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Thomas adds new schemes to Temple's offense

It appears to have been a seamless transition to new Temple offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas, but that doesn't mean there won't be differences in offensive philosophy.

It appears to have been a seamless transition to new Temple offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas, but that doesn't mean there won't be differences in offensive philosophy.

Thomas arrived at Temple last season as the quarterbacks coach after spending the previous seven seasons as an Atlanta Falcons assistant.

While he still coaches the quarterbacks, he was promoted to offensive coordinator when Marcus Satterfield was hired in the offseason as head coach at Tennessee Tech.

"The transition has been great," Thomas said after practice Friday. "Coach [Matt] Rhule has been phenomenal to work for, the consistency of our staff and the history that they have here has made the transition a lot easier."

Thomas, a 1998 graduate of Texas Tech, has added his imprint to the offense.

"There will definitely be a different flair, whether it be an emphasis from game to game, personnel groupings, formations, run-pass options, downhill run game, whatever it is, but there will definitely be a different flair game to game," he said.

While Thomas wasn't going to reveal his game plan, one of the major differences this season could be a greater emphasis on using running backs in the passing game.

Last year, current senior Jahad Thomas was electrifying in the open field, rushing for 1,262 yards (4.6 avg.) and 17 touchdowns. Thomas caught 22 passes for 216 yards (9.8 avg.) and one touchdown.

"We'll try to move him around as best as we can and get him the ball in many different aspects of the game," quarterback Phillip Walker said.

One of Glenn Thomas' missions is to get Walker to be a more accurate passer. Walker competed 56.8 percent of his passes last year, close to his career mark of 56.5 percent.

"That is definitely a point of emphasis for him," Glenn Thomas said. "Historically in his career it is not where we would want it to be."

Nor is it where Walker wants it to be. Earlier in camp he said he'd like to complete 70 percent of his passes, an ambitious goal.

One way to have a better percentage is to throw check-down passes to the running backs.

"I think it is a matter of taking advantage of what the defense is giving him, whether it is down-the-field throws or just as easy, a three-yard check-down," Thomas said. "Give the back a chance to catch and run, so it is recognition of the defense and taking what they are giving us."

Walker, who is confident in his ability to throw the ball in tight spaces, said the adjustment to Thomas' philosophy is a work in progress.

"I have gotten better at it through the past couple of days, and it is something Coach Thomas preaches every day, going to the line of scrimmage with a purpose, knowing when to make checks," Walker said.

Walker said that Thomas isn't any different as an offensive coordinator from the way he was in his job last season as quarterbacks coach. Thomas was Matt Ryan's quarterback coach in Atlanta the three seasons before coming to Temple, and his attention to detail has impressed Walker the most.


Linebacker Stephaun Marshall, who missed time earlier in camp with a hamstring injury, is back and said he's about 90 percent. Marshall is slated to start at weakside linebacker. . . . Temple will open Friday by hosting Army. To prepare for the Black Knights' triple option, Owls running back David Hood and receiver Contrelle Simpson have been playing scout-team quarterback. "They have given us a good look," defensive coordinator Phil Snow said. . . . Snow reiterated what Rhule has said, that the Owls plan to use more players on both sides of the ball. "We play 10 games in a row and will need at least 22 guys [on defense] who can play football," Snow said.