Now is the time to make a few, according to UH offensive line coach Gordy Shaw.
“I don’t care if the defense blitzes every times (in spring drills),” Shaw said. “We might not block a soul. The next practice, when they do the same things, if we pick it up, good. We’ve learned something from our mistakes. You can’t always have success and think you’re ready to go. Through failure, you get better.”
Especially during spring training, Shaw said, referring to it as the “developmental” period. The Warriors are seeking to replace five o-linemen who started in the 2010 Hawaii Bowl. While a No. 1 o-line has been established (LT Clayton Laurel, LG/C Brett Leonard, C/LG Matagisila Lefiti, RG Chauncy Winchester-Makainai, RT Levi Legi), freshman tackles Sean Shigematsu and Jordan Loeffler, and guard David Lefotu are pushing for playing time.
“Physically, there’s a pretty good upside to those young players on the second unit,” Shaw said, cautioning, “it’s not like a 100-yard dash. It’s a matter of experience.”
Shaw said the nuances of playing on the offensive line cannot be learned overnight, equating the situation to someone trying to cram for a final. While the younger players have done well against base schemes, the first-unit blockers have more experience in facing stunts and blitzes.
“Everybody in the stands thinks you’re supposed to always block the guy in front of you,” Shaw said. “It’s not that way all of the time. Sometimes it might be the guy playing to the inside of you. … You don’t want to be the new puppy in the house that bites the ankle of everybody who shows up in front of you. We want our guys to play with patience and confidence. That comes with experience.”
Shaw said he wants to give each of the units ample practice time.
“We want to give everyone a chance in different situations,” Shaw said.
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Avis has selected Rasu Begasu as winner of the T-shirt.