Quotes from the local papers (8/7/08)

After their 3rd practice at camp, Rolo said:
“The defense won the day.” (HA)

HA Note: “But for the first practice involving 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, the outcome was expected. Several new plays were implemented, and the defense, which is projected to be the best in the Western Athletic Conference, was particularly feisty yesterday. And it rained. The three quarterbacks contending for the starting job ā€” fourth-year junior Inoke Funaki and junior-college transfers Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch ā€” were a combined 10 of 19 in the 11-on-11 drills.”

About the performance of their QBs in the 11-on-11 drills, Rolo said:
“So much is going through their minds as far as reads and progressions. And then you throw the (pass) rush in, and it kind of threw them off. There’s a lot of good stuff for the film (to be studied).” (HA)

HA Note: “Funaki, who is first in the rotation, lasered a pass to slotback Michael Washington that went for the 30-play segment’s only touchdown. Alexander, who has lost 20 pounds since moving to Hawai’i in late May, is displaying better agility. And Rausch has improved in identifying defensive coverages during his pre-snap reads.”

About his improvement, Rausch said:
“I’m feeling more comfortable out there. I did a lot better than the first day.” (HA)

About facing their D in practice, Inoke said:
“We have such a good defense. If we can compete and be consistent while moving the ball against our own defense, it should make things a lot easier when we play against other teams that are less
familiar with our offense.” (HA)

About how his goal for the offense is for them to try to be the best at every practice, Rolo said:
“I take it off my experience playing this offense. When you can beat your own defense, which knows your plays, and beat them every day, then we can beat anybody in the country. That’s where we need to get, to beat these guys every day.” (HA)

About how their initial plan was to narrow the QB competition down to 3 early in training camp and then to set a depth chart, Rolo said that with Tyler not being in camp:
“it gives us a little leeway with our initial plan.” (HA)

HA Note: “Rolovich said those three quarterbacks received an equal number of snaps in the first two practices. Those workouts involved “the simplest of plays” and were not against defenders. Rolovich said “some tough” plays were added to yesterday’s drills. He said the same menu of plays will be used today.”

About how they get better the practice after they introduce new plays, Rolo said:
“We got better from the first to the second day. We had new plays in the third, so we’ll be better” in the fourth.” (HA)

HA Note: “Rolovich said the quarterbacks know “the language” of the entire playbook. Now it is a matter of field work. He said head coach Greg McMackin and offensive coordinator Ron Lee plan to add “10 to 15 percent” more plays every two practices.”

About how going against their defense helps them get better, Alexander said:
“we’ve got a good defense. We’re always going to get a good look from them. It’s good for us to go against them. They’re going to be one of the better defenses we face this season.” (HA)

HA Note: “It was the defense that set the tone on the first play of 7-on-7 drills. Leftside linebacker Blaze Soares soared to intercept Funaki’s pass.”

About the stinger and shoulder injury he had last year that made it impossible to raise his left arm, Blaze said:
“My arm feels better. I’m trying to get into a little better shape. I feel I’m in good shape, but it’s always good to be in better shape. You don’t ever want to be satisfied.” (HA)

HA Note: “One of the prized recruits, slotback Jovonte Taylor, arrived in town Tuesday afternoon, and attended yesterday’s practice as a spectator. Taylor was delayed while he completed a class at Los Angeles Southwest College. He has been accepted into UH, but cannot practice until his associate degree is posted. That should happen today. Taylor won the California Community College 100-meter championship in 2007, completing the distance in 10.4 seconds.”

About how he won the 100-meter championship despite a tight hamstrine, Jovonte said:
“track is not really my thing. I did it to get ready for football.” (HA)

HA Note: “Taylor had received offers from Oregon, Kansas State and Nevada-Las Vegas. USC offered him a track scholarship. But he chose UH because of its four-wide offense and faith that he would earn a degree by this summer.”

Jovonte said that UH’s offense:
“fits me better. They run a spread offense, and I’m a slot receiver. They throw the ball a lot. That’s what I’m looking for.” (HA)

HSB Note: “Inoke Funaki, Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch split the repetitions and combined to complete 15 of 18 throws in the 7-on-7 period. But the defense had the advantage in the 11-on-11 team periods.”

About struggling in the 11-on-11 drills, Alexander said:
“We’ve been doing 7-on-7s out here all summer, but when you get into practice the intensity picks up and speed picks up.” (HSB)

About why the 11-on-11 drills were harder for the offense, Rolo said:
“Seven-on-seven was much better than team for us. It tells us they understand it conceptually, but now you throw a rush in front of them, that kind of threw them off so that’s something we need to work on. We needed the competition. Now we’ll see separation. The grade sheets have been fairly even so far.” (HSB)

About their success in the 7-on-7 drills, Washington said:
“A lot of the newcomer guys were stepping up and making good throws, new receivers making great catches. It was just good to see the offense click so early.” (HSB)

About splitting second team guard reps (with Ginlack) behind AhSoon while continuing to work at tackle, Hisatake said:
“My chances will be better to play if I know both positions and I feel real comfortable at guard, like it’s a more natural fit for me. You always get excited to learn when you’re in a new environment. If I know guard, then I’ll know tackle better.” (HSB)

About how the competition is close between Kia and Letuli for the starting LT spot, Brian Smith said:
“Pepa’s going to push (Kia) pretty hard as long as he stays healthy. That’s going to be a good competition and it’s going to make both of them better.” (HSB)

About being a new graduate assistant during camp, David “Happy” Gilmore said:
“It takes me back — you don’t forget the smells. It’s fun to be out here a part of it, and not get all beat up, you know?” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Miano pushed hard for Gilmore’s presence with the team this season. He was a walk-on from Albuquerque, N.M., who, through sheer determination, earned a starter’s role and eventually a scholarship.”

About why Gilmore will be a good coach, Miano said:
“The whole cycle, from being unwanted to being a starter to being a scholarship player to a graduate assistant. That’s why he’ll be successful in life, and that’s why he’ll be successful at coaching. It’s not always the great players who’re genetically gifted. He worked hard.” (HSB)

About giving up a 6-figure income in California selling employee benefits to take the graduate assistant job at UH, Gilmore said:
“I knew I wanted to do it. But, I said if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it now. I don’t want to have regrets when I’m 34 years old.” (HSB)

About how they started the drills where the offense and defense face off, Blaze said:
“It’s always a good thing, offense vs. defense, see who gets bragging rights for the day. They work us, we work them. The only way is up, so right now we’re starting off at the bottom and we’ve got to climb the ladder to get where we were.” (HSB)

Looking forward to seeing how his shoulder feels when they start having full contact, Blaze said:
“I can’t wait to start getting in the pads and see how my shoulder is. I feel ready.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “For now, he and the rest of his teammates, are wearing “shells” in order to protect against injuries before they put the full pads on. It’s a much smaller pad designed to protect players against shoulder injuries.”

About wearing “shells”, Blaze said:
“It’s interesting. Something new.” (HSB)

About how he needs to restrain himself at times to avoid injury, Blaze said:
“I don’t want to be known as the kid that always gets hurt, which I’ve been known for. I want to change that. Back then, I was just reckless trying to kill everybody in sight. This year I’m just trying to be more smart with the choices I make.” (HSB)

About the INT Blaze got on him, Inoke said:
“I had to break the ice you know, help everybody feel comfortable by throwing the first pick. (Blaze) said he was going to beat me up if I didn’t throw him a pick.” (HSB)

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