Stew Attitude

In the next two to three days, new Temple head football coach Steve Addazio will make one of the most critical decisions of his first training camp – who will be his starting quarterback. It's a decision redshirt senior quarterback Chester Stewart might have stressed over in past seasons, but not now. No matter the direction Addazio decides to go, Stewart is at peace with the outcome.

In the next two to three days, new Temple head football coach Steve Addazio will make one of the most critical decisions of his first training camp – who will be his starting quarterback.

It's a decision redshirt senior quarterback Chester Stewart might have stressed over in past seasons, but not now. No matter the direction Addazio decides to go, Stewart is at peace with the outcome.

"I'm not worried about it one bit," said Stewart. "Whatever decision they make I'm ready to go with, whether I'm the starter or I'm not. I'm good with it either way. If they don't feel like I'm the best guy for the job, I'm fine with that."

Asked if he had the same outlook in past years, Stewart admitted he definitely did not.

"I always wanted to be a starter, everybody wants to be a starter," said Stewart, who has 14 starts over three seasons. "As you get older, you mature a little bit, you understand it's not about you, it's about the team. My attitude has been mostly focused on making the team better. Whoever plays is obviously the best guy for the team, and I'm fine with that. I just want to win games."

Stewart is in competition with redshirt junior Mike Gerardi and redshirt sophomore Chris Coyer for the starter's job. Addazio has frequently praised Stewart throughout training camp and indicated he was leading the competition for much of the last few weeks.

"I would say to you that early on yes, he was ahead for sure," said Addazio. "I thought it balanced out a little bit the last five days or so. Coyer is coming on strong and Gerardi has done nice things as well.

"It's a good thing to have this competition. Let that keep happening. I view it as a positive, not a negative. We want to see who can consistently take the offense and move it down the field and score. Coyer had a chance to run with the ones and move the ball down the field (Monday). We're going to let everybody take a day of it. I thought he did a nice job, moved the ball down the field pretty good. I liked it."

Because he was leading in the early going, Stewart saw much of the time with the first unit until Addazio made it a point to let Gerardi and Coyer receive equal time with the ones. Gerardi said the competition has been fair, and agreed it's been too close to call.

"The fact they're getting reps is good, I want them to develop," said Stewart. "They should get an equal opportunity."

Stewart and Gerardi have been teammates for four seasons now with Gerardi joining the Owls as a walk-on in the spring of 2008 when Stewart and Vaughn Charlton were the only quarterbacks on the roster. They've been in competition for the starting spot the last two years.

Stewart began the 2010 season as the starter, but Gerardi relieved during the 28-27 win over Bowling Green and started the last five games.

"Me and Mike are really close," said Stewart. "A lot of times you have two guys competing for one spot, it causes tension and bad vibes. We overcame that and it brought us together as friends. When I was out there, he was cheering me on, and that day when I got pulled I had to do the same for him.

"His unselfish attitude, that's what I was going for. Our relationship came from that whole process. He's a great quarterback. He shouldn't have been a walk-on. Things didn't work out for him originally, but he's on scholarship now and he deserves it."

Gerardi called Stewart his best friend.

"We talk to each other all the time, we hang out together, I drive him down here all the time," said Gerardi. "On the field we understand we're competing. I'm going to throw a deep pass and complete it and he's going to have to answer, so we push each other to make great plays and bring out the best in each other."

Whether that competition gives Stewart a chance to finish his final season as a starter or whether the nod goes to Gerardi or Coyer, the lone senior in the competition is content with his play this training camp and the result.

"I definitely think I've gone about it the right way, attitude is key, it matters," said Stewart. "It determines what kind of practice you're going to have. It sets the tone for the type of day you're going to have. You wake up with a bad attitude, you're mad, most likely you're going to have a bad day. I'm just trying to make myself better and help make everybody else better. This attitude will help me become a better player.

"I'm not worrying about things around me. A lot of things don't get to me the way they did in previous years. (Whatever happens), I think I came out and gave it my all."

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