel of the bat. As the backs would run straight ahead, a coach would try and “punch” the ball out.

With many quarterbacks on both Temple’s and the Eagles’ roster before cuts are made, it is important for signal callers to get the maximum amount reps in a short period of time. Kelly has had four quarterbacks all line up at the line of scrimmage and drop back simultaneously, while receivers and tight ends run individual routes. This was also seen at Rhule’s camp on Tuesday.

It is apparent that Rhule is doing things his way and putting his team through a unique style of training camp that the University has never seen the program go through.

Rhule is taking advantage of his nearby resources and picking the brain of a football mastermind, who to is trying to make a splash as a first year head coach.



    Chase Senior is the Temple Basketball Insider. Along with being a student of the games, Chase is a West Chester, Pennsylvania native currently studying broadcast journalism at Temple... (Read On)