Archive for March, 2009

Quotes from the first Spring practice

March 31, 2009

After sending Bulla Ginlack, Richard Torres, and Kawika Ornellas to the sideline when he noticed that they were not wearing team-issued shoes during their first practice, Mac said:
“Does anybody have the right shoes?” (HA)

About he can stop being a nice guy when the players mess up and need discipline, Mac said:
“This is football. It’s a business. I’m a nice guy when it’s time to be nice. But as (former UH linebacker Solomon Elimimian) once said, I have two personalities. These guys know me. They know I care about them. But when I want to make a point, I make a point.” (HA)

About how they will focus this spring on perfecting techniques and reducing mistakes, Mac said:
“We can’t have personal fouls. We had too many last year. That’s laziness, and a lack of technique. We’ve learned from last year. We’re going to get better.” (HA)

HA Note: “NCAA rules prevent teams from wearing pads during the first two practices. The offensive linemen worked on hand techniques; the running backs on footwork and blocking (by hitting the heavy bag), and the quarterbacks and receivers on pass routes. The defensive players focused on alignments.”

About their first spring practice, Mac said:
“We can’t hit yet, but we got a lot of work in. The defense worked hard. We’re trying to find 11 guys who can run to the football and hit. Hawai’i has always been known for hitting.” (HA)

About how Kahuku coach Reggie Torres watched him work on his blocking, Kahuku alum Inoke said:
“It was probably a funny sight for him to see me hit the bag. From what I learned from the first practice, a running back has to keep a good base. You can’t lunge, or the (defender) will get past you.” (HA)

Inoke added:
“I survived the first day.” (HA)

Asked how he would do this season, LWJ said:
“I’m not going to promise anything. I’m not going to say I’m going to do this or that. I’m just going to work.” (HA)

Happy that practices have begun, after he missed most of the offseason training due to strep throat, Malcolm Lane said:
“Now I feel great. This is what I love most, being around my teammates and coaches. They keep me happy. It feels good to be back with the team. Everybody has a great love for each other, and they work hard, They’re pushing each other.” (HA)

About how last year was a difficult “transition season”, Lane said:
“It hurts when you start the season with a quarterback who hasn’t taken a (Division I) snap before. It was a learning experience. In the second half, (quarterback) Greg (Alexander) really picked it up. … We really want to be successful this year. We don’t want to finish the season like how we did last year.” (HA)

HA Note: “Left tackle Aaron Kia was particularly energized yesterday, often racing 30 yards downfield during the 7-on-7 drills.”

Hoping that his knee tendinitis problems from last year are behind him, Kia said:
“As long as my knees hold up. I’m a new me. It’s up to my knees.” (HA)

HA Note: “Kia noticed a small crowd that watched the offensive linemen work out in the Diamond Head end zone.”

About how the OL wants to do better this year, Kia said:
“We want to make a good statement this year. We don’t want to be the butt of every conversation about the down part of Hawai’i football.” (HA)

About practice, Rocky Savaiigaea (who only played in one game last season because of a torn left triceps), said:
“For the first day, the intensity was good. It went well.” (HA)

About the viral infection he had last year that caused him to lose 25 pounds and forced him to withdraw from school, Jovonte Taylor said:
“It was real scary. I felt like I was on my death bed. I’m feeling good. I couldn’t feel any better.” (HA)

About how he’s now back to 185 pounds, Taylor said:
“I’m back running, and my knee feels good, too. I’m healthy. I’m ready to go.” (HA)

About how he’s only cleared for non-contact drills (he missed the 2008 season because of a herniated disc), Jake Heun said:
“I’m trying to get cleared to hit this week. Hopefully by Saturday, I’ll be able to bang.” (HA)

About being back at rush end after being recruited to UH as a RB, Heun said:
“I’m happy to be back on defense. That’s the big thing for me.” (HA)

About how he hopes to eventually move to OLB, Heun said:
“We’ll see.” (HA)

HA Note: “Outside linebacker Blaze Soares, who was on the field but did not participate in contact drills. Soares did not play last season because of a torn Achilles’ heel. He is expected to be cleared at the end of April, enough time to prepare for the Aug. 3 start of training camp.”

About practicing at #1 strongside LB, with Blaze out and Po’okela Ahmad in class, Vili Nauahi said:
“They’re just throwing me out there.” (HA)

About the instruction he received from the coaches, Nauahi said:
“I needed the scolding. I’ve got a lot to learn. Without the help of the other linebackers, I wouldn’t be there right now.” (HA)

About how he is starting to pick up the techniques of the position, Nauahi said:
“This was the tip of the iceberg. This was only the first practice. I hope to get better.” (HA)

About their status right now, Mac said:
“Right now we’re developing our team personality. But I like the work ethic.” (HA)

HSB Note: “With combined college coaching experience of nearly 60 years, the well-traveled Tormey (special teams coordinator) and Shaw (offensive line) will be counted on to give two of the Warriors’ most flawed facets during the 2008 season a fresh start. Tormey was given the task of overhauling a special teams unit that finished last in the country in punt return yardage (2 yards average) and had six kicks blocked. He’s also charged with assisting Rich Miano with the secondary by leading the safeties.”

Happy what he saw from their DBs yesterday, Tormey said:
“We have a lot of kids who are really into what we’re trying to teach. We’ll see how well we can maintain that enthusiasm over the next 14 practices.” (HSB)

About how Coach Shaw will not make excuses if their OL struggles, Mac said:
“You’ll never hear an excuse out of him.” (HSB)

About how he judges players, Shaw (a former center) said:
“When you’ve been doing it for as long as I’ve been doing it, my favorite saying is, ‘Never rate potential over performance.’ So, you might have a world of ability, but it’s still about what you do out here between the stripes — that ends up being whether you play or not. I just live by the golden rule, which is, ‘Do your best and don’t let anything else affect you.’ ” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Tormey has appeared four times at Aloha Stadium — once as a player and three times as a coach — and chuckled about his 0-4 record here. He spoke to his new players about the mystique of playing at Hawaii, and told them they should be proud. Proud, but also ready to do their part when called upon.”

About his message to the Warriors, Tormey said:
“Accountability is one word that we always use. In order to be accountable to your teammates, you have to be personally responsible, both on and off the field. That’s something we’re trying to stress with these guys. Understand the importance of doing your job, making your play for the Warriors when you get your opportunity.” (HSB)

About giving Dog Chapman a tip on his neighbor (who was a feared fugitive), Lane said:
“He told me I was helping the kid in the long run. He said it would be the best thing for him in the long run.” (HSB)

Still upset by the Hawaii Bowl loss, Brashton Satele said:
“We’re still kind of mad about it. I don’t like being embarrassed.” (HSB)

“It’s still fueling a lot of us. We’re still kind of mad about it. That’s what wakes me up every day.” (HSB)

About how they were intense on their first spring practice, Rocky said:
“This was the hardest first day we’ve ever had, very intense.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Most of these seniors have never experienced a losing season, other than while redshirting in 2005. They don’t want to start now, at the end.”

About how the players need to buy into the coaches, Lane said:
“We’ve just got to work harder on the practice field and not just expect to win. We’ve got to buy into what the coaches tell us. Everybody at times gets into doing a little bit of their own thing. But I understand a lot more about how important it is to buy into the coaches.” (HSB)

About how he was sad that practice was at 4pm instead of their normal 7am, Brashton said:
“I was kind of bummed it wasn’t at 7 o’clock in the morning like usual.” (HSB)

After their first day of practice, Ron Lee said:
“We still have a ways to go, but for the first day it was good.” (HSB)

About how it is exciting to start Spring Practice, Greg Alexander said:
“It’s definitely exciting to get back out here and play some real football again. I was excited for it. It’s a long layover, a long time to think about some games we let slip away. There were a couple games that sit with you. You still think about those now and then so we have to fix our mistakes.” (HSB)

About the importance of these spring practices, Mac said:
“This is a sense-of-urgency spring. This isn’t the typical spring that you just go through. We have to identify players, and for the first day I think we made a step in the right direction. But we have to continue to get better.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “McMackin said the Warriors’ depth chart serves as a starting point, but “everything’s wide open.” Two positions with clear leaders are quarterback and center, where Alexander and John Estes return.”

About the upcoming season after the OL set the NCAA record for sacks, John Estes said:
“It’s redemption. Everyone knows what happened last year. Once we start going and doing good like I know we can, we’ll get past that stuff, but we have to work hard from now.” (HSB)

About how their offense is more experienced this spring as compared to last spring, Ron Lee said:
“We still have a ways to go, but for the first day it was good. Last spring we had a lot of different people. Now the guys we have are guys that played. We didn’t have that last year. We’re moving along a lot faster. I like the enthusiasm, the guys are a lot more confident.” (HSB)

About working to making a few mechanical changes to his footwork and throwing motion while learning more about the offense, Alexander said:
“Now is the time where you have to get these things worked out, because once fall camp is here we’re not going to have time to work on things like that. By then it has to be second nature and muscle memory.” (HSB)

About taking over for Sol as their starting MLB, Brashton said:
“It’s a lot of leadership and responsibility, but I’m up to it to take the challenge.” (HSB)

Asked about being a leader on the team, Malcolm Lane said:
“Lots of people ask me about being a senior and being a leader now. I can’t make that claim, not yet. You don’t just come out and say, ‘I’m a leader now,’ even if you’re a senior. I have to show I’m a leader by setting an example by doing the right things.” (HSB)

About how he understands the offense better now, Dustin Blount said:
“Now I know the offense. I’m looking at the right things, things are slowing down and I know where I want the ball to go.” (HSB)

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Review continues of the Sugar Bowl travel expenses

March 31, 2009

HA Note: “Although some questions were initially raised about children who accompanied staff on the trip, Dan Mollway, executive director of the commission, said “everyone who went is a matter of potential review.” ”

HA Note: “Mollway said the commission’s review has been slowed by more pressing cases and staff shortages.”

About UH’s cooperation in working with the commission before the 2008 Hawaii Bowl, Mollway said that:
“We haven’t seen anything that has caused us to believe there are issues to deal with (from the Hawai’i Bowl).” (HA)

Crediting how JD dealt with their travel plans for avoiding controversy with their Hawaii Bowl spending, Mollway said:
“Given our dealings over the years he is, simply, more inclined to seek our advice than most, I would say.” (HA)

JD said that UH limited its Hawaii Bowl party to:
“those who normally travel with the football team when it goes on the road and some extra trainers.” (HA)

Ron Lee talks about how this spring differs from last year

March 30, 2009

About how they have a lot fewer holes to fill on offense this spring as compared to last year, Ron Lee said:
“It’s so different this spring. The goals are a little different.” (HSB)

About the competition for starting jobs this spring, Ron Lee said:
“There’s still a lot of work to be done as far as getting better. But the guys are here now, so we can use the spring perfecting what we do. The guys worked really hard getting ready for spring. I think they really know there’s going to be some big competition.” (HSB)

About trying Inoke at RB and slotback this spring, Ron Lee said:
“We know what he can do as a QB. We want to see what he can do as a running back.” (HSB)

About the importance of this spring for LWJ, Ron Lee said:
“We really need for him to step up – he’s so explosive. This spring is going to be very big for him.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Pilares and senior Jon Medeiros are listed as the top slotbacks going into the spring, but the coaches will also “look at the Ryan Henrys and Dustin Blounts and see how fast they can come along,” Lee said.”

Billy Ray Stutzmann finished high school early, gets to go to UH spring training

March 30, 2009

HSB Note: “Stutzmann had the credits to finish high school last semester. He weighed getting a head start on college football against giving up his senior year of track (he’s one of the state’s top sprinters). Football won. And his grades (3.4 cumulative average) indicated he was ready for the next level of academic challenges.”

About entering college earaly, Billy Ray said:
“I’d probably be taking some advanced placement anyway, and right now it kind of feels natural to be in college. In football, the guys really took me in and it’s not a big transition.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Stutzmann also figures to benefit from regular weightlifting sessions he might not have been doing if running track at Saint Louis. He’s added 12 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-1 frame and figures to check in at around 170 today.”

About how going through the spring with UH instead of being in high school will help him during his football career, Billy Ray said:
“I just think it will really help me down the line, being here, maybe in a few months. It’s always been my goal to get playing time as a freshman, but if the coaches want me to redshirt, I’m fine with that.” (HSB)

About coaching his brother as UH’s WR coach, just like he coached his brother when Billy Ray was a freshman on the Saint Louis JV, Craig Stutzmann said:
“We try not to have the relationship show in practice. He calls me ‘Coach,’ never Craig. We’ll have to see how it is (today). I try to not let it happen, but sometimes you can get a little more frustrated with your brother or son. For some reason, you have a shorter fuse.” (HSB)

About having his brother coach him and expect more out of him than others, Billy Ray said:
“The good thing is he’ll be on me to do everything right. That’s the negative thing, too. He’s always going to be hard on me, I already can feel it. But I think he’ll be fair.” (HSB)

About how other teams tried to come in late and get him to break his early UH commitment, Billy Ray said:
“Washington came in late. That got in my mind a little bit. Oregon State, Washington State. Notre Dame contacted me a little, but it died out.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Billy Stutzmann passed on what for many people is the most fun six months of their life. Instead, he opted to get ahead of the academic game by a full semester, loaded up with six classes of core requirements. The weight-room investment is a solid one, too. In the coming weeks we’ll see how ready he is on the football field.”

Mac likes how his coaching staff fits together

March 30, 2009

Happy with his coaching staff, Mac said:
“I like the fit of our coaching staff, and I really like their work ethic. They’ve really worked hard to be able to teach these players, because we’re all teachers.” (HSB)

A lot of starting positions are up for grabs this spring

March 30, 2009

Mac said that their depth chart entering spring training is:
“a starting point.” (HA)

About all the starting positions available to be won this spiring, Mac said that:
“nine-tenths of the (starting) jobs are open. This is an important spring. There are a lot of jobs that are up for grabs this spring.” (HA)

About having Alexander and Rausch top the depth chart at QB, Mac said:
“That’s the starting point. Greg is going to get the majority of the reps this spring.” (HA)

Mac said that some positions:
“like John Estes at center and Greg Alexander at quarterback are based on what they did last season. I assume that everyone (listed as a starter) will work hard and maintain their position. But if they don’t prepare themselves, we’d play the best player at that point in time. We’re committed to playing our best players.” (HA)

About how they will post a depth chart after spring training is over, Mac said:
“New starting points.” (HA)

About how many of their recruits don’t arrive until the summer, Mac said:
“We’ll give some (of the newcomers) some shots. We have to be ready for business. It’s not P.E. football. It’s a business. We want to have fun, but we want to get ready to play. We want to start the season strong.” (HA)

About how he’ll have to cut players after spring training (114 players are on the spring roster, 105 players can go to training camp and 25 newcomers join this summer), Mac said:
“I hate to cut anybody. That’s the worst part of the game. But we can only go into camp with 105.” (HA)

HA Note: “But sometimes there’s a happy ending. Last spring, defensive tackle Quentin Beaver impressed coaches with his strength. But at 365 pounds, he was too heavy to play the point in the 4-3 alignment. Beaver was cut after spring practice. He subsequently lost 60 pounds, and in January, he participated in the walk-on tryout. He earned a berth on the spring roster.”

About Quentin Beaver being back on the team, Mac said:
“We like 300-pound-plus guys, but they have to be able to run. Now he can run.” (HA)

Interview with Mac from the Star-Bulletin

March 29, 2009

http://www.starbulletin.com/sports/sportsnews/20090329_mcmackin_likes_his_warriors_work_ethic.html

Asked if he’s in the rhythm he wants to be in now, compared to last year, Mac said:
“It’s been fun. It’s slower this time.” (HSB)

Happy with the work ethic of their team, Mac said:
“Every team has its personality. I thought last year’s team overcame adversity. This year’s team is still making it’s personality. One thing I really like about this team is the work ethic. They’re working their tails off, and I think it’s because we don’t have a bunch of stars and everybody’s competing and competition make guys work harder. All 112 or 113 guys and they’re all working hard. I give credit to the strength guys, Tommy (Heffernan) and Mel (DeLaura), but the players have an attitude about them.

The thing I like is now we’re going into spring so we’ve got to keep the intensity and we have to teach.

All the coaches, they’ve really worked hard on presenting and teaching and it’s important we do a good job of coaching it and improve on what we did last year.

Now we can actually work with them and watch them on film and everybody feels like they have a shot, so they’re really going hard.

I think these guys really have a great work ethic. That’s what they’ve shown me to this point. Now we have to get into the X’s and O’s and all that stuff.” (HSB)

Asked if it is a smoother transition to find new starters on D as compared to how they had to replace their starters on O last year, Mac said:
“The thing about defense is you run a package, but what I like about Hawaii is the guys we have playing defense are aggressive. So we get 11 guys aggressive to the ball, we just have to teach them to run to the football, tackle, and it is easier than last year. Offensively we were trying to run a system and nobody knows it yet. It’s way more difficult.

I feel very comfortable getting our defense together. I think we have a great defensive staff. It’s just a matter of teaching and finding the guys this spring and then we have guys who are going to join us (in the summer).”

Asked how concerned he is about the secondary after losing their top 4 CBs and a bunch of safeties, Mac said:
“We lost nine DBs and all the starters, and none of these guys really have game experience. Richard Torres is really the only one who has game experience and he was our backup nickel.

The good thing is we brought in some guys who we think are talented players. They have to learn our system, but they’re going to see the pass every day. We’re going to rep and teach and they’re going to get a lot of reps covering, and we have some good young guys who are coming up. I’m confident in the coaching, we’ve got Rich Miano and Chris Tormey. It’s a matter of teaching schemes, and athletically we have some good guys.

It’s game experience. In the secondary, you’re playing a coverage and if somebody busts, it’s gone. So that’s not as easy as the front seven. It’s something we’re going to have to teach well.” (HSB)

Asked how important it is for JC transfers like Lametrius Davis and Melvin Hopkins to enter school for the Spring semester, Mac said:
“Oh yeah, because they can work in the spring. We redshirted all of our JC players last year, except for Jovonte (Taylor). So all these receivers and DBs, we were sort of saving them. (Cornerback) Jeramy Bryant is outstanding. He got hurt (last year), but I think he’s going to be really good.” (HSB)

Asked if he feels he can do things differently because of his team’s work ethic, Mac said:
“I’ve coached the same way for a long time and we have things like Super Games. I want them to work hard and have some fun, too. This group is just really together. I wouldn’t say we have a bunch of leaders. They just group together. It’s a fun thing to see.

I’ve got the same philosophy. You have to care about your players and coaches and you have to teach and get better.

There are some things I don’t dwell on from last year because I got over it. This is a whole brand new team. We’re going to improve on anything that we learned from last season, but this is this year’s team.” (HSB)

Asked if there are players he’s looking at to take the leadership role or if that is something he’s going to see develop over the spring, Mac said:
“There’s guys like Brashton Satele, who’s played a lot of ball for us. R.J. (Kiesel-Kauhane) started for us. Obviously, John Estes was a captain for us last year. Kealoha (Pilares). There’s leadership, but it’s not like we have 35 seniors and everybody’s trying to be a leader. A lot of guys like Rocky Savaiigaea, Blaze (Soares), before they can lead they have to play between the lines, but they’re great leaders. Greg Alexander is a guy who’s done some things, but he’s not a yell and screamer.

I just like the way it’s all fitting together. We’re sort of letting it happen naturally. We’re not trying to make any leaders, but they’re working it out together.” (HSB)

Asked about how it seems he feels he has the pieces of the puzzle, Mac said:
“If we keep going like this (climbing) we can reach all of our goals, but it’s going to take a lot of work and we have to get a lot better. We haven’t done anything yet. The only thing we’ve done to this stage is we’ve really gone through a great pre-spring workout, now we have to have a great spring.

This spring is a crucial spring. We have to come together and get things taught and improve.” (HSB)

Asked if they are going to work more under center, Mac said:
“We’re not going to work that much under center.

We’re going to get our quarterbacks reps teaching the system. Greg’s going to get four reps, Brent (Rausch) is going to get two and Shane Austin’s going to get two. The other guys are going to have to take reps in individuals or scrimmages, but we’ve got to get those three guys ready and we’re going to give Greg most of the reps.” (HSB)

Asked if the spring is even more critical for the OL with a new OL coach, Mac said:
“I love the confidence of Gordy Shaw. We just met on our entire personnel today and he sees so much potential. He’s a positive guy and he sees so much potential with our offensive line.

He is really excited about coaching these guys. He’s an outstanding coach and he likes the guys we have. You’ll never hear an excuse out of him. We’ve worked hard at getting our protections and everything together with our schemes. It’s just a matter of teaching, and he’s a great teacher.” (HSB)

About trying to find a place for Inoke to play, Mac said:
“This spring we’re going to play him at running back and take a look at that. The key obviously is if he can block. He can scramble — we have to see how he runs as a running back and then we’ll look at him at slot. We want him comfortable and if he fits in there we know he can help us on special teams.

The thing about Inoke is he has so much versatility. So we’re going to take a look at that and if he feels comfortable and we feel he can contribute, then great. If not, we’re going to move him back to quarterback and let him fight it out for the backup role.

We’re not going to call it the “wildcat,” but he’s a natural. Now you’re in short yardage … now you’ve got option, and the thing we have those people don’t is he can throw the ball, too. So you’re not changing your offense, it’s just sort of a short-yardage changeup. … We’re going to add that and he can do that as a running back or even as a receiver. He’s got so many tools.” (HSB)

Asked if he would move Inoke to safety, Mac said:
“No, we’re going to use him on offense. We feel pretty good at safety. We’ve got Spencer Smith, we could have played him last year. Hits and runs and was our best special teams player last year. Kenny Estes, and we’ve moved Lametrius. We’re going to look at both safety and corner because he’s a physical guy who can run. He’s a big corner, but he’s such a great athlete he can play free safety, too.” (HSB)

Asked about Vaughn Meatoga, Mac said:
“Vaughn’s a stud. Vaughn’s our best defensive lineman right now. He was good last year. He never comes out of his stance; he can play all day long at the same pad level. He is going to be a big-time player. Weight over 300 pounds, doesn’t look it, great kid. He’s tough and does everything.” (HSB)

Asked if they would have no big scheme changes on offense or defense, Mac said:
“Scheme-wise the only thing is I thought special teams needed a complete overhaul from last year. I feel we have a great special teams coach. I think he’s a great teacher. We’ve taken schemes from the best programs in the country. It’s not just taking schemes, it’s sharing ideas, because Chris coached special teams for a long time as a head coach. He’s got his own philosophies, I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.” (HSB)

Quotes from the Warriors spring preview from the Advertiser

March 29, 2009

http://sports.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090329/SPORTS0201/903290366/1312&template=UHSports

About how they want to attack this season, Mac said:
“We want to attack in all three phases.” (HA)

About how they will attack on offense with their run-and-shoot, Mac said:
“We’re going to run the pure run-and-shoot. We’re going to let it fly and try to have fun.” (HA)

About how Alexander had trouble understanding the offense in his first year, Rolo said:
“His head was swimming. (HA)

HAA Note: “A tell-tale sign was not in Alexander’s interceptions or sacks, but the number of deflected passes. Being indecisive led to Alexander trying to hurry, which led to side-armed throws. In reviewing videos of last year’s games, Alexander noted that his worst plays corresponded with low deliveries. Alexander appears to be more confident. And Alexander, who once spoke Mumble as a second language, has developed into a leader, often taking charge of unsupervised offseason workouts.”

About how Rausch improved after learning that he didn’t need to throw every pass at full speed, Rolo said:
“Four or five throws (a game) are hard; the rest are control throws.” (HA)

HA Note: “On the left side, Salas has worked out with the slotbacks. He won’t move there, but there are some plays in which Salas will motion into the slot, giving Alexander a taller target. The plan is for the inside receivers to draw defenses away from the wideouts. Last year, Lane caught only 46.7 percent of the passes in which he was the intended receiver.”

About how he touched the ceiling when he was asked to jump as high as he could in the UH weight room, Rodney Bradley said:
“I’ve always been able to jump.” (HA)

HA says about Bradley: “whose reach is 8 feet 1. He can touch nearly 11 feet off a vertical jump. With his speed (4.4 seconds) and height (6-1), Bradley is expected to stretch coverages. He’ll start off at left wideout, but he is capable of playing both sides.”

HA Note: “Kia lost weight after suffering from severe flu-like ailments following the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl. He weighed 274 last week; he wants to gain at least another 10 pounds by the end of spring training. Hisatake, whose high school did not have a football team, is set to open at left guard. He said it took him most of last season to adjust to the switch from tackle. The previous year, he was on the defensive line. Keep an eye on: Leonard, a junior-college transfer who probably is the most agile of the tackles.”

About how they require their DTs to be mobile, Cal Lee said:
“We don’t want just space-eaters.” (HA)

Ready to fill their leadership void with Adam Leonard and Sol Elimimian graduating, Brashton Satele said:
“Somebody has to step up. Why not me?” (HA)

About how he lifts every day, Brashton said:
“I dedicated myself to getting stronger.” (HA)

About how his workouts included power cleans this offseason, Brashton said:
“I didn’t like it before, but I like it now.” (HA)

Paredes explained that RJ earned the nickname “Neanderthal” because:
“he’s another breed.” (HA)

HA Note: “Kiesel-Kauhane, who weighs 221, is capable of benching 450 pounds. He benched 225 pounds 35 times, and had a vertical jump of 38 inches.”

About their CBs, Rich Miano said:
“Overall, the group has no stars, but it’s a focused, concentrated group. I’m really impressed with their work and determination.” (HA)

Bess loves hearing from those that doubt Miami’s WR corps

March 28, 2009

SFSS = South Florida Sun-Sentinel

About those who criticize Miami’s WRs, Bess said:
“Most players will get mad or frustrated, but I love it, because it’s always keeping me humble. Knowing that there’s always someone out there to knock you down. In this league, you can never be satisfied. There is always room for improvement.” (SFSS)

About how he wants to improve each part of his game, Bess said:
“There were a couple of times last year that I dropped the ball. There were a couple of times that I misread a coverage, and ran the wrong route.” (SFSS)

About how he has “a lot” more confidence going into this season as compared to his rookie year, Bess said:
“For me to get the hands-on experience I got so early, now that I can go out there just playing, rather than thinking, and having my head cut off. Whenever you are in a situation where you have to prove yourself, the best comes out of you. At the end of the day, when the lights come on, everything will show.” (SFSS)

Bryce Kalau’oka’a’ea moving back to QB

March 27, 2009

About ending his experiment at RB and moving back to QB, Bryce saidL
“That’s where my calling is. That’s where I belong.” (HA)

HA Note: “He missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL. He said he is healthy now. He joins a crowded field. The top of the depth chart goes like this: Greg Alexander, Brent Rausch and Shane Austin. Those three will get the majority of the reps in team drills. Limited work will go to Kalau‘oka‘a‘ea, Steele Jantz and Bryant Moniz. In fall training, three freshmen join the competition.”

About the competition at QB and the limited reps he will get, Bryce said:
“I don’t mind. It’s actually going to push me into doing my best, being up against guys who also are hungry for that position.” (HA)