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Temple’s Rod Carey wants to use just one quarterback, but he’s not making any promises

The Owls had a backup QB last year who could run, and he replaced starter Anthony Russo at times. Redshirt sophomore Re-al Mitchell could fill that role this year.

Temple coach Rod Carey said Monday's practice was the best one the team has had.
Temple coach Rod Carey said Monday's practice was the best one the team has had.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Temple football coach Rod Carey made it clear that if he had his choice he would only want to go with one quarterback, moving away from the plan employed last season. Nevertheless he says he will keep an open mind on the subject.

The Owls open their season with an American Athletic Conference game Oct. 10 at Navy.

Last year, beginning in the fifth game of the season, Carey added a wrinkle to his quarterback situation. While Anthony Russo was the starter, Todd Centeio began coming in for usually one series per half.

Centeio, who transferred to Colorado State after the season, is a dual-threat quarterback who could make things happen with his legs and his arm, compared to Russo, who is more of a drop-back passer.

Redshirt sophomore Re-al Mitchell, who transferred from Iowa State and immediately earned eligibility, could give Temple that option again. Plus, Carey and the coaches have been talking up the play of redshirt sophomore Trad Beatty, who was last season’s third-stringer.

“I would like to not to have to play two quarterbacks, I would like to play one,” Carey said during Tuesday’s Zoom media conference. “So they’re all vying for that spot, but their role all would be a little different on that, and right now Russo is our starter but the competition in that room is real.”

Carey said even last year that Centeio forced his way onto the field.

“We did it last year becausse Todd he earned it,” Carey said. “And, you know, maybe it felt a little bit like Russo needed some of that too, but I really thought [Centeio] had earned it.”

Carey then talked about conventional wisdom about having two quarterbacks.

“Everyone knows it, you don’t [have to] be a casual fan of game, when you’re playing two quarterbacks it’s really hard to have one,” he said. “So, do I want to, no, could we, yes, I’ve done it before.”

Like Centeio, Mitchell is a dual-threat quarterback. Temple could use offensive packages with both Russo and Mitchell on the field at the same time.

“[Mitchell’s] athleticism does bring up a lot of things that you could do with him, but right now I am letting let him compete for the quarterback job and that’s what it is,” Carey said. “He’s a quarterback, he is not any other position, so I don’t have any intention to move him to do something else.”

Notes: Redshirt junior Christian Braswell, slated to start at cornerback, remains slowed by a hamstring injury. “I am hopeful he’s on track for the 10th, but really, it’s going to be a day to day proposition,” Carey said. … Monday’s practice, according to Carey, was the best yet. He added that he isn’t sure if he will have tackling in practices, but is leaning in that direction. … As for players who have stood out, he mentioned many of the veterans, including graduate student senior defensive tackle Dan Archibong, redshirt senior safety Amir Tyler, redshirt senior linebacker Isaiah Graham-Mobley, graduate student linebacker William Kwenkeu, redshirt junior defensive end Arnold Ebiketie, Russo, redshirt junior receiver Jadan Blue, graduate student receiver Branden Mack, and graduate transfer offensive linemen Michael Niese and C.J. Perez. … Carey says Temple players and personnel are being tested for COVID-19 once a week but says by game week it will be three times per week.