Addazio sees growth in return to Big East

Steve Addazio is not a woulda, coulda, shoulda guy.

With his team's first season back in the Big East all wrapped up, and with plenty of extra time on his hands, the second-year Temple coach is not wondering about any potential wins or practices he may have gotten out of playing in another conference this season.

The Owls' Big East switch in March culminated in a 4-7 campaign that featured a number of new faces in new places, giving Addazio plenty to be optimistic about moving forward.

"Football is about competition, it's about stepping up, it's about taking your shots as a program," Addazio said. "We stepped up this year. We learned a lot this year. We became a better program from this. … I think the development is going to be far greater, the competition higher and we're thrilled about that. That's what it is. Would you like to have a couple more weeks of practice? Yeah. But at the end of the day what they went through this year is more significant.

"I can't wait for next year. These things roll by really quick. It'll be next year soon."

Temple was greeted with two byes in the first month. The Owls played without running back Montel Harris for a majority of that first month, and they were without his replacement, Matt Brown, a majority of the last month, which also was cut short by their 11-game schedule, since they lost a game when leaving the Mid-American Conference.

A potential deal with Hawaii for a 12th game fell through two weeks ago, leaving Temple one fewer game than normal for this transition season.

Addazio loses just 12 seniors, and he welcomes back 23 freshmen who saw time this season. He will also have a healthy quarterback competition this spring among three seniors who saw Big East action.

"The way you did it is the way you did it," Addazio said. "I think we'll really grow from this. What's transition mean? You've got to get in, you've got to play, you've got to feel it, you've got to get used to the week in and week out grind. I think the best thing that happened was to get right in and play. This was a transition year for us, a rebuilding year, so I think nothing better than to come in here while you're rebuilding, while you're young and let these kid really feel this thing.

"I think we'll grow tremendously. Even though it's hard to swallow now and all that, it's about what I thought would happen. We're 4-7, we're very close to having another win or two in there. We were very competitive, so I'm proud of that, not disappointed in that. Disappointed that we're not still playing? Yes, but not disappointed in where we're headed or the effort or some of the really good football players we have along the way."