There are interesting ramifications to head coach Greg McMackin’s announcement that slotback Greg Salas would moonlight at deep safety and defensive end Paipai Falemalu would start at strongside linebacker in the Warriors’ base defense.
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.
In addition to the 4-3, the Warriors have three other schemes — two versions of the 4-2-5 and the 3-3-5 Okie package.
In the regular 4-2-5, nickelback Richard Torres becomes the fifth defensive back. In the 45, the fifth defensive back — known as the quarter — serves more as a linebacker. Aaron Brown, who is listed as a strongside linebacker, would play the quarter.
In the Okie package, Falemalu becomes the joker, a hybrid end-linebacker position. The joker is free to roam.
All of which means, according to McMackin, “we’ll have more options.”
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.
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Thanks to Garret for pointing out that B.C. Lions signed Solomon Elimimian.