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The Temple football team will lean heavily on the run this season both with quarterback Chris Coyer and running backs Montel Harris and Matt Brown. But the Owls would like to be more balanced than a year ago and to achieve that goal they will need to see more production out of the wide receiver group. Junior Deon Miller is the top returning receiver after catching 18 balls in 2011.

The Temple football team will lean heavily on the run this season both with quarterback Chris Coyer and running backs Montel Harris and Matt Brown.

But the Owls would like to be more balanced than a year ago and to achieve that goal they will need to see more production out of the wide receiver group.

"We're coming along, we still have plenty of stuff to work on, timing with receivers and some of them getting out of different cuts," said Coyer.

Junior Deon Miller is the top returning receiver after catching 18 balls, good for fourth on the Owls in 2011. He posted a big opening game against Villanova last year and showed flashes, but Temple is looking for more from the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder.

"It's an opportunity to contribute more than I did last year to the team and bring the younger guys along with me, being a leader in a sense," said Miller. "I want to do better, but as long as I'm contributing to the team winning, that's all I care about."

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day noted Miller and senior Malcolm Eugene – who at 6-foot-4 is one of the other Twin Towers in the Owls' receiving corps – didn't play or practice at a Big East level this spring. Other receivers like Ryan Alderman, C.J. Hammond and Jalen Fitzpatrick are pushing for spots and have been singled out for praise more often.

Miller and Eugene said they took the constructive criticism to heart.

"I would agree, I could have done a lot better, there's always room for more," said Miller. "I've been working on the little things, techniques, focus, all the things he pointed out."

Added Eugene: "It's motivation to get better every day. I'm excited to be in the Big East and I have to be ready to compete at the Big East level, because we're going against some good guys."

Eugene came to Temple out of ASA Junior College in Brooklyn last year. He played in 11 games, mostly on special teams, but caught his only two balls of the season in the New Mexico Bowl win over Wyoming.

Eugene admitted watching players like Rod Streater, who had a successful two-year career with the Owls after playing in junior college, was beneficial.

"I'm much more comfortable," said Eugene. "I learned a lot from Rod Streater, Joe Jones, you can take a lot from them. (Streater) said to stay positive and helped me get through, coaching me up on little things, technique-wise.

"When you get in, you think you're ready. But it's all fast, it's a lot faster than you (think it will be). As the year progresses, you get to watch, get experience, get in there on special teams and feel a lot more comfortable, and to get my first catch in a bowl win and share that with the team was awesome.

"Now I feel good. I feel smooth, but I have to get better every day. As a JC guy, you definitely feel behind, but you work every day to get better."

Head coach Steve Addazio made a point late this week at training camp that he is still looking for players to emerge at the wide receiver position.

"I need some playmakers to show up outside," said Addazio. "I need them to catch the ball, just go make plays, get open, catch the ball. I want to see that happen."

Miller knows for the Owls' offense to be as balanced as they hope, he and his fellow receivers have to show Addazio they can turn their potential into production.

"It depends on how the receivers do," said Miller. "We have to prove to ourselves, to our coaches and our team we can throw the ball as an offense."

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