CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The defensive line got a workout in drills on the first day of spring practice yesterday.
Warriors spring ahead
Hawaii hits the field for its first football practice under new coach McMackin
You could set your watch by the start and end of the first spring football practice for Hawaii yesterday, and that's the way new head coach Greg McMackin likes it.
"For a first practice I was really happy with the organization," McMackin said afterward at the UH grass practice field. "We started at 7 and we finished at 9. Everything was according to the plan. We'll see a few bumps when we look at the tape, but I was very happy with the first practice. We have a long ways to go, but this is a good starting point."
Unlike previous years, the Warriors arrived at the grass practice field in unison. The more-than 100 players arrived on campus at 6:30 a.m. for a team meeting.
"(McMackin) was telling us what we'd do in spring ball. Everything's changing, but for the better. Everything's more organized now," senior defensive tackle Keala Watson said. "Us returning guys, we all know what Coach McMackin is about. Everything is discipline and do what you're told when you're told. It's something the new guys are going to learn, and we're trying to set a good example. A lot of us already know our plays and the spring is like a refresher for us."
The defense moved efficiently from drill to drill. When the green-clad players clapped out of huddles, it was loud and in unison.
"Lot of veterans (on defense)," McMackin said. " They know the blitzes. We've got one year in the package, so we can go, it's exciting."
When McMackin strolled over to the offensive side, he said he liked what he saw there, too.
"I was really impressed with the accuracy of the quarterbacks," McMackin said. "For this early, they were very accurate."
Junior Inoke Funaki, the No. 1 quarterback, at least for now in a wide-open race, laughed when told of McMackin's assessment (which was shared by offensive coordinator Ron Lee).
"It was good, it wasn't horrible. It wasn't the worst day I've had," Funaki said. "A lot of the boys are all pushing each other, trying to get better. It's a pretty good first day, I'd say. We just want to keep things moving up the ladder."
Lee said the receivers were "chaotic," but that's to be expected with all four starters gone.
"The receivers are all over the place ... kind of like a fire drill, guys running all over the place," Lee said. "We got a whole bunch of new guys."
The Warriors have today off and return to the field tomorrow.