Mac is optimistic about his “unknown team”

HA Note: “Last year, McMackin had to replace nine offensive starters. This year, he has to rebuild a defense that returns two starters — defensive end Fetaiagogo “John” Fonoti and linebacker Brashton Satele. While many publications predict the Warriors will finish in the second tier of the nine-team Western Athletic Conference, McMackin insisted that he expects a more optimistic performance from his admittedly “unknown team.” ”

About his outlook on the season, Mac said:
“I think we’re an unknown team at this point in time. Last year, we lost our offense. This year, we lost our defense, and our kickers, and our snapper. There are some unknown portions of our team. But we have a better feel for it this time because we’ve been working with them and we know how the players we brought in fit. That type of thing. What we have to do as a team is coach the heck out of it, and the players have to learn.” (HA)

About UH’s offense, Mac said:
“They have to continue to get better. We have a better starting point than we did last year. Last year, we scrambled around and had to find ways to move the football. I think we’ve got depth at the receiver position. We’ve got some quarterbacks who know the package. We’ve got competition on offense. We’ve got four running backs who are very capable in Leon (Wright-Jackson), Inoke Funaki, Alex (Green) and Chizzy (Dimude). We have a lot of talent on offense. The coaches have done an outstanding job of teaching them. We’re way ahead of where we were last year.

We only have one player who is an outstanding standout, a top NFL prospect, in John Estes. He is the focal point of our offense. We have three starters back on the offensive line. But I think John Estes’ leadership has brought that group together.” (HA)

About UH’s defense, Mac said:
“Defensively, we have really one starter back — John Fonoti. Brashton Satele started five games, I think. I feel the players we have on defense are very confident and competitive. They had a good spring. It’s a matter of chemistry and playing together. That will come in the first ball game. We have playmakers in guys who can run. We have speed on defense. We have a lot of newcomers who are inexperienced.” (HA)

About how Brashton Satele’s weight loss (26 pounds this offseason) will keep him at MLB, Mac said:
“He’s going to start out at middle linebacker. He wanted to play linebacker, but he was getting a little big. But he worked hard, and he got his speed back. He’s got experience at middle linebacker. We’re going to give him a shot there.” (HA)

About Mana Lolotai, a backup MLB last year, Mac said:
“We still feel good about Mana Lolotai. We’re going to play him at middle and outside linebacker. He could be one of the three starters (in the 4-3 defense) or the fourth guy we roll (as part of a rotation). Same thing we did with (former Warrior) Jeff Ulbrich when he was with the 49ers. He played middle and outside.” (HA)

About Blaze Soares’ return, Mac said:
“It all depends on how he comes back. He hasn’t played in a year. He said he’s been working out. We have to be real careful with him, and see how he comes along.” (HA)

About UH’s difficult financial situation, Mac said:
“We’re being positive, and getting ready for the football season. As far as the cutbacks, salary-wise, that type of thing, I’ve always been a team player. Even though my contract doesn’t require me to contribute, I will give my fair share on behalf of the football program.” (HA)

About the coming season, Mac said:
“I think we’ve got a challenging schedule, which we had last year. I like the work ethic of the team. We’ve got a lot of playmakers. We’ve got a great tradition here. We have to do a great job of coaching, and the fellas have to do a great job of learning. I know those are cliches. But we want to be a team that gets better as the season goes on because we’re an inexperienced, young team. We’ve got one guy who is one of the top in college football. The rest of the team are good football players. We have to play together, and come together as a football team.” (HA)

http://sports.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090729/SPORTS0201/907290350&template=UHsports

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