On Saturday morning a Nick Rolovich tradition took on a new name. As with every camp since Rolo returned to Manoa, on the first day of full pads the players began practice with an offense versus defense, Oklahoma drill. But, this year Rolovich says he's given his tradition a new name.
"We actually call that the goal line paina now," said Rolovich. "We changed the name."
Even with a new name, the excitement from the Rainbow Warriors remained the same. In front of small group of fans watching practice players fought for their turn to go toe-to-toe with their teammates.
"Now that we've been around each other for a couple of year the boys know that's coming on the first day of pads," Rolovich added. "So, I had guys coming up to my office saying they want to be it. We had some good match-ups, there were some good battles. I think the defense won the day though."
For Rolovich that eagerness is a sign of something bigger. He says he feels it's a testament to the character of his team and his players as individuals.
"You always hear somebody talking about the millennial generation and what's wrong with them," said Rolovich. "These are still kids, and they still love football. And they want to compete. And they want to get better. This is going to be a fun team to coach I can already tell."
As the Rainbow Warriors enter the dog days of spring ball and with plenty on their plate - between news coaches, new installs, and the implementing the run and shoot, Rolovich says he's been most impressed at his team's ability to remain focused.
"I'm very appreciative," said Rolovich. "We went live and did team stuff and there was no extra BS... if somebody makes a play or somebody doesn't, it's just get better and come back for the next play. For that to happen on the first day of pads tells me that we have the right mindset right now."