The Warriors yesterday had their second scrimmage of spring training. They ran 54 plays, with the offense doing well in the first half and the defense dominating in the second.
The good: DC Thom Kaumeyer is meeting his goal of building depth in personnel and schemes. The wolf defense allows the Warriors to play four linebackers, including two on the line of scrimmage. The tactic created a pass rush and, often, hurried the offense out of rhythm. DE Beau Yap is emerging as an edge rusher. Kaumeyer praised d-line coach Lewis Powell, noting: “Coach Powell is doing a fantastic job of getting them off the ball. That way we’re kind of playing on their side of the line of scrimmage. Then we can react to that.” By resting DE Paipai Falemalu, other DEs are getting work, such as Desmond Dean (who recovered a fumble) and Siaki Cravens. The way things are going, Tavita Woodard might be at TE the rest of the spring. The offense had its moments. Ben Clarke, who is the No. 1 center, is having a good spring. RBs Joey Iosefa and John Lister are a nice 1-2 punch. And David Graves is distancing himself as the No. 1 QB. He completed his first five passes, for 80 yards, and finished his part of the scrimmage with a 29-yard scoring pass to Scott Harding.
The not-so-good: There was inconsistency on both sides of the ball. The defense gave up big third-down plays in the first half; the offense struggled against the defensive pressure in the second half. Depth on the o-line continues to be a concern. LG Chauncy Winchester-Makainai has been bothered by back issues, and OT Sean Shigematsu still is adjusting after completing rehab from knee surgery.The kickers had difficulty with their accuracy yesterday, but no problems with the distance.
The twists: The Warriors are doing very well on fly sweeps, with Trevor Davis becoming an accomplished runner on end-around plays. He had a 16-yard run yesterday. And on a broken play, punter Alex Dunnachie completed a pass to Woodard.
Player to watch: Mike Sellers is having a good camp, at several positions. Yesterday, he was the No. 1 right safety. With his history at nickelback and corner, Sellers has the skill to play in the box or match up against an inside receiver.
Quote: Sometimes “they end up going through the motions because they’re unsure of themselves,” HC Norm Chow said. “I tell them: ‘I don’t care if you’re making a mistake if you’re going 100 percent.’ We’re trying to get that squared away.”
Up next: There will be a scrimmage tomorrow at Maui’s War Memorial Stadium. It also will serve as a beta for how the Warriors will travel.
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Winchester-Makainai has been wearing No. 54 recently instead of his usual No. 62. The reason? He is the tester for the new material that will be used for this coming season’s jerseys. The demo jerseys only come in certain numbers.
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While awaiting my iPhone (no pressure, Scott), here are some slightly focused pictures of Warrior alumni.
Laupepa Letuli, now a musician, recently returned from a tour in Japan:
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Former UH defensive tackle Keala Watson is Nanakuli’s JV head coach. He also teaches digital media. Watson and his wife are expecting their second child next month:
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Former UH offensive lineman Aaron Kia is a busy man. He is taking classes toward a master’s degree, coaching at Walnut High, working as an EMT and, next weekend, will be playing in the Rose Bowl. He is a member of the Los Angeles Heat football team, which consists of firefighters and EMTs. Proceeds of the game go to an organization helping children who have suffered burns.
And in his spare time, Kia designs shoes.