UH Practices: The Fast And Furious

The new era of University of Hawaii Warrior football under head coach Norm Chow began last week with the start of spring football practice, and a sizzling tempo to the workouts radiated a high-energy approach.

There is a tremendous amount of information to be absorbed with entirely new schemes, systems and nomenclature in all three phases of the game. Practices are orchestrated in advance down to the second.

“You have to,” says Norm Chow. “There is a lot to be accomplished.”

Loud music is piped in during practice and players are running to new workout stations at the blast of every period-ending horn.

And it’s a good time for winning a starting job as Coach Chow made clear all positions are subject to competition.

“Everybody starts with a clean slate,” says Chow. “It matters what you do now.”

That knowledge is undoubtedly sparking some of the enthusiasm, but the energy level of the coaching staff is helping, too. Fans who come out will see coaches springing to congratulate excellent play and chastise effort or execution that leaves something to be desired. The teaching function is very much in evidence. Two players who were a step or two slow to react to the horn found an assistant right alongside them shouting, “Don’t be last!”

Which, under the circumstances, served as both warning and very good advice.

All spring practices are open to the public. The schedule can be found at Hawaiiathletics.com

* NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has levied large penalties in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. Head coach Sean Payton received a year suspension without pay, which will cost him $7.5 million. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams won’t have to worry about his new job with the Rams – his suspension is indefinite and won’t be even addressed until after the 2012 season. General manager Mickey Loomis got eight games, assistant coach Joe Vitt will miss six and the team will forfeit $500,000 and two second-round draft picks.

Yes, the penalties are harsh, but Goodell doesn’t want anyone even considering bounties ever again. Part of the severity of the sanctions is because of lying to the NFL investigators. Payton, for example, claimed to be ignorant of the bounties but proof to the contrary was uncovered by the league.

* Tebowmania is moving to the Big Apple and the New York Jets. Gang Green may be planning to use Tebow in wildcat schemes and goal-line formations, but if newly extended starting QB Mark Sanchez struggles you can hear the fan chants resounding in the Meadowlands already.

The Jets are probably hoping the Tebow aura will rub off on one of the most unsettled locker rooms in the league. In fact, the day before Tebow was traded, cornerback Antonio Cromarty went public saying the team didn’t need Tebow, that he should go somewhere in Florida instead.

The Jets might be well served to follow the lead of the Patriots or crosstown Giants, who make it a point to let their play do the talking.