MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. » Samson Satele is back in Miami, and the Kailua and University of Hawaii alumnus says it feels like he never left.
"Yes, it is (great to be back)," said Satele, a center who was drafted by the Dolphins in 2007 and played his first two seasons with them. "I can’t believe I’m back. I know my way around. Some of the guys here I still know — equipment staff, training staff, some of the players. I’m used to it here and it’s just awesome (with) things going full circle, from Miami to Oakland to Indy back to Miami."
Now 29, Satele signed with the Dolphins in early August after Indianapolis released him in March. He played two seasons with the Colts (2012-13) and three with the Raiders (2009-2011).
He’s bounced around a bit, but he considers the often-transient nature of life in the NFL a small price to pay to continue living his dream.
"Yeah, it’s a crazy business," said Satele, who was at UH from 2002 through 2006. "It takes a while for you to learn how this business works, but once you understand it, you can play longer. I love the game of football and wherever the opportunity for me to play comes, I’ll play."
To date, he has played 104 games in his career, and as Miami’s current starting center he knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in the league.
He maintains his competitive edge by constantly tweaking his routine and preparation, incorporating things he has learned along the way.
"The longer you play the more you learn. You play every play and you learn from it. You look back, watch game film and you learn from it," Satele said. "Once you’ve played a lot of football, you start learning what the defenses do and start seeing the same guys over and over. Your technique’s got to get better every game."
Along with New York Jets wide receiver Greg Salas, Satele’s one of just two UH products currently playing in the NFL, a small group he’s honored to be part of.
"Oh yeah, it was great times (at Hawaii)," Satele said. "I had a lot of cousins that were there the same time I was there, so it was cool. It was just a lot of fun staying home and playing in front of your hometown and your home state."
He said he doesn’t expect them to be the only UH alumni in the league for long.
"It’s hard seeing there’s only two of us in the league because when I came out, there were a lot more of us," he said. "There were three of us here in Miami (when I was drafted). It’s crazy to know that there’s only two of us. Eventually, we’ll have more guys from UH in the league soon."
And, as someone who played for June Jones at UH, he was sorry to see Jones resign earlier this month as SMU’s head coach.
"Yeah, I’m surprised," Satele said. "I don’t know what happened. The June Jones I know wouldn’t do that for any reason. I hope something’s not going bad with his life. I hope he’s cool. I hope he’s good."