Justin Time

Senior strong safety Justin Gildea said the Temple defense is still looking for the player who will be the voice in the huddle and the locker room. Asked if that role could fall to him considering his 37 games and 21 starts of experience, he admitted he might be the likely top candidate.

Senior strong safety Justin Gildea said the Temple defense is still looking for the player who will be the voice in the huddle and the locker room.

Asked if that role could fall to him considering his 37 games and 21 starts of experience, he admitted he might be the likely top candidate.

"We are finding our leadership, the voice of our defense, our one guy who is going to step up and say things," said Gildea. "That could be me, I'm trying to work on that, but I'm kind of a quieter guy. I do have some experience around here.

"Going into camp it definitely hit me, I've been a starter for two years and it's up to me to step into a leadership position, show people how its done and get it going."

Gildea is part of a long line of veteran safeties. He arrived at Temple to find Dominique Harris playing the position that would eventually fall to him. Jaiquawn Jarrett ended up a second-round pick of the Eagles last year, and Kevin Kroboth just graduated as a three-year starter.

"I remember seeing Domo, the way he handled things and yelled at guys," said Gildea. "I look at him as how I should handle things."

Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater noted if Gildea isn't necessarily comfortable being a verbal leader, he can show his leadership in other ways.

"He's fine," said Heater. "To me leadership comes in lots of shapes and forms. Guys going out and doing their jobs, earning respect and accountability for what they're doing and having the opportunity to lead.

"It's guys making plays, energy, focus, going about your job and attention to detail."

Gildea is certainly keeping up his end of the bargain on the field. He totaled 51 tackles and a team-high three interceptions last year.

While the defense might be searching for a verbal leader, Gildea said the unit has developed a strong chemistry, particularly in the back end.

"We've kind of got a thing on defense where we all kind of know how we play," said Gildea. "You have me and Zamel on the strong side and Vaughn (Carraway) could have been a starter if Kro wasn't there last year. We've had a lot of young guys come in and developed pretty well, and it's been a pretty decent camp from a defensive point of view."

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