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Temple Week: Steve Addazio Press Conference

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After last week’s loss what did Steve Addazio have to say?

NCAA Football: Boston College at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

STEVE ADDAZIO: Okay, guys. Obviously coming off a disappointing road loss. We didn’t play very well. Can’t play the way we did, turn the ball over like we did, give up big plays and expect that you are going to go on the road, take a win against a Big 10 team with their backs up against the wall. So what we need to do play better, coach better; that’s my responsibility to make sure the team is ready to play.

We had great week of practice. We had great preparation but it didn’t translate into that game. We have to get our focus ready for Temple this week.

Temple is a very strong team. They have got some really skilled players on both sides of the ball. Coming off two good wins against Maryland and Tulsa, and playing with a lot of confidence. We will have our work cut out for us.

I think that they are an outstanding football team. I think Geoff Collins does a really job with them schematically both sides of the ball. I know that this is a place where tough kids play hard, play relentless good athleticism. You can see that on the tape. This is a tough game, tough opponent coming in here and we have got to get our focus completely there, which we did.

Yesterday we went out got done what we had to get done in the film. Went out and practiced yesterday. Had a great practice yesterday, and great start and great preparation to correcting the issues that we had, and starting on Temple yesterday.

Looking forward to getting back Tuesday morning, tomorrow morning and getting started.


Q. You touched on it, but is it back to the drawing board or do you take what is in place and just figure out what was there --

STEVE ADDAZIO: There is no “back to the drawing board”. We didn’t play well, simple as that. There were several player that’s played very well, to tell you the truth, but we didn’t make the plays explosively that were there to be made, and we didn’t make them on both sides of the ball. And did some things like were throwing some balls that ended up getting tipped by the D line, getting tipped that turned into interceptions. We had four interceptions but should have had five.

On defense we stopped running to the ball on a play where we thought the guy was down, he burst out of the thing and went 70. Had another play where we were offside and intercepted a ball down to the 20. It was those kinds of things that were taking place.

Certainly we played physically. Both sides up front played very, very physical. We just got to clean some things up. There was plenty of opportunities. So let’s leave it like that, okay? Our inability to take advantage of them is my fault. We have got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

I am very, very confident in our guys, and very confident in what they can get done. It’s just a matter of making sure we have a level of consistency with that, and that’s something that is real important to get done, that that consistency moving forward is there, but the ability is the ability and toughness is the toughness, and that hasn’t changed a lick.

Q. Coach, obviously in the beginning of the game you didn’t have to too many drives in the first quarter, or the first half for that matter. When you see some of the things going against you and some of the guys fighting, how do you adjust for that in game? What are some of the things that you look for to try to get those wheels moving?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I think some things that we could have probably done a better job is help Anthony get started with a few more easy throws, some sprint-outs and some things like that, just to get started. We really didn’t have a lot of protection issues. I mean, that really wasn’t the case, but sometimes you got to get started a little bit and get that momentum going. Probably we were hanging on the ball a little bit too much there.

In the run game I thought we are had some adjustments but that is not reflected in the outcome of our run game. We averaged 2.7 yards a carry; that’s ridiculous. We have to got to make shored up, and back in practice and really working on taking advantage of the what the defense gives. Like I said, those guys have played pretty well up front. We need to capitalize on that.

That’s where we were. We got to play better. That’s my job. I am responsible for that. We have to play better. I am most interested right now in getting us hitting on all cylinders, like we were. Yesterday it was a decidedly different demeanor, tempo, and everything else yesterday, which is pretty good to see. There is some angry, ticked off, motivated people on that practice field yesterday.

Good players, like we have, they respond the proper way. They guys will respond in the proper way. We have got an angry football team right now. I’ve got to make sure I keep that in check, too, because but this is an angry football team right now. And that’s a good thing. It should be.

Q. With Temple, what’s jumped off the chart a little bit in terms of how they play?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Well, first of all, starting on offense, I think they’ve settled in on Russo as the quarterback. He’s a talented guy. He’s thrown the ball really well. I think have got a good solid offensive line. They have got really a good running back. Armstead is a terrific running back. They put in Isaiah White, he’s an outstanding receiver. They put him in as a wildcat quarterback. They get him to touch the ball, and they are smart to do that. Isaiah is a really fast, powerful explosive player. They have got a couple of tall receivers that they get the ball down the field. So they can strike you, and I think they are playing with a lot of confidence.

On defense I think their back ends run well, their linebackers run exceptionally well. I think up front they have got a couple of interior defensive linemen that are very good players, and they can really disrupt you up front. Schematically, they are active schematically. They are not afraid to come after you all the time. I think they have good players, good speed. I think their scheme is good.

The phrase is coined “Temple Tough”, I think this is a tough team has speed and skill. This is a tough game. This is a really tough game here. We have got to play a whole lot better. We have got to play like we are capable of playing. We have got to do the things we do. We are not a penalized team. That’s what happened Saturday. That’s got to go away. This is not a game where we can see that. We have got to play at a very consistent level.

This is a game where we will have to be patient offensively, and get your opportunities as they come. Defensively we have got to keep field position. That’s going to be critically important, and of course on special teams they have got a real knack for creating turnovers on special teams, creating plays on special teams. We have got to be really, really sound in our kicking games.

Q. It looked like AJ was bouncing around a little more inside a little more than usual. Was that by design (inaudible)?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I think great players are really anxious to make great plays. I think AJ is a great player and he wants to make big plays. What we focused and concentrated on is getting exactly what’s there for us. That’s what we are going to do.

You never want to curb your players’ innate instincts, but there are some structures of things that we have to make sure our -- we have to play within our structures, both sides of the ball.

We have talented players on both sides of the ball. We have got a lot of guys that want to make plays. That’s a good thing. We have to make sure we funnel those good players that want to make good plays, we have to funnel them on both sides of the ball. We have to make sure we are playing within the structure of the offense and the defensively. When you don’t know on defense, all of a sudden there are gaps that are given up, there are coverages, there are issues that pop open.

I love the fact that we have the kind of team that really, really wants to make plays. We just have to make sure we are all in line with exactly what’s there, and our guys are aligned on that. It is something that can be a blessing and a curse. It is my job to make sure we are playing within the structure of everything.

Q. You touched on this before but how do you fix getting more yards on first down?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Yeah, that’s a good question, fair question. I would say some of the things that I just talked about. We were not productive enough on first down. You know, in an effort probably -- here’s what happens: We are really predicated on getting the first down, getting first downs and getting going. I would say in an effort to get started, sometimes you are trying to get the ball in the hands of guys you are trying to get going, with is along the lines of saying we are going to get the ball in the hands of the best players. But in an effort to get things going sometimes, if that’s not happening, you get you behind the chains. We got behind the chains on Saturday.

We have got to be cognizant -- sometimes I think we are going to have to shift gears a little bit from who we are trying to get going, in keeping ourselves a little more with some diversity. But the problem with that is you also have to be careful that your best players are touching the ball. We felt going into the game and we felt during the game that we had a lot of the right structures of things going on. We have to make sure we do a little better job making sure we get done what we are trying to get done in there. Obviously a little disappointed in that, but not confident in what that offense can do. We just have to get back on track, get back to where we were. I am quite confident that will happen.

Now, this week with this defense and the style we are playing, you have to be a little patient. I think certain styles of defense you have to be patient with. When they are coming at you from all angles, I think you just have to got to be patient and let those gaps open up when they are going to open up, and good things will happen.

I am looking forward to a great week. I want to emphasize again; I love the look of the eye of our players. It is very appropriate of what it should be right now, okay? We have got to make sure it stays there, and we are willing to have the week that we have.

Q. Temple, (inaudible) how dangerous is a team like that?

STEVE ADDAZIO: Sure, it’s college football it’s kind of like what we just got done talking about, right? I’m guessing it wasn’t thought that we would have the first half or the game that we had a week ago. It is college football; they have created some really good turnovers. They have created a lot of turnovers. They have been very opportunistic. To their credit, I mean this, they are a tough football team. They’re playing just relentlessly and creating their opportunities. I’ve watched all the games.

I thought Villanova did a real nice job game one, but Buffalo is a really strong team in the MAC right now, but I think they have learned from those two games. I’ve seen great growth from Temple. They came out real strong and jumped out real early on Maryland and got momentum on their side in that Maryland game, and got into a real shoot-out with Tulsa and came out on the positive end of that, with really optimistic tough play. Going into game five, you got four in the bank. You are starting to shape your team.

Q. What’s Anthony’s response when he got his nose bloody? Two days later, how he’s doing?

STEVE ADDAZIO: (Laughing) You mean emotionally bloodied? He’s doing great. Anthony is a competitor. Anthony is a leader. Anthony -- I don’t mean to speak for Anthony, but Anthony is very motivated right now. I would tell you he would fall in the pissed-off category. That’s not good language. Is that bad? He’s ticked off. He’s ticked off, as any competitor would be. Anthony will be just fine.

Anthony will be just fine. He’s still a young player. We forget, he’s still growing and maturing and coming into his own. He’s got to make sure he’s not trying too hard. Just go back and take care of your business and handle the reads, which he has done absolutely beautifully. We have got to back to just taking what’s there and going through the read progressions, and he will be fine. He threw some beautiful balls in the game on Saturday. I’m not worried about that. He’ll have a great week of practice this week. I am quite confident on that.

Q. Coach, the history with Temple being a Big East team, having to go down to independent and work their way back. You were obviously a part of that before you came here. What do you remember coaching at Temple, moving from the MAC to the American?

STEVE ADDAZIO: I can tell you firsthand my first year there we went in there and had won the first bowl game in 30-something years. And Al Golden had done a tremendous job prior to that of resurrecting the program. I thought we went and tried to take it to the next level and won, and recruited the whole class of guys that went on to be -- they are still playing in the NFL, and went on to have great success. We brought those guys all in, including the quarterback.

We felt really confident that would be a really good football team. My first year when we moved from MAC, I had a really strong relationship with Nick Carparelli, who was the associate commissioner of Big East Football and really worked hand behind the scenes to make that happen.

In conjunction with that, we built a brand new football facility, which I was real proud of. Designed everything in there from the stitching on the chairs to the style of tables, every piece of that building. We raised the money built, built a building, got into the Big East Conference.

The tough thing was we had to go into the Big East conference on short notice, in the spring, but it was the right thing to do. We were only able to play eleven games that season, and played like a seven or eight freshman. But it was fun and exciting and great things happened.

I know that history and transition. That was a real important piece of history and transition that had to happen, because we were certainly going nowhere in the MAC, and certainly we were going to go nowhere in independent. We had to get back into a conference and get that respect, and I thought we did that.

Like I said, we were playing at that time Louisville and Syracuse, most of the Big East that first year, then that thing came together - that recruiting, those guys starting maturing and that coincided with the schedule. The Big East then came undone and the formation of what was left with became AAC, which I think became a better deal.

So in a conference -- then of course establishing new rivalries at that point. I thought it was all real positive for Temple. It all came together with the facilities upgrading. I think they’ve done a nice job and had a real good plan that we formulated there at that time. There were some great people involved - George Moore, senior VP, who passed assay, fantastic guy who had a great understanding of it. Lewis Katz who unfortunately died here in that plane crash in the airport up here, Hanscom. Lewis, I became real close with him. What a guy he was. Was a very successful business guy that had to back a lot of things that happened there. And there was an energy, a synergy there that really helped catapult that program. It gave us an opportunity to recruit and do some really fantastic things there. I am real proud of that, but I also have a really good understanding of that program and where it is and who it is attractive to and the kind of players they have.

I really, really respect what’s being done.

Matt came in and was able to take that thing and really do some great things and run with that. And then now Geoff has come in here. I don’t know Geoff really. I know of him. He’s a really fine, a really good football coach. He’s doing a good job out there recruiting and keeping that thing going.

I’m probably talking about Temple a little more than I care to, but I do have a vested interest there and do follow it. But of course this is a different week. So that’s what I have to say about that.

Okay, guys, thank you.