This is the first of what I expect to be daily round-ups of the quotes I can find that are related to UH Warrior football. I did a similar thing for the LA Lakers for 5 or so years and for the LA Kings for a couple of years, but I haven’t done this type of thing for quite some time. However, I’ve been a lifetime UH Sports fan and figure that this will be something that at least is of interest to me as an archive of quotes that can be looked up later.
This should take a lot less time than when I did the Lakers stuff because they had 5 newspapers with daily articles and tons of national coverage. Back then I didn’t have a wife or kids so I had a lot more time, plus the funds raised from banner ads went straight to the Project Dana charity in Honolulu, so I didn’t mind.
If anyone knows of an article I missed, please let me know and I will get the quotes from it to update my post. Aside from the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin, each day I read the LA Times, LA Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Orange County Register, Austin American-Stateman, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and some others that I rotate to see if they have anything of interest.
Congratulations to Brian Kajiyama for getting the Graduate Assistant job, which I know he’s stated in the past would be his dream job. The happy news about that prompted me to start compiling these quotes today instead of waiting until the season began.
When a note comes from a publication, I try to make it clear where that comes from. Otherwise, the note sections are basically my reaction to the quote that the note comes after.
HA = Honolulu Advertiser
HSB = Honolulu Star-Bulletin
JJ = June Jones
About not getting the DC job, DL coach Jeff Reinbold said:
“When this first came up, I went to June and told him to put me where he wants me to be, where I can help the team the most. Was I disappointed when I didn’t get it? Obviously. But the bottom line is I want to be here with these kids.” (HSB)
HSB note: “Reinebold joined UH as a graduate assistant in 2005, despite more than 20 years’ experience in college and pro football coaching. Reinebold, who considers himself Polynesian at heart, said at the time that being in Hawaii — and working with Jones, Glanville and Mouse Davis — was more important than a more prestigious or profitable position.”
About how he isn’t leaving UH despite not getting the promotion to DC, Reinbold said:
“I think this is a great opportunity to really make a statement that you can only make in a situation like this. You tell the kids to be unselfish, accept your role, be a team player. I could say, ‘I deserve that opportunity and if I can’t have it I’m gonna take my ball and go home.’ The players watch that real close. They want to see if you’re full of (crap).” (HSB)
Reinbold said that there might come a time when he’d leave UH:
“But it ain’t today.” (HSB)
Familiar with the 4-3 defense that Greg McMackin will run at UH, Reinbold said:
“The scheme is identical as what we ran in Europe (with the Rhein Fire) in 1999 and 2000, when we had the best defense in the league. The adjustments are the same. It was like a deja vu moment. It has an answer for anything an offense throws at you, and the players can pin their ears back and run and play. There’s no paralysis by analysis.” (HSB)
About how the UH D could be special next season, Reinbold said:
“It doesn’t matter what scheme — we’ve got players. It’s exciting to me. This defense has a chance to be something really special this year. I’ve coached on a championship team and on an undefeated team, and it’s rare. I want to experience it again. I want to see Michael’s (defensive tackle Lafaele) senior year be as special as it can be. When the players give you everything, a real bond’s been built.” (HSB)
Reinbold said that David Veikune is:
“a natural 4-3 end.” (HSB)
About how the DEs on the UH roster will benefit from the change to a 4-3 defense, Reinbold said:
“Our ends are much better suited for this (4-3) system.” (HA)
Note: The types of defensive ends needed for 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, as their roles are different. With just 3 down linemen, 3-4 defensive ends tend to be bigger and they deal with more double-team blocking. With 4 down linemen, 4-3 defensive ends tend to be smaller and quicker and try to get around the edge to get to the quarterback or disrupt running plays. 3-4 DEs can’t go around the edge as much because there aren’t as many DTs in the middle of the line to take care of inside runs and keep the OL off of the LBs.
About the 5 DTs (Lafaele, Watson, Laeli, Seti, and Savaiigaea) returning to UH this season, Reinbold said:
“These guys have all played in games, winning games. Not just in mop-up roles, but they have game experience in crucial situations.” (HSB)
About how he might be moved to outside LB this season, Adam Leonard said:
“I don’t know quite yet, but I do think the coaches will want to take a look at me outside. Learning experiences are always good, and to be more versatile is always good. The one thing I do know is we’ve got a lot of good athletes at linebacker.” (HSB)
Note: Leonard, leading tackler for UH last season, was talked about as moving from inside to outside LB even before Glanville left. With Greg McMackin as new DC and the expected shift to a 4-3 defense, either Leonard or Eliminian was going to have to move outside. Stephan Tsai of the Advertiser correctly points out that UH didn’t lose any of their top LBs from last season and has one less LB spot now…the competition for playing time at LB will be fierce! So, while I’m sure that DL players are happy with the switch to 4-3, several LBs (since the backups play a decent amount in the UH system) will get less playing time now because of the change. Tsai points out that if Leonard and Eliminian take 2 of the starting LB spots (which I would expect) then 5 players with starting experience (plus talented Brashton Satele) will compete for one starting spot!
Expecting a smooth transition for both OL and DL despite losing both DEs, both OTs, and the C who started last season, JJ said:
“I think we have guys on campus that are going to be able to fill in. They’re just waiting for their chances.” (HSB)
HSB note: “Aaron Kia, Laupepa Letuli, Keoni Steinhoff and Keith Ah-Soon are the top candidates at tackle, while Lafu Tuioti-Mariner’s work at center has changed plans to move Estes into Samson Satele’s former spot.”
About how Greg Salas is a leading candidate for the open starting WR spot, JJ said:
“He’s got it all.” (HSB)
HSB note: “Malcolm Lane and Dylan Linkner are among the others who will get a chance.”
Seriously considering having Bess be the starting punter, JJ said:
“He was a good punter in high school and we had him do some in practice last year.” (HSB)
Note: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case of a starting punter also being the top punt returner before! Bess was UH’s best punt returner last season, and JJ has said in the past that he’d allow Bess to return punts for big games this season and have the job full time in his senior season. However, it probably won’t happen because Dan Kelley will probably be the starting punter this year…
About the safety situation next season, where Leonard Peters must be replaced and UH might go to left/right safeties instead of strong/free safeties, Rich Miano said:
“Jake Patek’s the No. 1 guy, and I think he’ll do a great job. We’ve got Dane Porlas, Kirk Alexander, Desmond Thomas and Erik Pedersen. (Freshman) Kenny Estes is big, fast and athletic, but very raw. I don’t know if we can expect him to play right away, but he’s a Leonard Peters kind of guy.” (HSB)
About how Brian Kajiyama will be promoted to Graduate Assistant, JJ said:
“Brian will be official in the fall. He’ll be a GA. He’ll do all the stuff he’s been doing, working on the computer, preparing scouting reports.” (HSB)
Impressed with Kajiyama’s work ethic, JJ said:
“Sometimes I go to the office at 4:30 in the morning and he beats me there.” (HSB)
HSB note: “Kajiyama, 30, has never played or coached football. He’s confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy. But he has been a source of inspiration for several years as a fan.
Last year, his contributions became more tangible. At the urging of defensive line coach and Kailua neighbor Jeff Reinebold, Kajiyama volunteered to do a tedious task often handled by full-time coaches; he began doing “cut-ups” of opponents’ game tape on his laptop computer, aiding in scouting.
He received a game ball for his work in helping to prepare the UH defense when the Warriors beat Eastern Illinois 44-9.”
Before starting his round of golf with Tyler Graunke at Turtle Bay yesterday, Colt Brennan said:
“He’s very good at golf. He beat me a couple of times.” (HA)
About how he normally shoots in the 80s, Tyler said:
“I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old. I’d better have a clue.” (HA)
About how they wish each other well on the golf course (like on the field), Colt said:
“We’re on the same team, so we’re cheering each other on.” (HA)
“Me and Tyler have become good friends the past couple of years. We always hang out.” (HA)
About the countless autographs he’s signed during the offseason, Colt said:
“There’s no way I can estimate how many. Signing is a good thing. That’s what you want.” (HA)
Excited about the start of spring practice, Colt said:
“This will kind of quench my thirst for football, hold me over until the summer.” (HA)
“It’s going to be a fun 15 days (of spring practice). I can’t wait to get out there. I want to see if a bunch of fans will show up (to practice) and if the enthusiasm is there.” (HA)
About how he won’t get a ton of work during Spring Practice, Colt said:
“I know spring practice is dedicated more to the younger guys.” (HA)
About how Tyler enters Spring Practice as the clear #2 QB, QB coach Dan Morrison said:
“He has a very good understanding of what we’re trying to do. He’s one of those kids whose play elevates in a game, like Colt’s does.” (HA)
About Inoke Funaki, who might have the strongest arms of the UH QBs, Morrison said:
“He’s smart, athletic, and very accurate. It’s a matter of playing experience.” (HA)
About the battle for the 3 open starting OL spots, newly promoted OL coach, Dennis McKnight said:
“These guys are fighting for jobs. They’re lifting. They’re running. And they’re helping each other. The thing that made this team so special last year was the love they had for each other. They had each other’s back. If we can do that again, care for each other like we’re brothers and not just teammates, that will separate us from the so-so teams.” (HA)
About how Tuioti-Mariner’s development has him as the projected starting C now, McKnight said:
“He deserves the opportunity because he worked his butt off. He does everything right. He never complains.” (HA)
About Karl Noa’s amazing results from team testing, DL coach Jeff Reinbold said:
“From a testing standpoint, he might be our most outstanding athlete.” (HA)
HA note: “In team testing, he produced wideout-like results: 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 4.05 seconds in the pro-agility shuttle, 11.90 seconds in the long shuttle, and team highs in the vertical jump (36 1/2 inches) and broad jump (9 feet 6). “