Feature story on Mana Silva

About how he showed up out of shape at camp last year and had trouble learning the defensive schemes, but this year he’s in shape and understands the offense better, Mana Silva said:
“(Last year), I was kind of complacent and took a couple of weeks off and it got out of hand and I got out of shape and stuff. (This summer) I trained every day, only went home (to Hilo) on the weekends to see my wife, and just worked hard.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Silva’s physical abilities caught the eyes of UH coaches immediately after he transferred from Oregon State. But the move from offense to safety took a lot of time to learn, and limited his physical ability.”

About how Silva struggled last year, Rich Miano said:
“It’s like being a rookie quarterback. You have success going out there doing what you do and then you start throwing all these techniques and alignments and assignments at them and they struggle. It wasn’t until the end of the season in spring ball when he finally said, ‘Coach, I know what I’m doing.’ Now he knows what to do and is playing faster and you can see the improvement.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The UH defense lost nine starters and the secondary alone lost nine scholarship players to graduation, opening the door for wide-open position battles. Silva and Kenny Estes practiced with the starters yesterday at the safety position with Spencer Smith and Richard Torres working with the backups.”

About how things are different this year with all of the seniors in the secondary graduating, Silva said:
“It’s different. We’ve got a lot of new pieces, but we’re hungrier and everyone is working hard.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Roughly 15 minutes after yesterday’s practice ended, the only players left on the field were defensive backs. Miano was the last coach to leave the field after a 10-minute 1-on-1 session with senior defensive back Chris Black.”

About all the teaching their secondary needs, Miano said:
“There ain’t enough hours in the day. They are all hungry and they want to learn and they ask questions … but it requires a lot of time with such a young unit.” (HSB)

About all the big plays their defense gave up last year, Silva said:
“That was huge for us last year. All the big plays killed us really, and our focus is to eliminate a lot of those.” (HSB)

http://www.starbulletin.com/sports/sportsnews/20090808_New-look_Silva_shines_at_safety_spot.html

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