Hall of Fame guest looks in on practice
Daniel Lofton gets a kick out of popping in those old NFL Films clips of his father racing down the field, the ones "with the corny highlight music from the 1980s."
Yesterday, it was the father -- Hall of Fame receiver and new Oakland Raiders receivers coach James Lofton -- watching his son run routes during Hawaii's second practice of the spring.
"When I watch him I can see he's picked up a lot of the things I teach my players, so I think he has some good habits," said James Lofton, who planned to also attend this morning's practice before flying back to Oakland.
Both father and son have adjusted to changes in their football careers over the past year.
Daniel, who wears No. 80, as his father did most of his career, was recruited by UH out of high school but signed with California. He spent a year in Berkeley before deciding to join the Warriors last fall, sitting out UH's 12-1 campaign due to transfer rules.
Like the rest of the Warriors receiver corps, the 6-foot-3 sophomore is spending the spring learning the nuances of UH's revamped four-receiver attack under new offensive coordinator Ron Lee.
"I'm kind of glad I wasn't too far into the (previous) offense," Daniel said. "It's all still new to me, so I don't have to switch around anything. I like it a lot. I'm having fun out here."
James Lofton spent the last six seasons with the San Diego Chargers and has been a frequent visitor to the islands, both for leisure and for work. He spent his first nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers and later played in three Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, making the Pro Bowl eight times in his 16-year career.
"I've worked out with James in the late '80s and early '90s and that guy had just phenomenal work ethic," said UH associate head coach Rich Miano, who played against Lofton in the NFL.
Lofton held the NFL record for career receiving yards with 14,004 when he retired in 1993 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003, when Daniel was a high school sophomore.
Though his exploits filled up many a film reel, James uses more recent footage when dropping tips to help Daniel's game.
"I show him more of the current stuff," James said. "They kind of laugh at the way I played because it's a little old school."
Whether defensive end Francis Maka
will be able to play next fall remains in question. In the meantime, he hopes to get on the practice field by next week.
Maka, a senior last season, is applying for another year of eligibility due to a year he missed early in his career due to injury while at Arizona. He is allowed to practice while the appeal is being considered but needs to finalize some paperwork before getting on the field.
"I feel kind of lonely on the sideline watching them practice. I wish I was working with them," Maka said.
Maka recorded 17 tackles, including a sack, in eight games last season before suffering a broken fibula.
"I'm just thankful coach gave me an opportunity to come out here and play knowing I only had one year," Maka said. "If nothing happens then at least I got the experience. But I'm confident it's going to happen."
On the shelf
Senior running back Dave Farmer
suffered a freak injury yesterday, turning an ankle while participating in a fumble recovery drill.
"He's taped up and it looks like he won't practice (today)," Lee said of Farmer.
Another senior, slotback Mike Washington, missed yesterday's session while having a bothersome tooth pulled.
"He had a toothache and was suffering with that the past two days," Lee said. "They yanked it this morning."
That allowed more reps for left slot candidates Jon Medeiros, Benedict Noy and Miah Ostrowski.
Quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich
was rightfully proud that there were no botched center-quarterback exchanges during Monday's first practice. But he shook his head while acknowledging three that occurred yesterday.
"I should have kept my mouth shut," Rolovich said.
Hair today, gone to ...
Junior linebacker Erik Pedersen's
mohawk gives him a slight resemblance to Travis Bickle, the Robert DeNiro
character in the 1976 film "Taxi Driver."
Another linebacker, junior Josh Rice, has shorn the flowing locks that earned him the nickname "Viking."