10/1/12 Na Koa Lunch Report
Hawaii played eight different offensive linemen against Brigham Young University. However, offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan admitted during Monday’s Na Koa lunch meeting that he preferred not like to rotate ANY offensive linemen.
You want the same five players together all the time to facilitate consistency. Unfortunately, injuries made a consistent line up impossible which spelled difficulties for the O-line.
This week Wiesehan is working with six offensive linemen with David Lefotu and Sean Shigematsu “day to day”. Also battling injuries are Ben Dew, Blake Muir, and Jordan Loeffler. Coach reminded everyone that football is a physical game and many will be playing with discomfort, probably for the rest of the season.
He pointed out that the defensive line did not fair any better losing three linemen in quick succession. Wiesehan figured losing two tackles in a matter of minutes probably had an effect on the demeanor of a young team, but he said we have to be resilient and close ranks. He kept extolling everyone to continue to play hard and not let the injuries get them down.
Wiesehan praised the defensive work of Mike Edwards who showed good technique and had a good grasp on visual cues while covering receivers. He showed a clip where NeQuon Phillips seemed to bait the BYU quarterback by trailing a receiver then turning into coverage to grab his first interception, and one where Tony Grimes’ job was to turn a play to the inside, but he ended up making the tackle with his swarming team mates.
On the line Beau Yap received kudos for his play at end and unselfish contributions at tackle. He also blocked a PAT attempt by timing a leap after realizing he could not use penetration to do the job.
Someone in the crowd mentioned the defense needing to practice wrapping up rather than attempting arm tackles. Wiesehan assured everyone that was noticed and communicated to the team. In fact he said while he was “way over in the offensive room” at halftime, he heard the defensive coaches preaching it loud and clear.
Another question was when is it time during the game for second string players to gain experience. He said with all the injuries it is happening now. Then when asked straight out who he had left to work with, Wiesehan jokingly replied, “you, me, and him (pointing to the audience).” He then admitted, “I’ll find out today.”
Asked about who the back up quarterback is, Wiesehan said it was Coach Chow’s call. Caymen Shutter has been doing some good things in practice. David Graves has been moved back to receiver.
For recruiting, Wiesehan has been covering part of California and Washington. He reports to want to recruit 3-4 linemen and is evaluating upwards of six players in Hawaii. He said a loss like at BYU is tough, but recruits were calling the coaches noticing that many players were playing in the game. This is a positive because they are learning that Hawaii will play whoever does the job best regardless of youth.
He also said locally they are looking for the under the radar screen, late bloomers and potential walk-ons.
Coach Chow and Coach Wiesehan got together while at UCLA where Wiesehan intimated to have suggested an offensive play that was very successful. “We became good friends after that.”
As far as San Diego State University’s Aztecs go, Wiesehan reported they run a pro style offense with many combinations (as Hawaii does), and their defense lines up n a 3-3-5 with lots of movement in the 3-3, and blitzes coming from any direction. “They are a tough team.”
Written by Gareth Sakakida