The trio held teammates accountable and kept things together on the field.
Addazio said Temple's coaches are the leaders this season. But that's only good during practice. Standing on the sideline, the coaches can't help much when things are unraveling during games.
As a way to create energy and leadership, the Owls have structured practice differently this week.
"What I'm going to try to do is get the coaches off the field in situations to make [the players] competitive like we did during the bye week," Addazio said. "See if we can help foster some of that leadership."
Seniors Justin Gildea (strong safety), Vaughn Carraway (free safety), Marcus Green (defensive end), John Youboty (defensive end) and juniors Levi Brown (nose tackle), Shahid Paulhill (defensive tackle) and Blaze Caponegro (strongside linebacker) haven't had to lead before. So this is a new role for them.
But is it even their nature?
"I don't know whose nature it is or isn't," Addazio said. "But what happens is you have to develop that."
Freshman weakside linebacker Tyler Matakevich (team-high 56 tackles) and redshirt freshman middle linebacker Nate D. Smith (51 stops) are recognized as the faces of the defense.
But they are still battling against making youthful mistakes. So it's hard for them to hold others accountable and give instructions.
"It's hard sometimes for freshmen and redshirt freshmen and sophomores to try to take that role on," Addazio said. "So it becomes the role of the coaches. We've addressed it. We're working on it. . . . But it's surfacing, and we have to overcome that."
Contact Keith Pompey at email@example.com or on Twitter at @pompeysgridlock