Jayson Werth Says Philly Fans Will Come Around in 10 Years (Maybe)

Jayson Werth Says Philly Fans Will Come Around in 10 Years (Maybe)

Any time the Phils are playing the Nationals, somebody somewhere has to stir up the old debate about whether or not the mob at Citizen Bank Park should boo Jayson Werth – this is going on for three years by the way.  They do, and why shouldn’t they? Werth left Philadelphia to play for a division rival. Enough said.

I like to think the booing in this case is good-natured in spirit anyway, a theory Werth’s own feelings and experiences seem to substantiate. Phillies beat writer for MLB.com Todd Zolecki sat down with 34-year-old right fielder this week and asked him about the fans’ reaction.

"I feel like the right-field fans still appreciate me," Werth said. "They'll come around. Maybe [in] 10 years they'll be good to me. It's all good. I always enjoy coming here, for better or worse. Any time I grab lunch or dinner, people go out of their way to say, 'Thanks for 2008.' It's all good."

You mean to tell me the fans can be appreciative of what Werth accomplished during his four years with the Philies, and shower him with a chorus of boos as long as he’s suiting up for Washington? Booing is like this city’s second language – it’s all about the inflection.

Werth also gave some insight into what it’s like when he returns to CBP in his conversation with Zo.

"When I went out to shag flies in right yesterday, it was like going home to your parents' house after you had gone away to school," Werth said. "I went and played baseball, but it's like coming back after that first year and going back to your old bedroom, you know? I remember this room."

Werth and his “new” teammates were on the wrong end of the scoreboard on Tuesday, thanks in large part to eight strong innings from close friend Cliff Lee. Lee basically made two bad pitches all night, resulting in two solo shots in the 4-2 Phillies win, his ninth of the season.

One of those home runs belonged to Werth, giving the Nats an early 1-0 lead. Philly sang its song as he rounded the bases, and Werth probably enjoyed it. He walked away from the Phillies, forming an alliance with the enemy, and the people here still care enough to get emotional about it.

Check out the rest of Zolecki's entire piece on Werth. Good read.

>> Werth: Time with Phillies highlight of career [MLB]

Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

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Temple at No. 19 Navy: Owls go for first AAC title

Temple (9-3) at No. 19 Navy (9-2)
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Saturday, noon, ABC

It would have been hard to picture Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship game after the Owls’ first game of the season, a 28-13 loss to Army.

But that’s exactly where they are three months later, as Temple will take on No. 19 Navy in the conference championship game Saturday.

The Owls and Midshipmen have both been handling opponents as of late. Temple’s won its last four games by at least three touchdowns, while Navy has outscored opponents 141-62 in its past two games.

Let’s take a look at how one of the country’s top offenses and one of the country’s top defenses match up.

Scouting Temple
The Owls' defense seems to get better every week. Temple ranks No. 3 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense and No. 10 in scoring defense. The only two teams that rank higher than the Owls in both categories are Alabama and Michigan.

Teams haven’t scored more than 13 points against the Owls in their last four games, and Temple is outscoring opponents 123-23 during that stretch.

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Haason Reddick was named a first team all-conference selection earlier this week. He leads the FBS in tackles for loss. Redshirt-senior Praise Martin-Oguike is coming off one of his best games of the season last week against East Carolina, in which he had two sacks, including a forced fumble. He has seven sacks this season.

On offense, Temple’s goal this week will be to sustain drives and keep Navy’s offense off the field. The Owls are currently No. 5 in the FBS in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 34 minutes per game.

Earlier in the week, coach Matt Rhule said senior quarterback Phillip Walker was questionable for Saturday’s game. Walker will likely play, but the Owls might be without one of their top offensive weapons.

Rhule said sophomore running back Ryquell Armstead is doubtful. Armstead has 842 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Scouting Navy
The Midshipmen have one of the simplest — yet at that same time one of the best — offenses in the country. Navy ranks No. 2 in rushing yards at 342 yards per game.

Quarterback Will Worth runs the triple option for Navy. He has 2,544 total yards of offense and 33 total touchdowns. He’s passed for 1,363 yards and rushed for 1,181 more.  Worth has a touchdown in 11 straight games.

Worth has attempted 258 rushes compared to 115 passing attempts. Four other Navy players have at least 40 rushing attempts this season.

Senior wide receiver Jamir Tillman is the Midshipmen’s best receiving threat. The 6-foot-4 wideout has 32 catches for 533 yards and two touchdowns.

Navy’s defense hasn’t been quite as elite as its offense. The Midshipmen have allowed 30 or more points in four of their last five games.

The Midshipmen are allowing 265 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 313 yards and three touchdowns in their last three contests.

Storyline to watch: Can Temple find a way to stop the triple option?
The last time these two teams played was in 2014, when Navy ran for 487 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 win against the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Temple’s most recent matchup against the triple option was when it lost to Army in its season opener. The Black Knights ran for 329 yards and four touchdowns. With only a week to prepare, Temple will have to find a way to cure its option woes if it wants a chance to win Saturday.

What’s at stake?
The Owls have only won one other conference championship in program history, when they won the Mid-Atlantic Conference in 1967. A win would also give Temple its third 10-win season in program history. If Western Michigan loses Friday night, Temple also puts itself in contention for a spot in the Cotton Bowl with a win.

Prediction
Temple has to figure out this option thing at some point, right? The Owls’ ability to convert on third down and sustain long drives will help slow Navy's offense. This one will most likely come down to who has the ball last, but the Owls are a little bit more well-rounded, so they get the edge. Temple 31, Navy 28