The Streets Diary

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*TALK ABOUT PRESSURE* The weight of Temple’s future on Steward’s shoulders

Posted by yoMcLovin on August 26, 2010

 Temple’s football media day should’ve seemed different, considering this was the first time since 1990 that the Owls are coming off a winning season, at 9-4, and a bowl berth.But Al Golden has his team, voted preseason favorite to win the MAC, well trained. To a man, his players say they’re not dwelling on the past. Their focus is strictly on the now.

“Every season is new,” said senior linebacker Elijah Joseph. “It’s a different feeling from before, but we can’t worry about what we did. At first, we had guys who didn’t understand what the program was all about.

Now they do.”

Golden says it’s part of the culture change he’s tried to instill on North Broad, similar to what he learned under Joe Paterno at Penn State 20 years ago.

“We had tremendous leadership and vision from Coach Paterno,” said Golden. “Peer pressure was strong and I learned that leadership comes from the bottom up.”

It doesn’t hurt that he’s got such a strong stable of running backs, like sophomore Bernard Pierce, whom they’re hyping for the Heisman Trophy with billboards and a Pierce4Heisman.com website. For now, Pierce is running second string behind Matt Brown (529 yards, 5 TDs) after he missed a week of training camp due to a concussion.

“He stepped up and filled my shoes perfectly,” said Pierce. “It doesn’t matter if he goes in or I do. The results will be the same.”

A bigger question will be at quarterback where junior Chester Stewart takes over from Vaughn Charlton, now a tight end.

“I’m more mature and making better decisions with the ball,” said Stewart, who started four games last season. “I think the coach saw that.”

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