Addazio: preseason prognostications ruining football

Temple linebacker Tahir Whitehead is on the Butkus Award watch list.

The award annually goes to the nation’s top linebacker at the conclusion of the season.

 Owls first-year coach Steve Addazio was asked Saturday to give his opinion.

“You don’t want to hear what I really think, do you?”  Addazio said. “I don’t really care about any of those things.

“All I care about is how he plays right now.  I don’t care if he’s up for the Chairman of the Board for Disneyland. That doesn’t mean anything to me. I just want him to come out here and play. That’s all I care about.”

Don’t get it twisted.

Addazio appreciates Whitehead. He hopes the 6-foot-2, 228-pounder, who had 56 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 2010, has another stellar season.

But …

“Those preseason things are meaningless,” he said. “Just like preseason rankings are meaningless.

“What matters is that in the end, did you make plays? Were you a great player? Did you win? Did you win a championship?”

Addazio thinks preseason prognostications are ruining football.

 So instead of worrying about predictions, Addazio focuses on the present.

Whitehead is presently a leader of a Temple team, looking to win the Mid-American Conference's East Division.

“That’s all I care about,” Addazio said. “It’s meaningful to me. Those guys like he and [defensive end Adrian Robinson], they bring it every day. You see it, grade it. It’s on the tape. Press play. Bam!

“That’s how you figure who’s playing football. Not none of this other crap.”

Whitehead isn’t the only Owl on a preseason watch list.

Tight end Evan Rodriguez is on the John Mackey Award (nation’s top tight end) watch list, while Robinson is on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) watch list.

-          Keith Pompey