Steve Addazio was in rare form in his last weekly press conference of the year at Edberg Olson Hall Tuesday afternoon.
A candid Addazio said he isn’t surprised by his team’s 4-7 finish, and that he expected to win four to six games. He spoke of the team’s youth and lack of depth as ongoing issues that the Owls couldn’t overcome during the strain of the Big East Conference season.
“Basically through the year, there was a theme where we’d have those moments where we’d come unglued a little bit and we didn’t have the ability to overcome that,” Addazio said. “I think what you saw was a young, inexperienced team making a transition this year.”
Though he noted the Big East move as a reason for the team’s struggle, Addazio maintained that it was still the best move for Temple.
“The best thing that happened was that we went right into this league,” Addazio said. “There was going to be an adjustment period. I’d rather have the youth and the adjustment period in one shot. I think we’re better for it.”
Addazio said he feels motivated by the offseason do the team’s losing season, the first he’s experience since he was offensive coordinator at Indiana in 2004.
“I’m disappointed that we’re not playing in a bowl game right now,” Addazio said. “I’m disappointed that we’re not practicing right now. I’m not used to this. But I can’t look you in the eye and say we aren’t where I thought we’d be.”
But his concern with the past season was met with his optimism for next season, which he said will begin with the most competitive offseason program Temple’s ever had, starting Tuesday.
“I don’t want to put forward this thing like Rome’s built in a day and next year we’ll be good to go. It’s a process,” Addazio said. “I just like where we’re headed. We’re going to get better and continue to grow.”
“I’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of guys in our league that I know and they’ve all said the same thing, ‘Boy, you’ve got a good young football team,'” Addazio added. “Your kids play really hard.’ It’s a resounding theme, it’s not bs. Our kids do play hard. They do compete.”
Addazio gave a nine-minute opening statement before fielding questions about what went wrong this season, his team’s offseason preparation and his take on conference re-alignment.
When asked about the recent addition of Tulane into the conference, Addazio wouldn’t comment on the matter, because it was the first he had heard of it.