McMackin can hold his own when it comes to one-liners
THE question, of course, is can new (and old) Hawaii defensive coordinator Greg McMackin match Jerry Glanville's production?
No, not in coaching. Don't worry, that part isn't a concern. McMackin is a big-time hire. He broke records for his paycheck at Texas Tech. He was at Miami back when the 'Canes stomped on the terra. He's been in the pros, twice. And in case you forgot (of course you haven't) he did pretty well his last time out here, in the miracle that is known as 1999.
Besides, his is a different personality than Glanville's, and as I've been saying lately, this just might be a right guy, right time kind of thing.
So, no, I'm not talking about on the field. Glanville was the real deal. McMackin is, too.
But, the question remains -- can McMackin pick up where Glanville left off, in the important stuff.
Like the one-liners.
I DIDN'T THINK so at first. McMackin seems like a really nice guy and he's a top-tier coach. But Glanville ...
Well, Glanville was a big loss.
So I stopped by yesterday at McMackin's first appearance (of the new millennium) at the Honolulu Quarterback Club to see how McMackin handled the challenge. Pleasant surprise. He has the potential we look for in a defensive coordinator.
» McMackin on road games: "It's tough to go into wherever Louisiana Tech is." (Easy, Bulldogs. He remembered "Ruston" a second later.)
» McMackin on his defensive tackles: "They all lost 30 pounds."
» McMackin on Boise State's Cinderella success at the end of last season: "I was even rooting for them."
» McMackin on up-and-coming linebacker Blaze Soares: "Blaze Soares I think is going to be another Pisa coming out of here. He's a guy who runs to the ball, hits somebody and he's always smiling."
» McMackin on how legends grow: "When we first came here they hadn't won an away game in seven or eight years."
» McMackin on an upcoming opponent: "If that TV camera wasn't here I would tell you one of the teams that we're going to kick their tail."
» McMackin on his personal philosophy: "If you ever want to come up and say hi or anything I'm always welcome to that."
OK, NOT BAD. This guy is up to the job.
And I'm looking forward to getting to see this Miami-style defense, a once-revolutionary philosophy built on turnovers and speed.
"We'll have nine guys who can really run to the football," McMackin said yesterday.
Now, suddenly, sleek ends are in. "Our ends are really outside linebackers," the coach said.
Perfect for Amani Purcell. Karl Noa, we'll know his name.
It's all attacking, and speed.
Even the wit is quick.
His returning starting corners, "They're a little short," McMackin said. "I don't care if they're short, as long as they can jump."