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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ron Lee, Turf, No Wazzu in 2011, Etc.

Jason Kaneshiro writes that offensive coordinator Ron Lee will hand off play-calling duties to Nick Rolovich and Gordy Shaw in order to focus on the receivers.
Quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich and offensive line coach Gordy Shaw will call the plays from the sidelines beginning with Saturday's game at Washington State. Lee will continue to provide input from the coaches' booth while monitoring the receivers and still has overall responsibility for the offense.

Lee has coached the UH receivers since joining the program in 1999. He was promoted to offensive coordinator last season and said he wanted to put more focus on making corrections with the receivers during the game after reviewing the tape of last Friday's season-opening win over Central Arkansas.

"We'll still all work together. It's a team effort," Lee said. "I have to concentrate on the receivers. I have to watch the receivers. That is the priority now. When you're calling the plays it's a different feel.
Dave Reardon has a column about the move.
Lee told me this has nothing to do with his play-calling, which some have criticized as too conservative for the run-and-shoot and too predictable. He just really feels like he needs to school up the receivers; he saw too many routes run incorrectly the other night. He wants to make adjustments during the game, not after, when it may be too late.

"Preparation is one thing, and we thought we prepared well. But we need to execute, too," he said.

It looks like a way less than ideal situation at least partly caused by the Warriors not having enough coaches working on offense.
Stephen Tsai writes about the worn down FieldTurf causing more cuts and scrapes this season.
UH head coach Greg McMackin said he noticed there were more reports of turf-related cuts.

"I don't know if it's just worn down," McMackin said. "It does seem a little thinner than last year. I have no answers."

Regardless of the condition, Alexander said: "You can't do anything about it now. It's football. You can't complain. If you fall down, you're going to get scraped. Whatever. You have to keep playing and not worry about it."

McMackin said he was told a new artificial turf will be installed next year.

"I know (stadium manager) Scott Chan and his staff do a great job, and they've got plans in the future," McMackin said. "Both teams have to play on it. Nobody has an advantage."
Tsai also has notes about Greg Salas, Liko Satele and Paipai Falemalu.
McMackin said Falemalu is quick enough off the perimeter to cause problems. That was not the case when Falemalu was an outside linebacker.

"I've always liked to get speed on the field," McMackin said. "Paipai is an average-speed linebacker, but he's a fast defensive end. Just like Aaron Brown. We moved (Brown) from safety, and he became a fast linebacker. That's part of my philosophy. Speed is very important."
Kaneshiro writes about Greg Salas flourishing at slotback.
At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Salas presents a different look from the slot receivers the Warriors typically featured since June Jones installed the run-and-shoot offense in 1999. Most tended to be shorter receivers who could dart into gaps between linebackers and safeties.

"He's just really tough inside because he's as quick as a slot but he's hard to bring down," UH head coach Greg McMackin said during his weekly press conference. "Even the long play that he made right before the end of the game, a guy had him and fell off of him because he's so big and strong."

"He's almost like our version of a tight end, running up the seam in the slot," Alexander said. "He's definitely a bigger body in there."
Ferd Lewis writes about Washington State pulling out of its 2011 game with UH.
Donovan said he has begun seeking a replacement for the Cougars but didn't know if he could match another team from a Bowl Championship Series conference in that slot.

"It is not impossible (to find a quality replacement), but it is operating in a short time frame," Donovan said. "Most football games are scheduled four to five years out and, now, we're looking at two years."

Donovan said he believes the $250,000 to $300,000 "buy-out" clauses in the contracts UH had in place before his arrival were not a sufficient deterrent to teams canceling games. "Since I started on the job, we've raised the amount teams will have to pay if they want out," he said.
Lewis has a column about UH's dwindling opportunites to play PAC-10 schools.
Currently the only other football games listed with Pac-10 members through 2019 are a 2011 appearance at Washington and three games (2010, 2012 and 2013) with Southern California.

This is where UH athletic director Jim Donovan has his work cut out for him in both the short and long terms. Financially strapped UH doesn't have a whole lot of money to fatten up appearance checks, but it needs to add to its Pac-10 scheduling.

Currently, UH is believed to be talking to at least two other Pac-10 schools about possible games, but Donovan declined comment on which schools they are and where negotiations stand.
According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, UH might have a home-and-home series with Utah in the works.
Realizing it's often hard for recruits and their families to pay travel expenses to come to Utah for a game, the Utes go to the recruiting hotbeds rather than hope the recruits come to them.

Gaining that kind of exposure is why Utah would like to schedule a game in the Texas area, has tentative plans to play a home-and-home series with Hawaii in the future and travels to the West Coast for games against San Jose State and Oregon, where Utah plays next week.
Kaneshiro writes about Washington State pulling out of the 2011 game, and has some news and notes.
Elliott Purcell, the starter at left defensive end, sat out yesterday's practice with a bruised thigh. Backup Victor Clore is also nursing an injury, but McMackin expects both to be ready by kickoff.

Satele and redshirt freshman Paipai Falemalu were the starting defensive ends yesterday. McMackin said the coaches are also planning to take senior Bo Montgomery and junior transfer Mike Maracle to add depth to the defensive end rotations.

McMackin said linebacker Aaron Brown (hamstring) is also expected to be ready for the game.


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