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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CC's Calendars and Schedules, USC News and Notes

Here's a link to Chawan Cut's UH sports calendars, opponent schedules and other images. Good stuff!

Kiyomi Ueda of Ka Leo talks to Rodney Bradley and Alasi Toilolo about the USC game.
“Having Mouse is going to play a huge part in our success as an offense this season. He really challenges us to be great on and off the field,” Bradley said. “Putting a big emphasis on doing your own job to be the best of your ability, getting better and improving a part of your game each and every day are just some of the things he stresses that makes us a better receiving core, which ultimately makes us a better offense.”
Ka Leo's Russell Tolentino talks to the fans.
“It’s my first college football game and it’ll be especially cool because it’s against USC,” Pelosi said. “It’s going to be an epic game, especially for my friends and me to see a live college football game for our school.”

USC is a 21-point favorite against the Warriors, but does Pelosi think Hawai‘i can win?

“Yeah,” he said. “Hell yeah.”
Erik McKinney of WeAreSC takes a look at the UH starters.

USC has finalized their starting offensive line. Also from that article, Lane Kiffin has decided not to do a walk-through at Aloha Stadium.
USC will practice today, but Kiffin continues to put his stamp on the program with his plan to bypass the stadium walk-through that was a staple the day before road games under former coach Pete Carroll.

"It's a little bit different approach; It's a little bit tighter," Kiffin said of handling the run-up to games.
Kiffin wants the trip to Hawaii to be all business.
"I talked to our guys. This is not a vacation," he said. "This is not a pleasure trip. We haven't won one game, so we don't deserve the right to go on vacation. We need to play really well, stay healthy and get back on the plane and get back here and get ready for another game.

"Win a bunch of games and then they can start worrying about going in the ocean. They haven't done anything yet."
The Trojans weren't particularly sharp in their last practice before leaving for Hawaii.
Trojans coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t thrilled with the mental focus of the offense, considering that they open the season on Thursday at Hawaii. Freshman starting receiver Robert Woods was wide open and dropped a Matt Barkley pass. Woods also bobbled another ball, allowing it to bounce into the hands of a defensive back. As a result of the gaffes, which also included some blown plays and poor pass-protection, Kiffin sent the team out of Howard Jones Field and asked them to return again “with their heads on.”
ESPN Los Angeles has more USC practice notes while WeAreSC.com has more Lane Kiffin quotes.

Video: Looking Ahead to USC, BYU Leaving MWC, Estes on IR

Tonight's Chawan's Cut:

Here's a Star Advertiser article about the Jaguars placing John Estes on injured reserve.
Former University of Hawaii center John Estes, trying to make the Jacksonville Jaguars as a free agent, was placed on injured reserve by the team today.

Estes, a four-year starter for UH, sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on the final day of camp.

BYU Leaving MWC

But not for the WAC.
Brigham Young University will leave the Mountain West Conference for the 2011-12 season, become independent in football and join the West Coast Conference in all other sports, notably men's basketball, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.

BYU and the WCC will make a combined announcement later Tuesday.

BYU had originally agreed to go to the Western Athletic Conference in all sports and go independent in football before the MWC squelched the move by inviting WAC members Fresno State and Nevada two weeks ago.
What a bummer. Thanks again Reno and Fresno.

George Daily-Lyles, O-Line, USC

Stephen Tsai profiles starting middle linebacker George Daily-Lyles.
But Daily-Lyles did not embrace the sport initially.

"I was 7," he said. "I wanted to go home and play around in the yard instead of being out there with a helmet on."

That all changed when he made his first jarring hit during a drill.

"I put somebody on his back, and that feeling was like euphoria," he said. "That first taste of blood. It's like a shark in the water. You sniff it out, and you get it."
Stephen Tsai has some news and notes, and talks to starting left tackle Austin Hansen, who has high praise for his fellow offensive linemen.
Hansen said left guard Brysen "Bulla" Ginlack is "ready to play old-school football and hit you in the mouth all day."

Hansen described right guard Adrian "Aussie" Thomas as a "big, physical man. I remember (former Warriors defensive end) David Veikune telling me the thing about Aussie once he has his hands on you, you're done. His upper-body is so powerful. He's so powerful with his forearms."

Hansen said right tackle Laupepa Letuli, a sixth-year senior, is "an athletic freak. He's more talented, more athletic than anybody on the line."

Hansen noted that center Bronson Tiwanak is a black belt in kenpo.

"He can come out and karate-chop you in the chest and give you something to think about," Hansen said.
Best quote of the day right there.

The Warriors are not the only ones with an untested O-line.
It took nearly a month and more than 25 practices, but USC on Monday finally achieved a milestone of sorts when its projected starting offensive line finally practiced together for an extended period.

The line, and how it will react to game conditions, is one of the Trojans' biggest mysteries heading into Thursday's opener at Hawaii.
USC has only 12 scholarship offensive linemen on the roster. About half have little or no game experience.
Ferd Lewis profiles USC head coach Lane Kiffin.

CBS Sports has a USC vs UH game preview.

And the "Jimokes of USC" notes that the Trojans depart for Hawaii tonight.
The Jimokes will spend Tuesday morning loading an equipment truck filled with travel bags to check on the airplane.

The Trojans will have a 2:00 practice Tuesday afternoon, before a 3:30 lunch.

And we will all depart LAX at 7:00 Tuesday night, arriving in Honolulu at about 9:30 p.m.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coach Mack Show: Season Preview

Via Irse at SportsHawaii, here's this week's Coach Mack Show, previewing the USC game and the rest of the season. Woooooooot!

WitP: LaBoy making noise, Veikune Q&A, Manuwai, Forney, Bess

The AP profiles Travis LaBoy.
LaBoy collected a sack and three hits on Minnesota quarterbacks in his 49ers debut Aug. 22 during a 15-10 victory over the Vikings. But his second-quarter sack that knocked Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell(notes) out of the game during Saturday’s 28-24 victory over the Raiders was his most impressive play yet in a San Francisco uniform.

The 250-pound LaBoy used his power to engage and push back Oakland left tackle Mario Henderson(notes), then used his speed to beat Henderson around the edge and blast Campbell from the blind side.
Despite his recent performance, LaBoy is still not assured a roster spot. David White of the San Francisco Chronicle has a feature article on LaBoy, with encouraging words from 49ers coach Mike Singletary.
"He was all banged up and beat up when he got here," head coach Mike Singletary said Monday. "We're just trying to nurse him back. The value that he does bring when he's on the field makes a big difference."

Keep in mind, Singletary is the one with control over the 53-man roster that gets finalized Saturday, not personnel chief Trent Baalke or 49ers President Jed York.

Singletary sees a man who brings an outside pass rush to a passing defense that must get to the quarterback more often. That alone could give LaBoy bonus points at a backup position usually reserved for special-teams players.

"Sometimes you don't know, you just have to give it a shot," Singletary said. "I just felt like it was a good fit for him to come in and really work at getting back on the field. Just let him grow into a role, depending on what the role is.

"He has to determine that."
Another player who is "on the bubble" is David Veikune. Ohio.com has a "player spotlight" on him, which includes a Q&A.
On if he was overwhelmed during his rookie season: "I wouldn't say overwhelmed. But, yeah, it was definitely a challenge. I wasn't very football smart. I guess you could say I was book smart, but not football smart. I'm getting there, though. I'm getting better and better and smarter and smarter on the field. Linebacker, that's something totally different. I've never played that my whole life. A lot of guys make that transition. It can be a challenge, but I like the challenge."
Vince Manuwai talks about the uncertainty of the business.
Did Vince Manuwai regain his starting job at guard, which he has held since his rookie season in 2003 but had lost to Kynan Forney for the first two games of the preseason? Forney was unable to play on Saturday due to a sore back and Manuwai stepped back into the lineup.

“I don’t know. I just try to see what kind of role I’ll have; just come to work and do what you’re told,” Manuwai said. “When you get older, you understand more that it’s a business. You know that one day it’s going to happen,” he added of the prospect of being cut, “but you keep fighting.”
Speaking of Forney's injury, he was back to practice on Monday.

MiamiDolphins.com has a video interview with Davone Bess. Among other things he talks about what it feels like being a veteran receiver tutoring the rookies.

Video: Getting Nahhts for the Game

In tonight's Chawan's Cut, KHON, KGMB and KITV talk to the UH players and coaches about getting hyped up for the game. There's also news about the WAC putting their foot down and demanding the money from the traitorous botos at Fresno and Reno. And CC has a bonus clip of Travis Laboy's sack on Jason Campbell at the end.

WitP: Ikaika Alama-Francis

Tim Graham of ESPN's NFL Nation blog profiles Ikaika Alama-Francis.
An intriguing player to monitor is Ikaika Alama-Francis, a converted down lineman who didn't play high school football, has been mounting a summer drive to crack the starting lineup at outside linebacker.

After another solid preseason performance Friday night, Alama-Francis shared first-team reps with rookie Koa Misi at strongside outside linebacker in Sunday's practice. Misi still projects as the starter opposite Cameron Wake, but Alama-Francis has been a revelation.

"I love it, man," is what Alama-Francis told me at Dolphins camp three weeks ago.

Pilares, USC's Secondary

Jason Kaneshiro profiles Kealoha Pilares.
"He's really improved himself as a receiver," said Davis, who familiarized himself with Pilares' game through reviewing the Warriors' game tapes of last year. "I say he's improved himself because he worked on it. He went to the Jugs machine and caught a lot of balls and he's catching the ball a lot better than last season."
And hopefully Pilares and the rest of the receivers can have a good game against USC's inexperienced secondary.
One concern is the secondary, where sophomore safeties Tim McDonald and Jawanza Starling join freshman Nickell Robey in the starting lineup.

"We don't have a lot of experience," he said. "We're young in the secondary with guys who haven't played a whole lot."
Chawan Cut notes that ESPN 1420 will interview Lane Kiffin tomorrow morning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Star Advertiser's UH Preview, UHAD's USC Preview, etc.

The Star Advertiser published one of their cool-looking parody / UH football previews today. This one is patterned after a Madden game. Here's the link. It may take a while to load.

HawaiiAthletics.com previews the USC game, which mere days away. The press release also includes a link to a media guide.

David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times writes about why this is an important season for Coach McMackin.
Losing has become an issue with McMackin, whose record hovers just south of .500. To say he is on the hot seat might be an overstatement, but the man could use a break.

Such as a strong showing against heavily favored USC in the season opener at Aloha Stadium on Thursday night.

"It's not him personally; people just want to win," said Chris Hart, a sports radio host in Honolulu. "A lot depends on how it starts this season."

McMackin needs to make something good happen, something to offset a string of miscues and bad luck that has made the last two years at Hawaii anything but a walk on the beach.
And Lane Kiffin talks about Bryant Moniz.
"It's hard to get to him," Kiffin said Sunday. "It's hard to get a lot of sacks on these guys for as much as they throw the ball.

"You get so spread out too that once a guy starts to move around there's a lot of space there. So we're going to have to do a phenomenal job of tackling in space."

That might prove difficult for a Trojans team that has not tackled for weeks in trying to avoid injuries.
The article also has more bad news for USC (seems like a daily thing) as backup center Abe Markowitz is out with a broken foot and safety Patrick Hall got suspended.

WitP: Ikaika Ascends? Manuwai Excels, Samson Back

Ikaika Alama-Francis practiced with the first team today, which may or may not mean anything.
There may be a battle brewing at strong-side linebacker for the Miami Dolphins.

Ikaika Alama-Francis, coming off a five-tackle showing in Friday’s preseason loss to the Falcons, got some work with the first unit during Sunday’s practice inside the bubble.

Koa Misi, the second-rounder who has started the first three preseason games, worked some with the second unit but also took first-team reps as well, Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said.

“We’re looking at him there right now,” Sparano said of IAF, who just keeps impressing as he gets used to his new position. “Not necessarily a change, and it might even just include that Ike was in that group and we’re maybe looking at Koa as well. …
Vince Manuwai needed to have a good game against the Bucs on Saturday, and looks like he did.
Game ball #1 Offensive guard Vince Manuwai- This was an enormous game for the native of Hawaii and he came up bigger than his giant calves. Manuwai started at right guard and played extremely well- well enough to win his starting job. The Jaguars finally broke the century mark in rushing, and Manuwai was a big reason for it.
And some good news as Samson Satele is healthy enough to come back to practice, but some bad news as his starting position is no longer secure.
Q: Samson, when he comes back if he’s healthy, will he get his job back, and go right back in, or is that something you want to look at a little bit longer between him and Jared Veldheer?

Coach Cable: No, I want to look at. There were a few things from last night’s game that I wasn’t pleased with but there were also a lot of good things at the center position. I think the fact that Samson is back and ready to go from the injury, that is the most important thing.

Kaniela a starter, Sampson and Hardy-Tuliau to play, etc.

Stephen Tsai reports that Kaniela Tuipulotu will start at right defensive tackle.
Tuipulotu, who entered training camp No. 2 on the depth chart behind Haku Correa, emerged as a starter after an impressive preseason.

"He really came into camp focused and determined," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said of the former All-State lineman from Kahuku High. "He's had a really good fall camp."

Tuipulotu credited hard work, improved health and a shorter belt.
Tsai also writes that slotback/returner Allen Sampson will play as a true freshman.
Sampson, who is considered to be the one of the fastest on the team, said he wanted to make it difficult for the coaches to decide whether to use him this season.

"He didn't make it hard; he made it easy for us," McMackin said. "We're not going to redshirt him. He's a player. He is our quickest player. He's going to fit into our return game. He's also learned the (offensive) package. He's probably a second-unit slot right now."
There's also some news that cornerback John Hardy-Tuliau will also play this year, while Darius Bright, Beau Yap and Bubba Luna may see time as well. I like it. Play the best!

With Tsai's info, I've updated my 2010 roster by class with current starters in bold. Looks like the offensive starters consist entirely of upperclassmen (8 seniors, 3 juniors) while the defense is a little more spread out with freshman George Daily-Lyles getting the nod at middle linebacker and sophomore Paipai Falemalu starting at strongside linebacker.

College Football Zealot has a 2010 UH preview in which I answer a few questions. Thanks to Kevin at CFZ.

Ferd Lewis details the conference the WAC might've been if the bastards at Nevada and Fresno didn't ruin it for everyone.

That being said, there just might be hope. Maybe. I'm not holding my breath.

And here's a bunch of USC blogs and message boards for your perusal:

WitP: LaBoy, Mouton, Pisa, McBriar

Travis LaBoy had one tackle vs the Raiders yesterday, but it was quite a tackle.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell(notes) was carted off the field Saturday after taking a blindside hit from San Francisco 49ers linebacker Travis LaBoy(notes). Initial reports indicated Campbell had a stinger, a painful nerve injury.

Campbell was acquired in the offseason to become the Raiders' starter. He was felled midway through the second quarter of the exhibition. He remained down for about five minutes before being helped to his feet.

With trainers' assistance, Campbell was placed on a cart and taken for evaluation.
Thankfully it appears Campbell is fine. Also in that game, Isaac Sopoaga assisted on a tackle. Colt Brennan did not play.

Ryan Mouton had two tackles vs the Panthers.

Pisa Tinoisamoa had five tackles vs the Cardinals.

Mat McBriar had 4 punts for a 50.8 yard average, including inside the 20.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

WitP: Bess, Ikaika, Brashton, Colt, Veikune

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post writes that Davone Bess will be Miami's punt returner again this year. Bess had 1 punt return for 10 yards in last night's preseason game vs the Falcons. Also from that article, looks like Ikaika Alama-Francis has been doing well.
Alama-Francis was around the ball all night and is doing a good job in his transition from defensive end to outside linebacker.
He had 5 tackles in last night's game.

Brashton Satele had two tackles vs Washington last night.

Thoughts from the Dark Side doesn't see much playing time for Colt Brennan tonight vs the 49ers, and doesn't have a very optimistic view overall.
I honestly think the chances of Colt Brennan making this team are slim to none and I've thought that since they announced that they signed him. Bottom line is that Brennan missed too much of the offseason to really be a factor. Bruce Gradkowski came back to practice this week and will likely get a majority of the second half playing time in the contest tonight against the San Francisco 49ers as the team tries to decide if there really is a competition for the second string spot between Gradkowski and Kyle Boller.

But, I also see Colt Brennan getting his most extensive NFL playing time during his career in next week's final preseason game at home against Seattle. The starters will most likely be held to a series or two during that game. That will be the deciding factor for Brennan on whether or not they will keep him around as a practice squad player. If you are wondering about him clearing the waiver wire and being eligible for the practice squad for the Raiders, let me just say that I highly doubt many teams are looking for a third string quarterback with very little NFL experience on his resume at this point in the season.
And Jeff Schudel of The News Herald writes that David Veikune is one of several Browns players on the bubble.
This is a big game for players on the bubble. That group includes tight ends Robert Royal and Alex Smith plus linebackers David Veikune and Kaluka Maiava. Running backs James Davis and Chris Jennings are competing for what could be the final spot at running back.
The Browns play the Lions today.

Brett Leonard out 3 games, Team Captains named

Stephen Tsai has some bad news about Brett Leonard.
Brett Leonard, who was projected to start at center, is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and miss the University of Hawaii's first three football games.

Bronson Tiwanak, a senior walk-on from Damien Memorial School, will start in Thursday's season opener against Southern California.

The backup center will be London Sapolu, a junior college transfer and the son of former UH and San Francisco 49er lineman Jesse Sapolu.
Tsai also writes that Vaughn Meatoga, Greg Salas and Corey Paredes were named team captains.

Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Preview, UH Offense, The O-Line, USC

The soon-to-be GoDaddy landing page, i.e. WACsports.com, has an extensive preview of the Warriors season. UPDATE: It looks like it's just a compilation of HawaiiAthletics.com's recent position-by-position previews.

Stephen Tsai writes that the offense did well in their Aloha Stadium practice.
The offense was particularly sharp, especially during red-zone drills. In those situations, Moniz completed seven of nine passes, including scoring throws of 18, 16 and 10 yards.

"I feel like a million bucks," Moniz said after practice.

The drawback? Moniz, who lives in Wahiawa, had to return to Manoa to drop off his equipment.

"Other than that, it's fun to play in this stadium," Moniz said. "You don't know how many more games you get to play here. Our offense is looking crisp. We're going to put up some numbers this year. It's going to be good."
Three players who had been out with injury -- Alex Green, Laupepa Letuli and Aaron Brown -- also made their returns.

Dave Reardon writes about expressing his concerns regarding the offensive line to Greg McMackin.
And, now -- with USC coming to town in six days -- it's become apparent that the performance of the O-line will go a long way toward determining the fate of the 2010 Warriors.

Yes, that's true every year. The difference this time is that more than ever many who have watched practices in the spring and fall camps have cast doubts that the group is ready.

I said some words to that effect, half-expecting McMackin to spring out of the chair and get in my face. But I guess it came out politely. He didn't even lose his smile.

"That's a fair statement," he said. "But with the exception of center, the guys we've got out there have started, but at different times."
The OC Register has some highlights from Greg McMackin's conference call with reporters.
(on facing USC’s defensive front)

“We played Georgia, and we played Florida. These are very similar type people. They’re great athletes. … There’s no better guy to guys up the football field than (Ed Orgeron). Even with a four-man rush, it’s going to be a real challenge for us.”
And Gary Klein of the LA Times that it's tough to get a read on USC.
Again playing what amounted to touch football in an effort to avoid injuries, the first-team offense and defense did not overpower the scout team.

The running game remains a mystery, and Coach Lane Kiffin won't know if his defense can tackle until the Trojans play next Thursday at Hawaii.

The passing game also is far from sharp.

Barkley passed for three touchdowns, but he had two passes intercepted, one that walk-on linebacker Will Andrew returned 25 yards for a touchdown. It was the second consecutive scrimmage that a Barkley interception was returned for a touchdown.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brett Leonard Injured, UH Prediction, Masch, Etc.

Stephen Tsai writes about Brett Leonard, who suffered a knee injury in yesterday's practice.
Leonard had an MRI yesterday. Early indications are that there is no significant damage, although Leonard is expected to miss at least a few practices.

Leonard was poised to be named the starting center when he was injured during a limited-contact drill.
Bronson Tiwanak is now elevated to starting center.

Bob Hogue predicts UH will have a winning season. He breaks down his prediction game by game.

Greg Moberly of The Union profiles UH defensive tackle Zach Masch.
Although he redshirted last year, Masch said there's nothing about the commitments of being a student-athlete that's easy. He still went to all the team's games, including road trips.

“Being a student-athlete is a full-time job,” said Masch. “People say it must be great to live in Hawaii and be able to go to the beach. But I don't have time to go to the beach.”
Russell Tolentino of Ka Leo O Hawaii writes that Greg McMackin needs to prove his worth.

And Ferd Lewis writes that wherever UH ends up, there will be travel subsidies.
Remember that controversial student athletic fee adopted by the University of Hawaii last month, the $1.85 million windfall designed to help the athletic department take a big step toward solvency?

I'm hating Fresno and Reno more and more each day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kaniela, O-Line, Independence?

Jason Kaneshiro profiles Kaniela Tuipulotu.
After an all-state senior season at Kahuku, Tuipulotu was among the state's most coveted recruits and signed with the Wildcats. He broke into the defensive line as a true freshman, seeing action in seven games. He continued to see significant playing time as a sophomore, but hit a point where football became "a chore."

Injuries didn't help matters and when it became apparent his shoulders would require surgery and a year away from the field, he obtained his release from Arizona to initiate the transfer process and enrolled at UH last fall.

Immersed in island life again but in the unfamiliar role of observer, he rediscovered his passion for football during that redshirt season.

"Now I'm back, I'm having fun again and I'm enjoying every moment I'm out here with my teammates," Tuipulotu said.
Stephen Tsai writes that the offensive line is nearly set.
The University of Hawaii football team is close to setting a starting offensive line, with senior Brysen Ginlack apparently earning the job at left guard.

The coaches were prepared to award the final spot -- center -- to Brett Leonard, a junior who redshirted in 2009 after transferring from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.

"But after watching the film (of practice) a second time, we left it the way it was for another day," line coach Gordy Shaw said.

That means that Leonard and Bronson Tiwanak, a senior from Damien, will continue to compete for the center's job vacated when Matagisila Lefiti had foot surgery. Lefiti will miss the first three games.

Shaw said left tackle Austin Hansen, right guard Adrian Thomas and right tackle Laupepa Letuli have secured starting jobs.
UH is keeping all its options open, having talked to the Big West and West Coast Conference in the past few days.

Dave Reardon writes that there's nothing left in the WAC for Hawaii.
UH needs to get while the getting is ... well, before the getting gets worse. Just because it's been in the conference the longest doesn't mean it has to go down with the ship.

Get out now, and help the WAC die a quicker death. The faster the better, before Karl Benson brings in schools from east of the Rockies and asks for another loyalty pledge that won't mean anything.

Don't forget! Wahine Warrior Football clinic tonight!!

The 3rd annual Warrior's Wahine football clinic will be held tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7pm. Registration starts at 6. Last night the 1st "Man Fan" clinic was held with a great turnout. Won't see you there tonight!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WitP: Samson, Pisa, Mauia, Bess, Libre

The AP has an update on Samson Satele's injury.
Center Samson Satele won't play against the 49ers this week, either. Satele injured his ankle early during Oakland's 32-17 win over Chicago last Saturday. The team initially thought Satele might require surgery but Cable said that doesn't appear to be the case now.

"It does not look to be serious but we will not force the issue there," Cable said. "I know I'm going to shut him down this week. There's a chance he could be ready to go but I'm just not going to push that. I'm not going to do that."
Pisa Tinoisamoa may now be the Bears' starting strongside linebacker.
The Bears' strong-side linebacker battle might be on hold for a few weeks.

With Nick Roach undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday, Pisa Tinoisamoa has a chance to solidify himself as the Bears' starter at the position.

"I think the competition is still ongoing,'' Tinoisamoa said. "But as a friend, you really don't want to see anyone go under the knife like that. It's not like I'm not competing. We're still trying to win. You can't fall off.''

Roach is expected back Sept. 12 for the season opener against the Lions. The knee gave him problems throughout training camp.
Reagan Mauia is featured in a video on the Arizona Cardinals website. He talks about his life, getting drafted, what he wants to do after football, etc.

David J. Neal of the Miami Herald writes that the Dolphins' undrafted receivers are trying to emulate Davone Bess.
The last ones to leave the machine were Dolphins wide receiver Davone Bess and those who want to be Bess or follow the NFL path to the roster he took in 2008: Julius Pruitt, a member of the 2009 practice squad, and rookie free agents Roberto Wallace and Marlon Moore.
``One of the things that I thought Davone Bess did a great job of when he came in here is he was consistent,'' Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. ``Every single practice, the kid came out here, there was good stamina, from Day One to practice [No.] 40, this guy was still going at the same pace. Mentally, there were really very few breakdowns, so he didn't let the heat or any of those things beat him from a mental toughness standpoint.

``I think the young receivers like Roberto in this situation, that's going to be something that you're going to want to see.''
And some bad news as Daniel Libre was released by the Edmonton Eskimos.

2010 Preview, Na Koa Lunch Report

Gregg Xenakes of The Sports Network has a UH football preview.

And Na Koa has their first lunch report of the year. Here's an excerpt:
Coach Mack then entertained questions from the audience. He said to look for Kamalu Umu when asked about which newcomers to watch out for. Umu is a transfer who was primarily a pass rushing defensive end in the spring. He gained a lot of strength during the off season and can be an every down type of player. He was a walk on and has earned a scholarship.

Siaki Cravens is speed rusher with a lot of athletic ability who will also get playing time on special teams. Sterling Jackson is a walk-on JC running back who has impressed and may get playing time.
And it looks like one day soon these lunch reports will be available to Na Koa members only.
Na Koa Lunch Reports will be viewable by the general public only for a limited time only this season. It will be available for Na Koa members on the Members Only section of the website in the future.

Don't forget! Men's Warrior Football clinic tonight!!

The first annual Warrior's "Man Fan" football clinic will be held tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center at 7pm. Registration starts at 6. It is being held in response to the great turnouts for the Wahine Football clinics which will be held tomorrow. Same Warrior time, Same Warrior channel. See you there!

Shutter, Purcell, Etc.

Stephen Tsai highlights Cayman Shutter's role as the scout team QB.
"Cayman is, by far, the best guy to come over and run the scout team's offense," UH associate head coach Rich Miano said. "He understands formations. He understands being a leader. The voice inflection, the count -- his whole approach is a serious approach."
Tsai also has an injury update on Elliott Purcell.
Purcell said his left ankle is at "90 percent," but he remains fully committed to earning playing time. In practices, he has been part of the rotation.

As the left end, Purcell uses his left foot to push off. He said he requires an ankle brace for support. His daily rehabilitation includes ice packs, heat treatments and electrical-stimulation sessions.

"I'm working hard," he said. "I don't want to use (the injury) as an excuse."
And Ferd Lewis writes that the WAC should hold the defectors accountable for their treasonous acts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

WitP: LaBoy, Bess, Samson, Brashton, Colt

Phil Barber of Inside the 49ers writes that Travis LaBoy impressed in his 49ers debut, but is in a battle for a roster spot.
The 49ers went into last night's game against the Vikings hoping to shed some light on the situation at outside linebacker. Travis LaBoy and Diyral Briggs only clouded the issue with dual-core defensive excellence.

This team will probably carry seven or eight linebackers in 2010. Barring injury, the roster should include Patrick Willis, Takeo Spikes, Manny Lawson, Parys Haralson, Matt Wilhelm and NaVorro Bowman. Assuming Ahmad Brooks hasn't damaged his kidney more severely than anticipated - we could find out more this week - he should be there, too.

That leaves maybe one more spot at linebacker, and Briggs and LaBoy are threatening to put on quite a show in their pursuit of the job.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero thinks Davone Bess will play a big part in the Dolphins' offense this season.
Bess and Fasano, both unsigned for 2011, need to perform well, want to perform well, to get contract extensions. The Dolphins want to give both of them extensions this year, a plan that could be fast-tracked if the two contribute as they did this night.
Bess, meanwhile, will work out of the slot and be Miami's version of Wes Welker -- only bigger and stronger, albeit not quicker. Bess caught three passes for 31 yards in the first half and those catches came primarily when the Dolphins needed them most -- on third down or following negative plays.
The prognosis is still pending on Samson Satele's sprained ankle.
C Samson Satele underwent X-rays on his sprained ankle Monday. Satele left Saturday's game against the Bears with the injury and Cable does not know the extent of it.
Brashton Satele talks about recovering from his sprained ankle.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Brashton Satele is trying to regroup after being sidelined for most of the last three weeks with a high ankle sprain. He has been very frustrated by not being able to participate and is anxious to get on the field on Friday against the Redskins.

“I want to open the coaches’ eyes that I’m explosive on the field,” Satele said.
And a Bay Area CBS station had a short interview with Colt Brennan a few days ago.

Chawan's Cut: Warriors Back to School

KHON has interviews with Bryant Moniz, Greg Salas and Kaniela Tuipulotu. They also have an interview with Travis LaBoy. KGMB interviews Moniz and Salas and has some Ryan Mouton highlights from tonight's Titans-Cardinals preseason game.

WitP: LaBoy's 49ers Debut

Travis LaBoy was impressive in his 49ers preseason debut.
Just over two minutes after replacing first-string outside linebacker Parys Haralson at the beginning of the second quarter, LaBoy beat Vikings starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie around the end and took down backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson as he completed a pass to Adrian Peterson.

He made sure the coaching staff paid him even more attention later in the second quarter. With under a minute left in the first half and Minnesota at the San Francisco 47-yard line, LaBoy got into the backfield with an inside move and put a death grip on Jackson's ankles for the 49ers' second sack of the game.
Some highlights of LaBoy's performance from KITV and KGMB

Breakdowns, News and Notes

Stephen Tsai has a position-by-position breakdown of the team as they had into the fall semester. Some excerpts:
Yesterday, Austin, a junior who started one game in 2009, was picked as the third-string quarterback. Offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said Graves, a second-year freshman, still will practice with the top group. As the best scrambler, Graves "gives us a different aspect at quarterback," Rolovich said.
Chizzy Dimude, fully recovered from shoulder and ankle injuries, will receive a lot of touches as a back and receiver.
With a breakout camp, Royce Pollard has won the battle at right wideout.
If the season were to begin today, the starters would be left tackle Austin Hansen, left guard Brett Leonard, center Bronson Tiwanak, right guard Adrian Thomas and right tackle Laupepa Letuli. "Maybe by Monday, it could change," line coach Gordy Shaw said.
On his blog, Tsai has a lot more observations. He also notes that defensive lineman Josh Manupuna is no longer on the team.

Dave Reardon was impressed with what he saw of Bryant Moniz.
The University of Hawaii's starting quarterback looked very sharp in the drills I saw yesterday. His many on-the-money throws included a perfect long one to Royce Pollard who caught it in full stride.

He was also strong in a red-zone drill, snapping off TD passes on three of five tosses. All five throws were right there; one of the two incompletions was a drop, and the other was due to a good defensive play.
Reardon also likes what he sees out of special teams this year.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

WiTP: Colt gets some PT, Satele injured, Bess

Just some quick video highlights from our WiTP.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Greg Salas

The AP has a profile of Greg Salas.
"He made so many plays for us last year on just his natural receiver ability," said offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich, a former star Hawaii quarterback. "Catching the ball just comes so naturally for Greg."

Rolovich said he's seen Salas' leadership grow, especially this year.

"We've seen him be an every-play receiver. He's taking pride in everything he does, from blocking and running off, unselfish routes," he said.

But can he top last year's numbers?

"I think he can. I don't know if he will, but I think he'll be a better receiver this year," Rolovich said. "After all, numbers aren't all that NFL teams judge players by, and he knows that. He understands he won't be judged this year by his numbers, but by how he plays each play of each ball game."


Oh yeah, there's been some UH football team news this week too. I should be able to post more regularly next week.

HawaiiAthletics.com highlights the linebackers, secondary, and special teams.

Brent Rausch was confirmed as the #2 QB.

Jason Kaneshiro profiled Richard Torres, a big part of the secondary.
"He's one guy you don't have to worry about," said UH assistant coach Chris Tormey, who works with the Warriors' safeties. "He's going to know what to do, he's going to be prepared to play. He's tough, he's smart and he's just a very versatile player."
The Na Koa Bowl was a success, bringing in $63,000.
"He's playing strong," said McMackin, noting Umu was primarily a pass-rusher during spring training. "Now he's very good against the run."

Stephen Tsai wrote that the starting UH offensive line is still coming together.
Left tackle Austin Hansen, right guard Adrian Thomas and right tackle Laupepa Letuli appear to be set as starters.

But offensive line coach Gordy Shaw said Brett Leonard, Brysen "Bulla" Ginlack and Bronson Tiwanak are the central players in the competition at left guard and center.
Tsai wrote about the players checking out of the dance studios.

Kaneshiro profiled linebacking brothers Corey and Parker Paredes.

Tsai talked to student manager Ashley Lelie.

Veni Manu has left the team, but that opens up a scholarship for defensive end Kamalu Umu.

WitP: Owens, Brennan, LaBoy, Mouton, Manuwai, Forney

Chad Owens caught 2 passes for 37 yards, returned 4 punts for 67 yards and even completed 1 pass for 37 yards on a trick play. He also nearly won it at the end of the game on a punt return. The second link has video highlights of that return and of his completion.

The Grill Room also has a video interview with Chad Owens and his daughter from last week.

Colt Brennan will likely (maybe) play in today's Raiders preseason game.
Brennan, the former Hawaii star and Redskins backup, will see his first action after two weeks of watching plays drawn up on a board and receiving limited tosses in practice.

Raiders center Samson Satele warned not to sleep on his former Hawaii teammate.

"He's a gunslinger," Satele said. "He's got to learn how to go underneath the center. He's still learning. He's got a long ways to go in this offseason. West Coast offense is different terminology. He'll get there.

"We just have to put him in a game, see what he's got. ... He's a gamer, man. He makes a lot of plays."
Travis LaBoy is cleared to play in his first preseason game with the 49ers.
Linebacker Travis LaBoy, who has missed most of camp because of a concussion, is cleared to play against the Vikings. The 49ers don't want him to press trying to make an impression. "I think LaBoy just needs to be himself," Singletary said.
Inside the 49ers has a profile of LaBoy.
He tried to practice through the pain for a couple days in Santa Clara, but finally approached trainers at the 49ers' practice at Cal State Monterey Bay on Aug. 5 and bowed out of action. He missed 12 days of practice, and still hasn't faced contact - though defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said today that LaBoy should play against Minnesota on Sunday.

"It's kind of good to see they're taking care of me, where maybe other organizations would've just thrown you back out," LaBoy said on Thursday. "It's a refreshing thing to be part of a team that takes care of its players like this. For me, I understand the process and it was a little bit frustrating. But at the same time, it's all for a reason and you don't want to go against what's probably the right thing to do in the first place."
Ryan Mouton returned to practice yesterday, which was the first time since last Saturday's preseason game.

And Vince Manuwai is in a 3-way battle for the Jaguars' starting left guard spot with Justin Smiley and fellow former Warrior Kynan Forney.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Karl Benson Press conference, UH AD Jim Donovan speaks

Karl Benson speaks out after the loss of Fresno and Nevada. And UH athletic director Jim Donovan answers more questions.

WAC got cracked

Ferd Lewis writes about the sinking of the WAC.
What was obvious from faces and body language was that, "It is devastating," said Jim Donovan, UH athletic director. "There's no positive spin I can put on this in the short term. We're going to look at our options and move forward."

Donovan said those options would include: remaining in a realigned, diluted WAC; moving to a different conference; going independent in football and placing its other 18 sports in another conference or conferences; or going independent in all sports.
Stephen Tsai has analysis, a list of winners and losers, and his opinion on what UH should do.
Commission all of the studies necessary, but it's obvious UH needs to compete as an independent in football. Unless there's a shift in the continents, Hawaii's isolation is a deal breaker. If BYU opts to remain in the MWC, and the league needs to add a 12th member, the Warriors still aren't on the invitation list. Word on the boulevard is TCU wants to bring in Houston; New Mexico wants to invite UTEP.
And Dave Reardon sums it up in one sentence (though the whole column is good too).
Twelve years ago, Karl Benson and the expendables got false-cracked. This time he got a punch in, but the result might be worse.
And this song has been playing in my head all morning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fresno State and Nevada Leaving WAC / Update: Yes they will. News video, press conference

Looks like it.
Fresno State officials have scheduled a news conference for 7:30 tonight to announce the school's expected move to the Mountain West Conference.

The Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting that Nevada also will accept the offer to join the MWC and that the university did not sign a reported $5 million buyout clause to get out of the Western Athletic Conference. The Reno newspaper also said that Nevada would hold its news conference at 7:30 p.m.
This move comes as BYU is reportedly set to leave the MWC to become a football independent but WAC-affiliated in all other sports. With Fresno State and Nevada now leaving to the MWC, it's all still up in the air.

UPDATE: UH AD Jim Donovan speaks about today's crazy day of events. (Where's WAC Commish Karl Benson btw???)

WitP: Ryan Grice-Mullen released by Dolphins

Bad news to report as Ryan Grice-Mullen was waived by the Dolphins today.
To make room for Thomas the Dolphins released former Canadian Football League standout Ryan Grice-Mullen, who had fallen behind undrafted rookies Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace on the depth chart.

Grice-Mullen is the second receiver the Dolphins have cut to add an offensive lineman. Last week Taurus Johnson was released so the team could re-sign offensive guard Ray Feinga.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WitP: Hisatake, Chad Owens, Pisa, LaBoy

Panthers.com profiles Ray Hisatake.
"Every little thing the vets or Coach Mags (offensive line coach Dave Magazu) say, I write down in my notebook. I look it over before practice every day," Hisatake said. "I'm out there 20 minutes early and I stay 20 minutes after practice to work on the stuff that I need to work on.

"Then every day after practice, I'm in the O-line room watching film with Mackenzy (Bernadeau)."

Hisatake understands that he's still a long shot to make the 53-man roster, but since he put down the shot put and started learning how to throw around opposing linemen, that's the way his football future has been.
Chad Owens deflects the glory of winning CFL Player of the Week honors.
“If the line didn’t block for (Lemon) or the receivers weren’t blocking for me downfield I wouldn’t have had that run that I had,” said Owens, who was the league’s top special teams player in Week 2. “It’s a collective award. It just so happened I was the dude out there who had the stats but everyone had their part in it.”
Pisa Tinoisamoa talks about playing in a game for the first time since a season-ending knee injury last year.
"First time back it was good to just get out there and get physical," Tinoisamoa said. "I felt like for not playing in a whole year, I thought my tackling was good. Usually your feet are kind of shaky, but I was able to get some tackles and didn't miss very many."
And Travis LaBoy was back to practice for the first time since a concussion sidelined him on August 5th.

Na Koa Bowl Telethon Fundraiser tonight!

Please support the UH football program in their First Annual "Na Koa Bowl" Fundraiser being held tonight from 6:30pm to 9pm. If you're at home here in Hawai'i tune to K5 or OC-16. It'll also be shown on Oceanic channels 85, 96, 1005 and 1016. For out-of-State viewers, the show will be live-streamed at www.NaKoa.org. Call-in numbers are either 808-952-9111 or toll-free from the neighbor islands at 877-61-NAKOA (877-616-2562).
Na Koa Bowl will feature the Most Memorable Moments in UH football history. There will be video highlights of the games and interviews with coaches and players who participated in those games.

Former head coaches Dick Tomey, Bob Wagner and Jimmy Asato will be guests on the show.

Former players such as Jason Rivers, Michael Lafaele, Garret Gabriel, Michael Carter, Joe Onosai, David Maeva, Mike Tresler, Simeon Alo, Elroy Chong, Alex Kaloi, Cliff Laboy, Eddie Klaneski, Larry Sherrer, Bernard Carvalho, Nate Jackson, Ashley Lelie, Darrick Branch and many more will be participating in the event.

Entertainment will be provided by Kapono (a former UH defensive lineman), Imua and Kaukahi.

WitP: Chad Owens is CFL Player of the Week, Ikaika Signed to Extension, RGM Practices with First Team

Congratulations to Chad Owens who was named CFL Offensive Player of the Week.
Toronto wide receiver/kick returner Chad Owens was electrifying from start to finish, helping the Argos defeat the Als for the first time since 2007 with a 37-22 victory at Rogers Centre. Owens found the endzone early on for the game’s opening score with a spectacular 63-yard catch and run courtesy of quarterback Cleo Lemon. To bookend his day, Owens reeled in a 40-yard pass from Lemon for his second receiving TD of the contest, sealing the Argos fifth win of the season.

The former Alouette finished the game with six receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns, posting new career-highs in all three categories. Owens also added two kickoff returns for 85 yards and six punt returns for 43 yards in the winning effort.

Overall, Owens accumulated 291 yards of total offence to go along with his two TDs. The first-year Argo leads the CFL in combined yards with 1197 through seven games so far this season.

He was a unanimous selection.
Argonauts.ca has pretty much all of Chad Owens' highlights from the game.

And here are the game highlights again, via the CFL's Youtube channel. Thanks to Evan for the link.

Congratulations to Ikaika Alama-Francis, who was signed to a contract extension by the Miami Dolphins.
When Ikaika Alama-Francis replaced Koa Misi at strongside linebacker for the Miami Dolphins’ second defensive series Saturday night, it showed they really are serious about this training camp transition.

Now comes word that Alama-Francis, entering his first full season with the Dolphins, has received a one-year contract extension. The former second-round pick (58th overall) out of Hawaii is now under contract for $640,000 in 2011, according to the NFL Players Association online database, in addition to the $545, 000 he is set to earn this year.

The man known as “Ike” was the only second-team defender moved up to work with the first unit that early in Saturday’s game, and though Alama-Francis didn’t have any tackles against the Bucs, he did a nice job setting the edge.
And Ikaika's teammate Ryan Grice-Mullen practiced at first-team slotback today.
It appears Ryan Grice-Mullen has been moved up to the first team slot spot. The coaches probably wants to get a good body of film on him.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rausch is #2, Bradley is back

WitP: Brashton, Mouton, Pisa, CO

Brashton Satele will not be playing in tonight's preseason game as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle.
Satele (ankle) continues to come along slowly. Ryan thought he could play but didn’t want to rush the undrafted free agent from Hawaii back too soon.
Of course, that probably means he will play. Still salty about the Raiders game!

Ryan Mouton had an up-and-down game in his preseason start.
He gave up a big play in the second quarter when Seahawks receiver Mike Williams caught a short pass in front of him, made a move, and raced 51 yards for a touchdown. Fisher defended the play, however, saying there was an “adjustment in that situation, and Mike is a big strong, receiver.’’ Mouton was in one-on-one as the Titans were caught in a blitz.
Mouton changed his fortune when he intercepted a Charlie Whitehurst pass intended for Williams, and he was in position for other plays as well.

“I thought I played OK, but I could play better,’’ Mouton said. “I can’t make any excuses. I have to make that tackle (on Williams). Other than that play, though. … I am just trying to get better and try and build off tonight.’’
Pisa Tinoisamoa had a good game against San Diego.
Pisa Tinoisamoa played well in his bid to unseat Nick Roach as the starting strong-side linebacker. Going against second-teamers, Tinoisamoa looked like one of the better players on the field.

Roach didn't perform too poorly either. Playing against Chargers scrubs in the third quarter, he had a sack, a quarterback hit and a tackle for a loss. This competition could go down to the third exhibition game.
Another review of Pisa's and Roach's performances:
Pisa Tinoisamoa: The aggression and speed with which he plays stand out. Tinoisamoa belongs on the field.

Nick Roach, with whom Tinoisamoa is competing for the strong-side linebacker job, also did some nice things. But he also lost containment on a run and failed to make a tackle he could have made.
And here's more praise for Chad Owens.
The Alouettes had decided that Owens was strictly a kick returner and wanted to cut his salary accordingly. Owens balked and Argo head coach Jim Barker wasted no time in making a trade for him.

If there were any doubts, Owens made it clear Saturday that he’s a lot more than just a kick returner.

But the fact he became the first Argo receiver this season to top the 100-yard mark (163 to be exact) and piled up a total of 291 yards of offence doesn’t come close to telling the whole story.


Some news from the past weekend:

HawaiiAthletics.com highlights the offensive and defensive lines.

Stephen Tsai writes that Brent Rausch is in line to be the #2 QB.
Rausch, a fifth-year senior, was deemed the most consistent through Friday's afternoon practice. The UH coaches will make a decision after reviewing video of yesterday's 2 1/2 -hour session.

"It's close, but I'd probably vote Brent," said receivers coach Mouse Davis, the architect of the four-wide offense the Warriors use. "He has a little better completion percentage, and he has composure."
Tsai writes that defensive end Liko Satele has received a scholarship.
"He's worked so hard," said defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, who has served as Satele's mentor. "He's one of those guys who gets better and better. It's all due to his hard work. He's one of the hardest-working guys out here. When I heard he got (the scholarship), it gave me chicken skin."
Tsai also has quick notes on Kamalu Umu, Lametrius Davis and Darryl McBride.

On the Warrior Beat, Tsai had a list of some of the newcomers making an impression in fall camp. An excerpt:
• John Hardy-Tuliau — He's having a breakout camp, especially on special teams. His future is at cornerback. He was getting a lot work there in the week that Lameterius Davis was held out while awaiting medical clearance.

• Allen Sampson — Easily one of the quickest on the team, he's starting to pick up the offense. Might be difficult to get playing time at slotback, but he could contribute as a kick returner. His call whether he redshirts or tries to play.
Brian McInnis writes about the competition at kicker between Scott Enos and Tyler Hadden.
Enos won the job last fall against fellow junior college transfer Brian Blumberg. But Hadden, out of California High School, was rated the No. 10 college-bound kicker in the nation. And Enos had his share of shaky moments as a junior, particularly on kickoffs. Hadden figures to be the team's long-term guy -- it's only a matter of when.

Outwardly, anyway, Enos is oblivious to all this. Deliberately so.

"I just gotta compete with myself," said Enos, who was perfect on 34 extra-point attempts last year, but went 12-for-19 on field goals. "Ultimately, I'm the one who has to put it through the uprights. Just trying to be more consistent."
Dave Reardon writes that Jeremiah Ostrowski is planning to be a two-sport athlete.
It was less than 10 months ago, last October, when I interviewed Ostrowski ... as he observed UH basketball practice.

And, just as it was then, Ostrowski is on the football team but not on the basketball team -- yet.
Tsai wrote that some of the Warrior defensive linemen trained at a boxing club over the summer.
The boxing-related workouts proved to be beneficial. Liko Satele, the leading candidate to start at left end, noticed he was able to shed blockers.

"If you don't use your hands, you can't get away from anybody," Satele said.

Cal Lee, who coaches the UH defensive ends, said it takes quick hand movements to be a successful pass rusher.

"Boxing helps you have fast hands," Lee said. "Look at (Satele). There's a big improvement. I don't know if it's the boxing, but his hands are a lot faster. With hard work and energy, he's gotten a lot better."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WitP: Chad Owens Goes Off

I'm gonna be away from the blog for a week (starting yesterday), but I had to come back to post some links regarding Chad Owens crazy performance yesterday -- 6 catches for 163 yards and 2 TDs to spark the Toronto Argonauts in a 37-22 victory over the Montreal Alouettes.
During the pre-season, the Montreal Alouettes wanted Chad Owens to take a pay cut. When he refused they shipped him to the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for a draft pick.

On Saturday night, Owens made the Alouettes pay for their decision. He caught six passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns as Toronto beat Montreal 37-22 in front of 22,311 fans at the Rogers Centre.

The victory moves Toronto into a tie with the defending Grey Cup champions for first place in the Canadian Football League's East Division.

Both teams have identical 5-2 records.

"It's nothing about trying to get back at them . . . I play for the Double Blue and that's it," said Owens. "I was just trying to do what I could tonight for this team and that's all that matters. It doesn't matter who's out there, it doesn't matter who we're playing."
Here's some video highlights from the game, courtesy of TSN. It includes Chad's TDs, his excessive celebration after the second one, and a post-game interview.

And here's a quote from Chad regarding the excessive celebration penalty he drew.
"I got penalized, I hurt the team for it but you're in the moment," he said. "It was a canoe and I was rowing it trying to get back to Hawaii.

"But we got stopped short. We hit some current, some big waves. But it was a fun night and we came away with the win. You can't ask for anything more."

Saturday in Pads

Friday news

Liko Satele gets a scholarship. O-line, and Saturday's scrimmage.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tonight's news

Colt doesn't get to play,
Kia Cut on National TV, but Satele survives

X Receiver, Notes

Stephen Tsai writes that the coaching staff has a tough decision to make regarding Darius Bright because of the improvement of Bright and Joe Avery, along with the recovery of Rodney Bradley.
The coaches had hoped to ease Bradley into drills in training camp. But after the first few workouts, it was apparent, offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said, that "Rodney was back."

That leaves the Warriors with a nice dilemma involving the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Bright, who transferred from City College of San Franciso in January.

During spring drills, when Bright appeared to be a one-play receiver -- fade routes -- redshirting was a favorable option. But Bright reported to training camp in better shape -- he credited a strict running and weight-lifting program -- and a better grasp of the four-wide offense.
With his work on special teams -- he is on four units -- it is becoming increasingly difficult to put him on the shelf for a year.
And Tsai has some news and notes about Royce Pollard, Corey Nielsen, Alema Tachibana and Alasi Toilolo.

Colt Plays Tonight

Colt Brennan gets another shot tonight, most likely in the late 3rd to 4th quarter.
With Gradkowski and Frye out, that means former Hawaii and Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan will play. He will come in after Campbell plays the first quarter and Kyle Boller likely plays the second and third.
Dave Reardon lays it all out there.
And why are people wasting time discussing if it's an audition for the Raiders or the rest of the league?

Clearly, it's both.

Although the Raiders motto of "Commitment to Excellence" has eroded into a punchline, it still probably doesn't mean commitment to Kyle Boller or Charlie Frye.

Yes, they and Bruce Gradkowski are viable as backups to Jason Campbell. But the unknown of Brennan's ceiling, that could be in his favor. Brennan's upper limit is much less predictable than for these journeymen who have actually played. Unless he's terrible tonight, it makes sense to keep Brennan around for an extended look.
Paul Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee profiles Colt.

From a couple days ago, Thoughts from the Dark Side had a training camp report.
Brennan gave Cable plenty of reason to believe in him in practice today. As Cable said, he was really doing a nice job of leading his receivers on deep throws and dropping passes between defenders. His first nice pass he hit Todd Watkins in stride along the sideline with Stanford Routt defending. If the ball hadn't been perfectly in stride, Routt would likely have caught up to him. But as they say, there is no defense for a perfectly thrown ball.

Brennan was back at it shortly as he hit Shawn Bodiford along the left side and then showed he could make the same pass to the right side to Bodiford again. But his best pass was one that no one expected because one of Brennan's detractors was supposed to be that he didn't have big time NFL arm strength. But when he threw a beautiful long strike to Nick Miller that traveled a good 50 yards in the air, the dispelled that notion pretty quick.

At this moment, the third string quarterback job is between Kyle Boller and Colt Brennan. Both have showed flashes that they could earn the job. We have a lot of camp and 4 games still to play to see how things shake out. It should be interesting though.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Receivers, Chargers, Ahmad, Etc.

HawaiiAthletics.com highlights the receivers.
“We’d like to have Greg be a leader and he definitely wants to do that,” Davis said. “He’s shown that he wants to be as good as he can be, and he wants the rest of the players to be as good as they can be too.”

Converted running back Kealoha Pilares made the transition to slot receiver look easy in 2009, hauling in 66 receptions for 690 yards and four TDs.

“Kealoha is a very good receiver,” Davis said. “He’s very bright, you tell him one thing and he picks it up right away and that’s important at the receiver position.”
Barry Villamil has an article about the Pearl City (woot!) Warriors on MyPearlCity.com. Here's an excerpt:
MyPearlCity.com asked the trio from Pearl City the following questions after their first day of Fall training camp as Warriors:

How did it feel to step out onto the University of Hawaii football practice field for the first time as a Warrior?

David Lefotu: "It felt great, it felt good to come out here and compete with all the other guys, all the other veterans. I wasn't nervous at all. I was ready to get out here and put in work. I learned a lot today so it was pretty exciting to get out here for the first time."

Beau Yap: "It's just a whole different level. You have to go full speed hundred percent of the time."

Skye Kaapuni: "Exciting, the first day. I was out here the beginning of summer and now we get to finally touch the ball and work on football stuff."
Stephen Tsai profiles Po'okela Ahmad.
Patience also has benefited Ahmad, who has been practicing as a first-team linebacker when the Warriors are in their 45 defense, a scheme that utilizes a nickel back.

"Po'okela is bright," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "He understands defenses. He's a good coverage backer. He's improved in his skills. He's a guy who's very dependable."
And Tsai has some news and notes about special teams, Kainoa LaCount, Aaron Brown, etc.

Video: Colt, Two-a-days

Here's tonight's news compilation:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Video: Bradley, Colt, UH Practice

Here's tonight's Chawan-pilation:

Warriors in the Pros: Colt, Pisa

The Silver & Black Report has audio of Colt Brennan speaking to reporters.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Ibabuzz.com has some of those quotes along with a nice assessment of Colt.
Granted it’s easy to get carried away with seeing a few pinpoint passes after the way the passing game has gone on the Redwood Middle School field the past few years, and Colt Brennan’s chances of making the Raiders probably aren’t good.

But the guy has a knack for completions, having made virtually every throw imaginable in college at Hawaii.

Any thoughts that Brennan couldn’t throw a deep ball were dispelled by a sideline streak to Todd Watkins that was as pretty as any pass by any quarterback all training camp.

The ball traveled 40 to 50 yards in the air, and hit Watkins in stride with Stanford Routt helpless to do anything about it.

“He does a pretty good job of being able to put it on receivers and lead ‘em, and put it up over the top,’’ Cable said. “He has a knack for some of those things.’’
Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune profiles Pisa Tinoisamoa.
There wasn't a lot to Pisa Tinoisamoa's season last year with the Bears, but he came up with one hit that still raises the hair on the back of Brian Urlacher's neck.

"I saw him hit (Atlanta running back Michael) Turner, 'Sunday Night Football,' when I was watching from home," Urlacher said. "Pisa made him fumble. That was a big hit. He plays hard."

Salas on Biletnikoff, Moniz, Tuioti, Hardy-Tuliau, RBs

Congrats to Greg Salas, who has been named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

Stephen Tsai talks to UH's #1 QB, Bryant Moniz.
"Chee-hoo," said Moniz, a fourth-year junior who started eight games as an injury replacement for Greg Alexander in 2009.

Barring injury, Moniz will lead the Warriors' four-wide offense in the Sept. 2 season opener against Southern California.
Chee hoooo?

Jason Kaneshiro profiles defensive tackles coach Tony Tuioti.
"He started off as this nice guy; now he's getting a little louder and in your face when you're not doing your stuff right," junior tackle Vaughn Meatoga said.
Kaneshiro also writes about the kick-blocking skills of John Hardy-Tuliau:
John Hardy-Tuliau didn't wait long to build on his reputation as a gifted kick blocker. The freshman cornerback knocked down a field-goal attempt during Saturday's practice and got his hands on another during a drill yesterday.

Hardy-Tuliau set a California state record with 26 blocks at Vista Murrieta High School, knocking down five as a senior.

"Just get off the ball," Hardy-Tuliau said of his key to blocking kicks. "Just trying to get to the ball as fast as I can."
HawaiiAthletics.com highlights the running backs.
“We feel real good about our depth at running backs and we think we’re really strong in our senior class with Alex and Chizzy coming back,” Smith said. “They’re both coming off good springs. The addition of Sterling Jackson should help push them. And the addition of Hogan (Rosehill) and (John) Lister gives us a lot of depth. They’re both young guys that are doing well and are going to push the rest of the team.”

Monday, August 09, 2010

Moniz named #1 QB, Practice observations

Glad the decision has been made early. Here's tonight's Chawan's Cut:

HawaiiAthletics.com takes a look at the UH quarterbacks.

Over at SportsHawaii.com, Kahaluu Imua Warriors has some August 9th practice observations. Here's an excerpt:
First it is impossible to cover everyone fairly in one practice so I tried to focus on the newbies (freshmen, redshirt-freshmen and transfers). Checking these guys out is why I go early in the season to check out the practices. Four that stick out, three are transfers: Darryl Mc Bride (safety) – good size (6-2), fast, athletic has a good nose for the ball. He was on Bradley stride for stride on a bomb and he easily knocked the ball down using all his abilities I mentioned. Sterling Jackson (RB) – looked like a vet out there, strong runner with speed. T.J. Taimatuia (LB) here’s the kind of LB we need (like Paipai, who I’m glad is a LB again), great size (6-3 225), VERY athletic, and energetic, it even looked liked he was practicing on the 2nd team (not bad for a true freshmen with only one week of practice.
Dave Reardon watched practice with some O-line experts.
When I walked over to the far side of the UH football practice field to watch the linemen on Saturday, I got a bonus — two former trench Warriors, Shawn Ching and Leo Goeas were watching intently. Two great brains to pick when it comes to O-line play.

Ching is a former UH center who will do TV analysis on games this year and Goeas is a former UH tackle and NFL player who is now a player agent. They agreed that Laupepa Letuli looked great in one-on-ones and some of the young guys look pretty good … Chauncey Winchester-Makainai’s name came up: high marks for athleticism to go with his size.
And hana okolele Dave Reardon, giving away the secrets.
How about the UH games at Army and at Colorado, both of them live, for around the cost of a pound of poke?

We're talking $6.95, pally. Special, for you ... and everyone else, according to the Oceanic phone rep I spoke with yesterday.
The key, he was told, is to order by the end of August. So that's what he did. Orders from Sept. 1 will be charged the pay-per-view amount, not the monthly fee for "The Sports Pak."

I trust this guy, but decided I should check it out for myself anyway. A very pleasant Oceanic representative returned my call sooner than the 15 minutes the recording estimated. I told the rep I was interested in "The Sports Pak," specifically because of the UH games.

"If I were you," the rep confided, "I'd order before the end of August. That way it's just $4.95 (plus the $2). If you wait (until September), it will be $60."

Bingo. Confirmation.

WitP: Mauia Back, Bess, RGM, Ikaika, Ingram, Kia, Colt

Reagan Mauia was re-signed by the Arizona Cardinals. The Juggernaut is back!

The Miami Dolphins released their first depth chart today. Davone Bess is 1st team punt returner and 2nd team receiver. Ikaika Alama-Francis is 2nd team outside linebacker. Ryan Grice-Mullen isn't listed, but he has been healthy enough to continue auditioning for the kick return job.
Former Hawaii teammates Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullen shared the lead with five kick returns apiece during two separate periods devoted to that open competition. Eight players had at least one rep...
Also from that article, Davone Bess talks about picking up his fellow teammates:
Bess said he and the rest of the receiving corps, which was missing Greg Camarillo as he rested his injured groin, did its best to lift Marshall's spirits afterward.

"Definitely, we did. We had to," Bess said. "That's what teammates are for. When I mess up, he gets on me. When he messes up, I get on him. Same thing with all the other receivers. It's a team thing."
Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel writes about the emergence of Ikaika Alama-Francis.
One of the top stories of this Miami Dolphins training camp so far has been the emergence of Ikaika Alama-Francis at strongside outside linebacker.

Not only has the fourth-year man from Hawaii trimmed down to 275 pounds, per team request, but he is justifying the faith new linebackers coach Bill Sheridan showed in him when he went to Tony Sparano and suggested IAF (sounds like a governing body for an obscure sport, doesn’t it?) move off defensive end.

This happened for Matt Roth in 2008, and he made quite an impact that season. Perhaps if Koa Misi proves not to be quite ready for a starting role, the man called “Ike” could step into the void.
From that article, here's an interview with Ikaika:

Jeff Howe of NESN.com has a Q&A with Jake Ingram.
NESN.com: Have you surfed up in Hampton lately?
JI: I haven’t surfed in awhile up here. Shoot, it's been a year since I've surfed out here, but when I was home, I was surfing. Plus, you've got all those great whites out here, man. What's going on with that?
Stephen Tsai talked to Aaron Kia, who was released by the Jets.

And Colt Brennan says that he'll play on Thursday.
Colt Brennan, newly signed by the Oakland Raiders, said he was told he will play in the second half of Thursday's preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Brennan said the Raiders have crafted a scaled-down version of the offense for him. The Raiders have five quarterbacks on the roster, but two of them of them — Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski — have been unavailable because of injuries.
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