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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Practice Reports / Chawan's Calendar / Wed News

Leila Wai has highlights from the first day of spring practice as well as interviews with Corey Paredes, Kealoha Pilares and Tommy Heffernan.

Jason Kaneshiro has a report on UH Sports Extra. Here's some excerpts:
Defensive end Elliott Purcell and cornerback Tank Hopkins are recovering from offseason surgeries and didn’t participate. With Purcell out, Liko Satele was first in the rotation at left defensive end with Paipai Falemalu on the right.
“We just don’t want to take any chances,” UH head coach Greg McMackin said. “We’re not going to push anyone that’s injured until the trainers tell us.”
The coaching staff took a look at two potential walk-on kickers during the field-goal period. They kicked along with Scott Enos and a decision on their status could come as soon as tomorrow.
HawaiiAthletics.com has a bunch of quotes from players and coaches.

And Chawan Cut is getting fancy. Check out his UH sports calendar, which includes the spring practice dates. Click on the image for the full sized version.

UPDATE: Tonight's news from KHON, KITV, KGMB from the grass practice fields in Manoa.

WitP: Jason Elam Retires

Time flies.
Jason Elam returned to the team that drafted him into the NFL today to say goodbye for good.

Elam signed a one-day contract with the Denver Broncos before announcing he was ending his 17-year NFL career. The Pro Bowl kicker spent his first 15 years with the Broncos and the last two with the Atlanta Falcons, who waived him nearly four months ago.

"It was very important to retire as a Bronco," said Elam, who had to stop at times to wipe away tears. "You can't spend 15 years with one organization and not feel a special bond."
HawaiiAthletics.com has some quotes from Elam about his days at UH.
During his retirement press conference, Elam remembered his time as a Rainbow Warrior, “Coach (Paul) Johnson for recruiting me to the University of Hawai‘i. Who could’ve asked for a better college experience than the University of Hawai‘i? Coach Bob Wagner, my head coach there for my entire stay. I really appreciate your leadership and your friendship along the way.”
Congrats to Jason Elam.

Spring is Here / Blaze

Stephen Tsai previews spring training, which started today. Here's an excerpt about Brett Leonard, who will be competing at left guard.
During the exit interview with line coach Gordy Shaw, Leonard expressed interest in competing at left guard this year.

"It just helps me out with my future, if I want to make one after my two (seasons) here," Leonard said.

Leonard said knowing how to play both guard and tackle "makes me a more valuable asset to the team and makes it more valuable to me."

Leonard, who is 6 feet 5, now weighs 320.

"It's all good weight," Leonard said.
The Tsai and Wai Warrior Beat Show will be broadcasting live from UH at 8:30am HST. Be there!

Jason Kaneshiro takes a look at Bryant Moniz: Year Two.
"Every day I have to fight for it," Moniz said. "I don't think anybody's job is ever secured. Just have to mess up one time or somebody else is starting to do better than you. It's all about getting the best person on the field."
Since the end of a 6-7 season, Moniz has worked to pack on more muscle to improve his durability and arm strength.

As Moniz hopes the offseason conditioning program adds some zip to his throws, Rolovich wants to see the offense operate at a quicker tempo.
And Tsai profiles Blaze Soares, who's getting ready for UH's Pro Day.
Banning said: "The nice thing about Blaze is that he's what I can say is an 'easy responder.' An easy responder is a guy who, once you get him adequate calories and appropriate training, loses fat and develops muscles very quickly. Blaze is one of those guys who works very hard, and is committed to everything we do. He's had pretty dramatic results."

Soares has gained nine pounds, and now weighs 246, but dropped his body fat to 8.4 percent.

He also is capable of bench pressing 225 pounds 30 times, a 50-percent increase from January.

Soares said he wants to run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, or faster.

"That's my goal," he said. "The NFL is based on speed, and I wanted to get faster. I've been working on this for three months. I'm ready to show what I can do."
All the best to Blazah! And as a sidenote, with Tommy Heffernan at the strength & conditioning helm maybe there will be less and less need for players to go to Arizona to get into better shape.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Spring Prospectus, Update: Tues vid

HawaiiAthletics.com previews spring practice, which begins tomorrow(!) at 7am. The article includes a practice schedule as well as a link to the 2010 Spring Prospectus (PDF), which includes a ton of info including rosters, stats, schedules, notes, bios, etc.

Update: Tonight's news from KHON, KITV & KGMB previewing tomorrow's start to Spring Practice!!!!

Coaching Shuffle, Spring Practice

Stephen Tsai talks to newly officially promoted coordinators Dave Aranda and Nick Rolovich.
Aranda said there is a "sense of urgency" to re-establishing a more daring defense.

"I see a lot of gray that needs to be worked out to black and white," Aranda said. "We're in the process of doing that. This has been the best offseason, in terms of coaches working together to get the gray out."

Rolovich, meanwhile, said he is committed to the four-wide passing attack.

"You can win throwing the ball," Rolovich said. "We're not going to change the offense or the mindset."

Rolovich said the game plans will have room for "pounding it" with the running attack.

Still, he insisted, the passing game can have an aggressive approach.

"We need a killer instinct," Rolovich said. "We need a knockout-blow attitude as far as throwing the ball. ... What we need to do is instill the confidence into the players. I think when everybody feels the way I do about the offense, fear goes out the window."
Jason Kaneshiro has quotes from the coaches as well.
"If I was going to have this position, the one place I'd want to have it would be here," said Rolovich, a former UH quarterback. "Especially after playing here, being part of the program, understanding the success that's been here and what this offense can do. I'm going to keep that at the front of my mind. I am very fortunate and I have a responsibility to carry this on."
"Everybody is on the same page; now I can really focus on the receivers," Ron Lee said.
Mike Cherry of Hawaii News Now has a report on the changes and a quick preview of spring practice.

And Dave Reardon has a column about the coaching changes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dave Aranda and Nick Rolovich Named Coordinators

Jason Kaneshiro reports:
Dave Aranda and Nick Rolovich have been promoted to coordinator positions on the Hawaii football team’s coaching staff, Warriors head coach Greg McMackin announced this morning.

McMackin informed the team of the shuffle within the staff at a meeting two days before the start of spring practice. Aranda moves from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator and will work with linebackers. Rolovich, the quarterbacks coach the last two seasons, becomes the offensive coordinator.
Cal Lee, the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach the last two seasons, takes on the title of assistant head coach and will work with defensive ends.

Ron Lee will be the assistant offensive coordinator and continue to work with receivers.

Tony Tuioti, previously the director of player personnel, will coach the defensive line.

George Lumpkin coached the defensive ends last year has been recommended to become the director of player personnel.

UPDATE:Now with video from KHON and KITV. Mr. Cut is back!

Videos: 2009 Defensive Highlights, LWJ

The kapoleicoug edited a 2009 defensive hits video.

And Kamakazi242012 created a Leon Wright-Jackson career highlight video.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Training Previews

Stephen Tsai previews spring practice. Here are some excerpts:
Moniz has gained 17 pounds since the end of the season, and now weighs 202. "Weight training, proteins," he said, "... more pizza."

"I feel quick," he added. "We'll see."
Right wideout Malcolm Lane said he is on suspension because of poor grades during the fall semester.
The Warriors believe a pressing concern — pass rush — will be successfully addressed. Falemalu, a converted linebacker, showed promise as the rush end in passing situations. This spring, Falemalu will move over to the right side. "Paipai has developed into a marque player," Aranda said. "He's very athletic. As physical as he is, his footwork and athleticism make a good combination." Umu is expected to be the front-runner at the other end position. Umu redshirted in 2009 after transferring from Charleston Southern. "He did a lot of good things for us on scout team last year," Aranda said. "He is very light on his feet. He's very explosive with his hands." Umu will have only one season of UH eligibility.
Here's Jason Kaneshiro's spring preview.
"We've got to come out of there healthy," McMackin said. "I've seen teams come out of spring just beat to heck and they never survive. I'm very sensitive to that, but I know for our first three ballgames we have to be physical.

"We can't be learning how to play the run and be playing 7-on-7 in spring ball. People are going to see a lot more contact."
Among the purposes for implementing more full-speed tackling will be to sort out the linebacker unit. Brashton Satele missed all of last season due to shoulder surgery and is appealing for another year. His return would stabilize the middle. Lolotai started four games, while Heun had two starts while shifting between middle linebacker and defensive end. Paredes led UH with four sacks last season from an outside spot. Aaron Brown displayed his play-making ability before redshirting due to a hamstring injury. Iosefa, a grayshirt, was a quarterback in high school and will be given at look at linebacker early on.
To keep up with all the new names on the spring roster, check out BigWave's 2010 SportsHawaii Online Media Guide. He's adding a new name to the roster every day, starting with these first-year/tryout players. Be there!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Month in Review

Some UH and Warriors in the Pros news from the past month...

The Super Games ended. Video by Leila Wai:

Stephen Tsai wrote about the football team from Tokai University in Japan training at UH.
Tokai's visit, which has been in the works for about a year, is part of UH's plan to build relations with athletic programs in Japan.

The hope, according to McMackin, is to one day use Japan as a recruiting base. In turn, that would help UH develop marketing and merchandising efforts.
Bobby Curran reviews this year's schedule.

So does Ferd Lewis.

The Press Democrat profiles former UH QB Greg Alexander.
So now Greg Alexander is waiting, waiting to see if his left knee is his friend or his foe. Alexander waits for the day, still months away, when his seventh surgery is behind him, when he can ask his knee to literally and figuratively support him. He will plant and pivot and push and only then will Alexander know if he still has a future in the NFL.
So Alexander will stick around Honolulu to finish his degree in European history. He will undergo his seventh knee surgery in May, the result of calcification of the knee joint. He hopes to begin throwing in late June or early July.
Stephen Tsai profiled Colt Brennan.
But Brennan's focus is on the near future as he prepares for his third year with the Washington Redskins. This time, he insisted, he is armed and ready, healthy for the first time since September 2007, the start of his senior year.

"There are no problems anymore," said Brennan, who has undergone three surgeries in the past 21 months.
Dave Reardon thinks that the Redskins' signing of Rex Grossman may be a sign Colt won't be in DC.
While Grossman is infamous for interceptions, he's also an experienced quarterback who has played in the Super Bowl. Brennan, the former University of Hawaii star, hasn't even played an NFL regular-season down in his first two seasons.

And if Washington, as expected, drafts a quarterback like Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford early to challenge incumbent starter Jason Campbell, Brennan will likely be the odd man out.
Colt talks to the Redskins Blog about the situation.
It would be easy to run the numbers and assume that Brennan's time in Washington is coming to an end. But that's not how he sees it. "We get a minicamp before the draft," he says, "and right now everything that has been said is that the best player will play. As I get to know our coaches, as I've gotten a chance to talk to Coach [Mike] Shanahan, I truly believe that. I truly believe that he's going to go out there and he's gonna test every single one of us, give every single one of us a chance to show ourselves and that he's really going to pick the best players to play. I really believe him in that."

With that in mind, Brennan has thrown himself fully into the team's offseason conditioning program, where he hopes to impress the new coaches. And he, in turn, has certainly been impressed by them, not least offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. "Right now he's coaching every single one of us as if it was an even playing field," Brennan says, "and that's really all you can ask for at this level. It really is exciting for, I think, everybody right now: from Bartel, to me, Grossman, even to J-Campbell, I think we're all excited about the opportunity in front of us."
Davone Bess signed a 1-year deal with Miami.

Wayne Hunter re-signed with the Jets.

Kynan Forney re-signed with the Jaguars.

Pisa Tinoisamoa has yet to re-sign with the Bears, and may be testing free agency.

And it looks like Jason Elam, released by the Falcons last year, may not play football this season.
Elam is exceptional away from the game, though, to become an exception. He has written three books, and a fourth is due out in October. In November, he's heading a group trip to Jerusalem.

Last time we checked, the NFL was playing in-season games in November, so that should tell us something about Elam's future plans.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring schedule, projected starters

cc here. Sorry so late with the news.
The Star Bulletin catches up with Coach Mack regarding Spring Ball
"We have every single minute planned out, offensively, defensively, special teams," McMackin said while thumbing through a series of practice scripts. "We're ready to go."

The Advertiser's Stephen Tsai gives us the Spring practice schedule that starts in SIX days!
Some of the key days:
Wednesday, March 31 — Practice No. 1 (sweats).
Saturday, April 3 — Practice No. 3 (pads).
Saturday, April 10 — Practice No. 6, at Vidinha Stadium on Kauai.
Click here for more info about the Kaua'i practice
Saturday, April 17 — Practice No. 9, Junior Day, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 24 — Practice No. 12, Coaches Clinic, 3:30 p.m.
Friday, April 30 — Practice No. 15: Warrior Bowl, 7 p.m. kickoff.

* All practices are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. unless otherwise noted.
(Click on the link above for the rest of the practice dates)

and Mr. Tsai gives his early projections for starters on the defensive
Right end: Paipai Falemalu, Earvin Sione.
Strongside linebacker: Aaron Brown, Art Laurel.

and offensive sides of the ball.
Right wideout: Royce Pollard, Billy Ray Stutzmann.
Quarterback: Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin, Brent Rausch
Center: Matagisila Lefiiti, London Sapolu/Bronson Tiwanak.

complete listing in links

UPDATE: Dave Reardon has a column about all the hitting that will be going on in spring practice.
"We're gonna take 'em down," said McMackin, the UH head coach. "More physical things this spring."

But don't blink. Every drill won't be about drilling ball carriers.

"Shots of full-speed (tackling)," said McMackin, who has no desire to put the Warriors' trainers to work and employ their supply of crutches. "But we have to be smart about it and we want to stay healthy."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: Baby Ahi

Sorry I haven't been posting much recently. I usually spend a few hours a day researching for the blog -- finding news, reading feeds, checking out SportsHawaii, WSN, Warrior Beat, Quick Reads, UH Sports Extra, UH Warrior Quotes, etc. (although sometimes it may not seem like it!) However, the past few weeks I've been devoting all my time to a new addition to the family:

"Go Warriors! Yeah boyeeee!"

He's just a little fry right now, but as you can tell I'm already indoctrinating Tombo Ahi Jr. pretty well.

I'm not really sure what the blog will be like this season. I definitely want to keep on doing it, but it might not be as extensive as I've tried to keep it the past few years. But no matter what form the blog takes, just know that I'll be cheering on the Warriors with their new #1 fan.

Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 Schedule Released

Via HawaiiAthletics.com:
2010 UH Football Schedule
Date Opponent

Sept. 2 USC
Sept. 11 at Army
Sept. 18 at Colorado
Oct. 9 at Fresno State*
Oct. 16 NEVADA*
Oct. 23 at Utah State*
Oct. 30 IDAHO*
Nov. 6 at Boise State*
Nov. 27 at New Mexico State*
Dec. 4 UNLV

BOLD CAPS = Home games played at Aloha Stadium
* = Denotes WAC game

Saturday, March 06, 2010

WitP: Colt in Hawaii

Thanks to LizKauai for uploading this KITV news profile of Colt Brennan.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Inoke Funaki Interview

LatterDaySports.com sits down with former UH QB and current grad assistant Inoke Funaki for an in-depth interview. Here's an excerpt:
LatterDaySports: Anything else going on?

Funaki: I just started working as a graduate assistant (GA) on the football team at the University of Hawaii. I started this semester, so I’m a couple of weeks into it, trying to get a feel for things.

: What is your assignment?

Funaki: Basically, all of the work the coaches don’t want to do. (laughter) That entails breaking down film, doing a lot of the playbooks, cutups, and the play cards for the scout team. I basically help them do a lot of the smaller things, so that (the full-time coaches) can focus more on the coaching aspect of it. I’m paying my dues.

Off-Topic Tuesday: Cookie Monster METAL!!!

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