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Sunday, May 30, 2010


Jenna Rodriguez hit a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 7th inning to beat Alabama on their home turf today and advance UH to the Women's College World Series.

UPDATE: Here's video of the home run and the immediate aftermath.

UPDATE 2: Congrats Baseball Bows!!!
Hawai'i captured its first Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament championship since 1992 by knocking off four-time defending champion Fresno State, 9-6, today at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz.
UPDATE 3: And here's video of the UH baseball team's victory over Fresno State, courtesy of braddahneil. Listen to the announcer at the end for some lulz.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Warriors in the Pros: Estes, Bess, RGM

Jaguars.com gets to know John Estes.

Big Cat Country, a Jaguars fan blog, profiles Estes.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes that Davone Bess is one of three receivers competing for a starting job opposite Brandon Marshall.
Finally, coach Sparano confirmed that Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo and Brian Hartline are all competing for one starting job -- the second starter job alongside Brandon Marshall. Each brings something good to the table.
Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel has a relevant note:
Even though Davone Bess is primarily working in the slot while Greg Camarillo and Brian Hartline serve as the starters, Sparano said the “next best guy” will line up as the starter opposite Brandon Marshall, who the coaches plan to move around regularly.
And Dolphins coach Tony Sparano talks about the difference between Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen.
Receivers Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen, who both have dreadlocks, said they are being mistaken for each other at times, but Sparano said, ``I haven't confused them yet. Bess has got muscles from all this offseason work. Grice still has to grow a few more muscles. When they're running routes, some of their mannerisms'' are similar.

Friday, May 28, 2010

WitP: Davone Bess holding on to #15

Davone Bess talks to Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel about why he won't give up his number 15.
Bess told me today he has no plans to give up the number he took when he reached the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2008. It doesn’t matter that he’d never worn the number before — not in college or high school or anywhere else.

Doesn’t matter that the number isn’t among his tat collection.

It’s what that number represents to him after overcoming a difficult upbringing in Oakland to achieve his dream and catch 130 passes his first two NFL seasons.

“It’s been a long journey, and I just feel like I had to start from ground zero with that number,” Bess told me. “It’s just a lot deeper than what it seems to be. … For me to go through what I went through with that number, it speaks measures. … It meant I overcame a lot and I’m still trying to overcome more. I’m my own biggest critic. I’m just trying to get better and better and better.”

Bess and a friend back in Hawaii, where he starred in college, are producing T-shirts with images of Bess, the Aloha and Sunshine states and, of course, the No. 15. Proceeds will benefit Bess’s newly formed charity, which also will prominently feature the No. 15, although it’s still in the name-selection process.
“That’s just me,” Bess said. “I think that’s a [sign] of my character, period. Everything isn’t about money. Obviously whatever he offered me would have been great money. I could have definitely used it. But with me some things are deeper than just the materialistic things.”

WitP: Veikune Improving

With David Veikune playing exclusively at inside linebacker this season (rather than switching between inside and outside like he did his rookie season), the second-year Cleveland Brown has shown steady improvement.
Second-year Browns receiver Brian Robiskie and linebacker David Veikune are getting rave reviews for their efforts during Organized Team Activities.
Second-year linebacker David Veikune has also made strides throughout the OTAs, helping to anchor the middle of the 3-4 defensive scheme.

“David has gotten a lot of reps working inside and I think he’s looked better,” said Mangini. “All those guys have shown some real positive things early on and we have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to see.

“That’s what we’ll do, have him focus in on that area,” he added about Veikune playing inside linebacker. “I have to keep reminding myself and the coaches, it’s hard for these guys. The young guys are going through what all those guys went through. What I look for from the group of second-year guys is to help the new guys get through the process.”
The Orange & Brown Report has another note about Veikune.
The Browns appear to have some young, active – and possibly productive – pass rushers. Knocking down passes during the practice were linebackers Marcus Benard and David Veikune. Both look so much surer of themselves, which is what you would expect from second-year players.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The QBs

Jason Kaneshiro has some quotes from the coaches about how Bryant Moniz's return will affect the QB rotation.
Bryant Moniz, who missed most of the spring while on personal leave, has returned to full standing with the Warriors and will rejoin the competition with Shane Austin, Brent Rausch and David Graves.

"(Moniz) is going to get reps with the top four guys and we're going to have to get that to three pretty quick," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "He missed spring, so we're going to have to see if that hurt him as a thrower.

"Three weeks before the game I want the No. 1 to get three-fourths of the reps and No. 2 will get one-fourth and the third guy will learn by osmosis."

Offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said Moniz was the clear leader before going on leave and concurred that the process will move swiftly once camp opens in August.

"We can't let this thing drag out," Rolovich said. "It's time to win football games."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lelie back as student manager

Stephen Tsai:
McMackin also confirmed that Lelie, who played for five National Football League teams during an eight-year career, will work as a student manager. The position will enable him to complete work on his bachelor's degree.

Lelie left UH after his junior season, in which he caught 84 passes for a school-record 1,713 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2001. He also holds the UH single-season record of 142.8 receiving yards per game.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WitP: Bess, Manuwai, Forney, Pisa

KGO-TV San Francisco profiles Davone Bess as he returns to Oakland to talk to the kids. Check out who the sports anchor is.

Bess also recently visited a kid who won the national "Fuel Up to Play 60" award.

Vito Stellino of Jacksonville.com profiles Vince Manuwai, whose job with the Jaguars is now on the line.
The eight-year veteran, drafted by the Jaguars in the third round in 2003, now faces the biggest challenge of his career.

In fact, his career might be on the line.

Recently demoted to second team and facing more competition now that the Jaguars traded for guard Justin Smiley, Manuwai knows he has to regain his old form if he's to have a future with the Jaguars. The trade for Smiley was another signal the Jaguars aren't happy with the play of their interior linemen and are looking to upgrade that area of the line.
And it looks like former Warrior Kynan Forney has replaced Manuwai on the first team.
Of Forney, Del Rio said, "Kynan's had a good spring. I think he has his mind set on earning playing time. He knows there's an opportunity to do that.

"I think he's embraced it. He's working very hard in the weight room. He's more comfortable in our system, and I think he'll fight for some time there."
Pisa Tinoisamoa talks to ESPN Chicago about returning to form.
After injuries cut short his first season in Chicago, linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa had plenty of motivation to re-sign with the Bears this offseason.

"I felt like there was a lot of unfinished business," Tinoisamoa said Friday. "I felt like I left a lot of stuff on the table that I didn't get to eat and clean up."
However, Tinoisamoa is not guaranteed a starting job, and unlike last summer, Nick Roach sits in the driver's seat at strong side linebacker.

"It might be kind of reversed," Tinoisamoa said. "Last year, although Roach was the starter, people thought I would be given the first crack at the starting job. But now, it's kind of reversed. Nick is a very good player and I like him a lot. But that's not going to keep me from competing and doing what I need to do. I still consider myself a starter, so I think this will be a healthy battle that's going to make this team better."

Chat with McMackin today, 12pm HST

Please join the Advertiser's Stephen Tsai and THE Princess Leila for one of their last Warrior Beat Shows. Today's guest, Coach Greg McMackin.

More on Ron Lee's Resignation

Warriors assistant Ron Lee steps down, by Stephen Tsai

Ron Lee: Time was right to retire, by Jason Kaneshiro
"The big thing is I'm happy with the decision and I still think the world of (head coach Greg McMackin), the staff and the players. It's a good time for me to go," Lee said. "I feel good about it, but I'm going to miss the players."
Potent offense had quiet leader, by Ferd Lewis
Lee said the shifting of titles and pay had little to do with his departure. And, to a point, friends will tell you, that's probably true.

There occurred, they suggest, a fraying of a long-running professional relationship. More than 20 years ago, McMackin, as head coach, and Lee, as his offensive coordinator, teamed up for a record-setting stint at Oregon Tech.
UH will miss Ron Lee, may bring back Mouse, by Dave Reardon
No Ron Lee at UH is bad news for the program, even if it's not a surprise.

Good news? How about The Return of Mouse Davis. Yes, the man most associated with the development of the run-and-shoot, the guru of the four-wide.

McMackin doesn't have much selling to do.

"I think there's a strong possibility, there's some real positives," says Davis, when I ask him if he will return for another tour at UH as the new receivers coach. "As you know, Hawaii is one of those places you like to get to."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ron Lee Resigns

Wow. Via HawaiiAthletics.com:
University of Hawai‘i co-offensive coordinator Ron Lee, an 11-year veteran on the Warrior coaching staff, announced his resignation effective June 15, 2010. Lee spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and has tutored the receivers for all 11 seasons.

“Ron Lee is a legend in Hawai‘i,” said UH head coach Greg McMackin. “Ron talked to me prior to spring ball about his wish to retire. I asked him to go through spring ball and told him I would support his decision.
The Advertiser has more:
Lee said his decision was not based on his reassignment, from offensive coordinator to assistant coach two months ago, or ceding the play-calling duties to Nick Rolovich early last season.

"Nothing to do with that," he said, adding the adjustment was what "I went through last year, kind of."
And Stephen Tsai has even more:
Mouse Davis, the father of the modern run-and-shoot offense, told the Warrior Beat he is "absolutely" interested in rejoining the UH coaching staff. Davis said he will apply after the job notification is posted.
All the best to Coach Ron Lee.

Friday, May 21, 2010

News & Notes

Over on SportsHawaii.com, NelsonO has three scoops from Greg McMackin's appearance on Bobby Curran's show.
1) Jovonte Taylor signed a contract to play pro football in Las Vegas.

2) Paipai will be moved to strongside linebacker.

3) Salas also will be used as a safety in obvious passing situations.
Stephen Tsai writes about Salas and Paipai.
Actually, the Warriors do not have a primary defensive scheme. The closest is the 4-3 alignment used in basic situations, such as first-and-10. In football, everyone is compared to someone else, and Falemalu reminds the UH coaches of Chad Brown. McMackin believes Falemalu will be a natural fit at strongside linebacker in the 4-3, and as a pass-rushing defensive end in the other schemes.
Meanwhile, McMackin believes 6-foot-2 Salas will be helpful in Hail Mary pass situations, as well as red-zone coverages. Too often last year, the Warriors had difficulty matching up against tall wideouts on jump-ball plays in the end zone. Salas helps negate the size disadvantage.
The Star-Bulletin has more on Salas.
"If it's a third-down (and long) situation I wouldn't hesitate to put him in, read the quarterback's eyes and make a play on the ball," said McMackin.

Salas played a few downs on defense last season when the Warriors were guarding against a long pass at the end of a half. McMackin said Salas' role would be limited to where it wouldn't "take away from what he does at receiver."
Dave Reardon has a quote about the receivers from Nick Rolovich.
Everyone's talking about how great the UH receivers could be this season, and rightfully so. But Rolo pointed out a deficiency from last fall. He said the Warriors failed to pick up plenty of yards-after-catch because they didn't block.

"We're emphasizing giving it up for the other guy," Rolovich said.
And since I've been on mini-hiatus, here are some stories I missed from the past week or so:

Boise's WAC exit seems inevitable, unavoidable, by Dave Reardon
Hawaii's biggest football rival will likely be out of the Warriors' league in 2011, although Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson reminded me yesterday that, "there has to be an invitation before it can be accepted."

Most believe it will be a formality when the WAC defectors invite BSU next month at their presidents meeting.
Warriors: WAC's myster team, by Ferd Lewis
A sampling of the early run of annual preseason football magazines, which shows UH picked from fifth to eighth, underlines the conflicted appraisal. Especially as some who are down on the Warriors are, nevertheless, not ruling UH out as a team that could be the WAC's season surprise.

Talk about incongruent: The Sporting News picks UH to finish eighth in the nine-team conference but also notes, "... the WAC usually has a surprise in store. Last year it was Idaho. This season it could be Utah State, with 18 returning starters, or Hawai'i, which could light up scoreboards."

Fact is, the Warriors might be the biggest mystery entering what should be a very fluid WAC this season.
UH back in game as place to play, by Lewis

Copycats crop up in other states, by Lewis
In addition to the Houston-area Hightower High that UH said it is contacting about trademark infringement, there have been sightings in at least three other states to date. For example, Hoxie (Ark.) High has an "H" posted on its website. And an Advertiser reader traveling in Utah snapped a picture of an "H" sweatshirt with "Hillcrest" on it at a Target store in Midvale, Utah.

"Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but not when it comes to trademark infringement," said John McNamara, UH associate athletic director.
UH could become brand name, by Lewis
Instead of untethering the lawyers and firing cease-and-desist salvos, this would seem an opportunity for UH to practice benevolence, not to mention big-picture enlightened self interest.

Something along the lines of encouraging Hightower to work with UH's licensing program and build a positive relationship with the Warriors on several fronts. One that speaks across the wide expanse of five time zones and nearly 4,000 miles that separate them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WitP: Mouton, Pisa, Colt, Mat, C.J., Patek, Sol

Ryan Mouton has had a good week at Titans minicamp.

Pisa Tinoisamoa is not guaranteed a starting spot with the Bears.
Although Lance Briggs publicly campaigned for Pisa Tinoisamoa to be the starter at strong-side linebacker, Nick Roach has maintained his spot with the first team during workouts and could remain there when the Bears begin minicamp Friday.

Remember Roach, who re-signed with the team as a restricted free agent, started 15 of 16 games last season, stepping in at strong-side linebacker after Tinoisamoa went down with a knee injury then moving to middle linebacker for a few games when Hunter Hillenmeyer suffered cracked ribs. And Roach was solid, tying for the team lead in tackles for a loss (10) while finishing fourth on the team in tackles.

Several teammates said Roach has been a "beast'' during workouts, so he won't lose his place with the starters without a fight. But Tinoisamoa, who continues to recover from a serious knee injury, showed flashes of his ability in two brief game-day appearances last season. He made a tremendous play to force a fumble against the Falcons, and his quickness was evident from the start.
Rich Campbell has this Colt Brennan mini-report from Redskins' OTAs.
**Now for your regular Colt Brennan report: Everyone’s favorite QB had a very nice play where he hit TE Fred Davis near the left hash on an intermediate route after checking through his progressions. It was a great read. Earlier, Brennan underthrew a flag route to Davis. For what it’s worth, Grossman was the second quarterback taking reps.
DallasCowboys.com profiles Mat McBriar.

Stephen Tsai writes that Jacob Patek and C.J. Hawthorne will participate in the Montreal Alouettes training camp.

The BC Lions announced that Solomon Elimimian has signed with the team.

Monday, May 17, 2010

WitP: Kia, Mouton, Ikaika, Veikune

Stephen Tsai writes that Aaron Kia has signed a 1-year contract with the Jets.
Kia participated in a tryout this morning. After that, Kia and two other linemen took physical examinations. After that, he was summoned into an office, where he was told he would be offered a contract.

Kia projects to compete at left tackle, the position he played last season.
Ryan Mouton is in a battle for a starting spot with the Titans.
Ryan Mouton has his eyes on the prize — starting cornerback for the Titans — but he has to prove he's willing to fight for it.

That's because the coaches can't contain their enthusiasm about Jason McCourty, who's doing everything right.

The 2009 draft picks are part of a six-man battle to replace Nick Harper, who was not re-signed, on the side opposite former All-Pro Cortland Finnegan.
Yet Mouton admitted he didn't take his job as seriously as he should have until a reminder from Cecil.

"I told him, basically, you need to step up," Cecil said. "We drafted him in the third round last year. … We handpicked him. Our hope is that he'll step up and be that guy.''

Said Mouton: "Since then I have been here every day and I want to show people that I am accountable, and I want to progress every day.''
Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel writes that Ikaika Alama-Francis is facing an uphill battle to make the Dolphins roster.
This former Lions second-round pick was added late last season to add more beef to the defensive line, but he sparingly played while learning the intricacies of playing in a 3-4 scheme. The Dolphins are converting this former defensive tackle into an end, and his tenure is likely contingent on how quickly he learns.
Ikaika played defensive end in Jerry Glanville's 3-4, so hopefully that will give him an edge.

And Terry Pluto writes that David Veikune will play exclusively at inside linebacker this season after being moved back and forth from inside to outside last season.
They have decided to keep David Veikune exclusively at inside linebacker. They believe it was a mistake to play him at outside and inside linebacker, which they did early last season.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Warriors in the Pros: Davone Bess (w/UPDATE)

Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post talks to Davone Bess about his yet-to-be-defined role in the Dolphins offense this season.
Caught up with wide receiver Davone Bess at the “Do the Right Thing Challenge” luncheon for Palm Beach County middle-school students at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach Monday and asked what he’s hearing about his role this season now that Brandon Marshall is on board as the No. 1 receiver.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “That’s the thing about this coaching staff. We just do what we’re asked, and the rest will take care of itself.”

Bess should find out fairly soon. The Dolphins’ first OTA (Offseason Training Activity) is just nine days away and the three-day veterans mini-camp (May 28-30) is another nine days after that.

Bess did say he’s “excited” about the prospect of having Marshall on the team.

“Anytime you can get a player of his caliber to be a part of your team, you have to be excited. He’s going to make everybody better.”
And here's a highlight video of Bess' career in Miami so far, from PhinsRock on Youtube.

UPDATE: Biggane has an article about Bess talking to the students.

WitP: Colt Brennan

Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com profiles Colt Brennan. Here's a couple excerpts:
It appears that Brennan has the inside track to be the third quarterback this season. He’s not taking it for granted, however.

“It's always a competition,” Brennan said after Saturday’s minicamp. “That's something that will never change no matter what.”
“My position right now is to show the coaches what I'm all about,” Brennan said. “My hope is to get them to say, ‘Hey, look at this young kid. Let's put some time into him.’ Hopefully, I can convince them that I can be something down the road.”

Brennan is a big fan of the offense that Kyle and Mike Shanahan are installing. “It’s been awesome; Kyle has a great system,” he said. “I have a lot more confidence, and I’m really excited about the whole opportunity.”

One of the reasons why he is enjoying himself is that his mechanics are not under a microscope as they were under Zorn.

“They said ‘We want you to be you,’” Brennan said. “I get to go back to being myself, which is really exciting.”
Warpath Confidential has 5 Questions for Colt Brennan.
What do you have to do to make sure you are here in September?

Basically I’ve just got to progress each week. You want to get better each week. And I think the preseason will be a big factor, as it always is. But right now my check list is to have this offense down, be very confident walking into the preseason, and to keep conveying to these coaches that there’s a future for me, obviously no time soon, but there’s a future for me down the road. For now I have a chance to learn and obviously learn from two great quarterbacks in Donovan and Rex.

It’s really kind of nice actually. A lot of pressure last year and this year the pressure is not really there. They kind of pushing me and saying; ‘how good can you be, and how well can you show us what you can do?’ Right now I’m excited about the opportunity put in front of me. I’m excited about this offense, we are having a ton of fun running it. I’m excited that I get to be me again, I got my number back.

So, I’m really excited about the whole thing.
And via Twitter, Redskins.com's Matt Terl has this about Colt's new hobby.
Colt Brennan's new hobby: collecting and listening to vintage vinyl. Which explains the Bob Marley 7" arriving by mail at #Redskins Park.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Friday Poll: Predict UH's Record (UPDATE: Results)

UPDATE: The winner is 8-5, which garnered 30.4% of the vote. Next was 7-6, which got 18.7%. Hey, at least that means the Hawaii Bowl. I'm slightly more optimistic and think UH will end up at least 9-4. We'll revisit this at the end of the season. Thanks for participating.


Will the Warriors hover around .500 for a third straight year? Will it be doomier and gloomier? Or will all the pieces finally come together and make this Coach Mack's breakout season? You can reference the 2010 schedule on the right.

Happy Mother's Day....

from MR. T !!!!
nah, for reals, to all our Warriors past, present, future, and to all the Warrior fans out there, Treat your Mother right!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

WitP: Colt in Mini-Camp

Rich Tandler of CSN Washington has some Redskins mini-camp notes and has this about Colt Brennan and the other Washington QBs:
*Despite the wind, Colt Brennan seemed to be much more confident and smooth than he has looked the past couple of years. It seemed like he may have been on the way out a month ago but the trade of Jason Campbell and the fact that the team did not draft a quarterback gave him a new life.

*Second-string QB Rex Grossman has his struggles. His passes lacked zip and he threw a couple into the ground. He even had one batted down at the line, an infrequent occurrence against a half-speed rush.

*Donovan McNabb’s also had some passes bounce in the dirt. One thing that he rarely does is sail the ball over the receiver’s head. He’s not the most accurate passer out there but because he keeps his misses low he maintains the best interception percentage in history among quarterbacks with 75 or more starts.
And Warpath Confidential has an update on Colt's health.
In addition to having the hip surgery this offseason, Colt Brennan had arthroscopic knee surgery some weeks back. This brings the total to four for Brennan since his last college bowl game. Brennan says he is now one-hundred percent healthy.

“I had a little set back when I reported, and I had to had my knee scoped” said Brennan. But now I’m back and healthy. I ready to bounce back and get back in it.”

WitP: Warriors in the NFL

Here's a list of ex-UH players on NFL rosters.  Last I heard C.J. Hawthorne was on the Buffalo Bills practice squad, but I couldn't find any recent news or links.  I also haven't seen recent news on Blaze, Rocky or Aaron Kia, but I'll add to this list if they get picked up.  Let me know if I'm missing anyone:

Arizona Cardinals
Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys
Jacksonville Jaguars
New England Patriots
New York Jets

Oakland Raiders
Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers
Tennessee Titans
Washington Redskins

Friday, May 07, 2010

NFL Evaluation, Etc.

Stephen Tsai writes that 18 Warriors participated in a pro evaluation program conducted by NFL scouts yesterday.
Two National Football League scouting coordinators — Dave Petett of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ray Biggs of the Tennessee Titans — collected the information.

Petett and Biggs also reviewed videos of the soon-to-be-senior Warriors, and met with the UH position coaches.

While the measurables — heights, weights, hand spans, arm reaches — can be easily accessed, the Wonderlic scores and player evaluations will be sent to a scouting organization that will distribute the information to 28 of the 32 NFL teams.
Tsai has the stats on his blog.

Ferd Lewis writes about the coaching turnover in the WAC.
Let's put it this way, the University of Hawai'i's Greg McMackin is starting his third season as head coach and he is already fifth in seniority among the nine coaches.

"In the last three years, this is probably the most turnover I've seen in any time frame," said WAC commissioner Karl Benson, a 16-year veteran of the conference. The average current continuous term of service is 3.3 years.
And Lewis wonders if the WAC is being proactive enough about the inevitable oncoming conference shake-up.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

WitP: RGM and Bess

Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald has another article about the Dreadhead reunion in Miami.
``My dreadlocks are a little bit longer,'' said Ryan Grice-Mullen, who signed with Miami in March after 1 ½ years in the Canadian Football League.

As if the Dolphins weren't fortunate enough to find a gem like Bess in 2008 as an undrafted free agent, they are now considering the possibility that they might have discovered his stunt double.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

WitP: Bess, Kia, Ieru

Here's an NFL Films profile of Davone Bess from earlier this year. The audio is a little out of sync.

Stephen Tsai writes that Aaron Kia has a tryout with the Jets.
Kia has been invited to participate in the New York Jets' organized team activities (OTA) beginning May 15.

The workouts will serve as a tryout, and if Kia does well, he might receive a free-agent contract from the Jets.
And Tsai notes on the WB blog that Raphael Ieru has joined the Fairbanks Grizzlies of the IFL.

Salas a pre-season All-American

Congrats to Greg Salas:
University of Hawai‘i slot receiver Greg Salas was selected to the NationalChamps.net Preseason All-America third team as a wide receiver. He was the only Warrior named to the list.

Last season, as one of the nation’s top receivers, Salas was named to Phil Steele’s All-America fourth team and honorable mention by SI.com. He was a first-team all-WAC and was selected to the watch list for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. The Chino, Calif., native finished fourth nationally in receiving yards per game (122.3) and sixth in receptions per game (8.15), both of which led the WAC.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Off-Topic Tuesday: May the 4th

WitP: Brashton, LaBoy, Manuwai, Forney

Brashton Satele is today's guest on the Tsai & Wai Warrior Beat Show, starting today at 11:30am HST.

Phil Barber of The Press Democrat profiles Travis LaBoy.
LaBoy also has some things to prove. He sat out the entire 2009 season after undergoing surgery to repair tendons in his left foot, and while on the Arizona Cardinals' injured reserve was hit with a four-game suspension by the NFL for a still-undisclosed violation.

He is cleared to play, and he says he's healthy, but now must jockey for position with returning veterans Parys Haralson, Manny Lawson and Ahmad Brooks on the outside.

At the very least, LaBoy likes Manusky's scheme.

“I think it fits me well,” he said. “We did a 3-4 at Arizona, but out here I think it's a lot more dynamic, a lot more sound. So I think it utilizes my abilities, not just as a pass rusher but as an athlete to make plays, and really just be a part of the scheme.”
And two former Warriors could be the starting guards for the Jaguars this season.
Uche Nwaneri, who started 13 games at right guard last season, has taken snaps at center throughout the three-day minicamp that concluded on Monday. Vince Manuwai, who started every game at left guard, worked at right guard to pair with tackle Eben Britton to give the Jaguars a power-run look on the right side.

Kynan Forney, a 10-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars last September, moves into Manuwai's spot at left guard in that lineup.

Moniz, QBs, Spring Review

With Bryant Moniz back, Stephen Tsai writes about how the QB situation is shaping up.
Although the Hawai'i football team will not release a post-spring-training depth chart, it has established a two-tier system for the quarterbacks.

Head coach Greg McMackin said Shane Austin, David Graves, Brent Rausch and Bryant Moniz are in the top group.

Cayman Shutter, Corey Nielsen and incoming freshman Kevin Spain are in the second group.
Offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich acknowledged that Moniz still "was No. 1" when he departed. McMackin said Moniz will remain in that first tier despite the absence.

Still, Rolovich said, "nobody really separated" himself from the other quarterbacks during the 15 practices of spring training spread over a month.
Tsai also writes that Royce Pollard has the edge over Billy Ray Stutzmann at right wideout.

Jason Kaneshiro reviews spring practice.
"The first two weeks we really installed heavy, so the last two weeks we've been repping it out and getting to know the details and adjustments," Dave Aranda said last week as he approached the end of his first spring as the Warriors' defensive coordinator. "There's still other things that need to be inserted, but I feel the base of our defense is in.

"You'd like for spring to get a look at people, you'd like to get looks at the Army option, the USC power, the Colorado quick-throwing game. ... You have to juggle your time and there's not enough time."

Monday, May 03, 2010

Video: Moniz Back with Team, Warrior Bowl, Brashton

Chawan's been busy, but today he catches up with all these vids, including some actual Bryant Moniz news. KITV reports that Moniz is back with the team:

CC also compiles Warrior Bowl coverage. They show Steve Stepter's hit on Ryan Henry about 20 times:

And here's some coverage of Brashton Satele signing with the Jets:


So much speculation still flying around regarding the Bryant Moniz situation. But just like 31 flavors, Mokesville Weekly always has the scoops:
Manoa, Hawaii. University of Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz leave of absence is to join the NPL, The National Pizza League. Every 4 years, national pizza chains get together for a series of events to compete for the NPL pizza box trophy. The biggest event of the NPL is the infamous 2 hand touch football tournament.

“Papa John’s has given me the opportunity to take care of my family, gain management experience, as well as perfect my hand eye coordination via pizza box constructing. It is my honor to represent them in the games” says Moniz.

WitP: Colt Brennan (w/UPDATE)

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post writes about Colt Brennan's recent appearance on The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes, in which Colt addressed the Cult of Colt, finally being healthy, backing up Donovan McNabb and this encouraging note:
He said he likely has a better rapport with Kyle Shanahan than he did with Jim Zorn, because of their similar ages. Shanahan told Brennan that he loves his throwing motion and doesn't want him to change a thing, and that he needs to concentrate on his decision-making.
Cool. You can listen to the interview on the 106.7 website.

UPDATE: Colt was also interviewed on Arrington's and Duke's Sportsweek TV show yesterday. The interview starts at about 5:45 into the episode. Big thanks to Patty G.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

WitP: Brashton, RGM

Jason Kaneshiro writes that Brashton Satele signed a 3-year deal with the Jets.
A weekend tryout earned former Hawaii linebacker Brashton Satele a three-year free-agent contract with the New York Jets.
Satele was among four linebackers invited to try out with the Jets at this weekend’s rookie mini-camp after a free-agent deal with the Oakland Raiders fell through. He turned the opportunity to perform into a chance to return to the Jets later this month for organized team activities (OTAs).
Stephen Tsai has more:
Agent Kenny Zuckerman said Satele was brought in as a backup linebacker who also could play on special teams. The Jets, who run a 3-4 defense, start inside linebackers David Harris and Bart Scott.

"Those are two great guys to learn from," Satele said.
And MiamiDolphins.com has a profile of Ryan Grice-Mullen.
“I’m sure a lot of you guys know how hard it is to come somewhere new as a rookie and not really know anybody and not really know how the practice is run and how the systems go and how the coaches are,” Grice-Mullen said. “But having one of my best friends on the team really helped because he helped prepare me and kind of told me how things will probably go and just gave me the mindset to get ready for things. Davone always helps me a lot.”
UPDATE (5/3/10): Stephen Tsai and Jason Kaneshiro have follow-up articles on Brashton signing with the Jets.

Friday Poll: Who Do You Think Will Be the #1 QB?

UPDATE: The poll is now closed, and by a slim two-vote margin Shane Austin edges David Graves with 36.1% of the vote. Thanks for participating!


I know the coaches said they probably won't have a #1 QB until they're well into fall practice. However, polls are fun:

WitP: Mauia Injured

The official Arizona Cardinals blog notes that Reagan Mauia is in camp but suffering from a groin injury.
The Cardinals are hurting at fullback, with Reagan Maui’a nursing a bad groin, leaving Nehemiah Broughton as the lone healthy fullback. “We’re thin, and not from a physical standpoint,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The two guys we have out there definitely aren’t thin. … That’s obviously an area we have to address, just to have some depth. I feel good about who we have there, but when you only have two and one gets nicked up, it makes it kind of difficult.”

Saturday, May 01, 2010

WitP: Ryan Grice-Mullen (w/UPDATES)

Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post profiles Ryan Grice-Mullen.
Dreadlocked, sure-handed and quick-footed, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen looks like Davone Bess and plays like Davone Bess.

But one Bess might be enough.

The pair starred together in college at Hawaii, but Grice-Mullen will need to establish his own identity to stick with the Dolphins.

The hole created in the return game last month by Ted Ginn Jr.'s trade could be his chance.

"As a young player that's your biggest way of making the team is special teams," Grice-Mullen said Saturday during the second day of rookie mini-camp. "But you still have to impress in other areas, too."
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald has a quote about RGM from Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
I would tell you the guys are similar in that both are not necessarily fast, but rather quick. Both wear their hair in dreads. And then there's the real reason Grice-Mullen has a chance.

"The thing they have in common is their return ability and those skills," Sparano said. "That was something that interested us. [Grice-Mullen] has shown me good ability to judge the football back there which is a major hurdle for any returner. I feel like he's going to be a pretty good decision-maker."
UPDATE: Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel takes a look at the similarities between Bess and RGM.
At 5 feet 11, Grice-Mullen is one inch taller. At 190 pounds, Bess is 10 pounds heavier.

Bess wears No. 15. Grice-Mullen wears 17.

Heck, their birthdays are a day apart in September, although Bess is a year older at 24.

So, yeah, having them in the same Dolphins receiving corps is a little weird, even if Bess won't be on the field with him again for another few weeks.

"It must have been a heck of a 7-on-7 period down there in Hawaii," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano says. "You're throwing the ball around, and these two guys are moving all over the place. They're both really quick-twitch guys."

And hands? These guys are like Venus Flytraps.

They have been working out together since Grice-Mullen arrived in early March. Bess helped him learn the playbook, showed him around the facility and the area, helped him hone his routes on the practice field.
UPDATE 2: The Miami Herald has an article on RGM as well.

Spring Day 15: Warrior Bowl Wrap-Ups

HawaiiAthletics.com has a wrap-up of last night's Warrior Bowl.
“I’m really proud of what I saw tonight,” head coach Greg McMackin said. “It was very competitive and very physical.”

Junior Shane Austin and freshman David Graves each took snaps at quarterback with the first team offense. The defensive held its own for the first half of the scrimmage, keeping the offense out of the end zone. The offense eventually got into gear, highlighted by the shifty running of Chizzy Dimude and the more bruising style of freshman John Lister.
Here's a wrap-up from Jason Kaneshiro.
"You don't even know what it's like to get in the huddle and know that I have weapons sitting right next to me," said Graves, who completed four of seven passes for 46 yards. "A.G. and Chizzy are just straight weapons, give them the ball and they're going to get some big time yards this year."
"The thing I'm most proud of is the defensive guys feel good about themselves," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "They hit people, they feel like they can swarm to the ball and they feel like they can compete with anybody. I don't know that we felt that at this time last year. I think if we have that, the other things as coaches we can get done."
Kaneshiro also has some stats from the game.

Here's a wrap-up from Leila Wai.
Next week, McMackin and the coaches will meet to whittle down the team's numbers for fall camp, and will talk to each player to let them know where they stand.

One issue still uncertain is the team's No.1 quarterback.

"There's really not a depth chart," McMackin said. "Obviously (Bryant) Moniz is going to be in the mix also really soon, so I think our quarterbacks have done a good job all spring and when we put Moniz in there, we have a good situation at quarterback."
Ferd Lewis profiles Chizzy Dimude.
Indeed, last year as a junior college transfer from Hayward, Calif., he found himself overshadowed and underutilized behind returning starter Leon Wright-Jackson and fellow transfer Alex Green. That meant but 11 carries spread over six games and no touchdowns.

"It was frustrating but I wasn't mad about it; I just tried to hold my head up," Dimude said. "Now, this is my senior year so I'm not holding anything back. I'm putting everything into it."
Dave Reardon writes about pride drills and David Graves.
In the first pride drill before the scrimmage, defensive back Richard Torres was called for the defense. And for the offense? David Graves ... a quarterback, and one near the top of the depth chart. This was definitely never in the UH practice plan under the previous regime. Anyone in an orange jersey was off-limits, even in the final spring scrimmage.

"I just wanted to see how tough he is," coach Greg McMackin said. "He's always telling me how tough he is."

"I am tough, Coach," said Graves, who was walking by, as if on cue. "I am tough."

Graves said he was surprised to get the call, and then surprised by Torres, the former state champion wrestler who quickly took him down.

"I was all right with it," Graves said. "I was like, 'Let's go.' Then he got me, fast."

Give Torres the win, but give Graves checkmarks for toughness and enthusiasm, two of the necessary traits for a starting quarterback.
Reardon has more news and notes on his Quick Reads blog.

And some SportsHawaii members share their impressions of the scrimmage.

Kickoffs Set for 5:30

Jim Donovan has announced this year's kickoff times:
University of Hawai‘i Athletics Director Jim Donovan announced that 2010 home football games will kickoff at 5:30 p.m. HT, with the exception of the season opener against USC, which begins at 5:00 p.m. HT due to national television obligations.

Donovan noted a survey of season tickets holders and non-season tickets holders revealed that 5:30 p.m. was the slight favorite of more than 1,000 survey participants.
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