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Bailey expects full control of Hawaii’s offense in 2015

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It was a great question. Guys sitting at bars often ask the best ones.

“Will you be calling the majority of the offensive plays?”

Don Bailey’s answer was no. No, with a big however …

“I will be calling ALL of the offensive plays,” clarified the University of Hawaii’s new offensive coordinator.

He said it in a voice full of confidence that the fans at the Hukilau Restaurant couldn’t help but find contagious.

Well, to a degree, anyway. You can’t blame UH loyalists for a certain amount of skepticism, considering four consecutive losing seasons, including an 8-29 record in the last three years under coach Norm Chow.

The offense has mostly been a bad combination of conservative and inept. Last year, especially early on, its ineffectiveness betrayed performances by the defense and special teams that should’ve been good enough to win.

Chow’s plan last fall was to bring back the spread, but a rash of injuries to receivers before the season started prevented that. Bailey said the Rainbow Warriors will re-set and try to spread it out again.

The new OC is open-minded. Wide open. He promises excitement and points.

Play-calling is important, but people forget decisions are made by players based on defensive alignments, at the line and even in the middle of plays; Bailey will employ more sight-adjusted routes (and what else would you expect from a guy who went to Portland State, home of Mouse Davis, June Jones and the run-and-shoot?).

“It’s more about personnel than it is schemes. The guys still have to make plays, execute,” Bailey said.

Still, he represents hope for the Warriors’ beleaguered fan base. Its hard core was represented by around 100 who attended the Downtown Athletic Club’s meeting Monday. Athletic director David Matlin spoke, too.

Matlin’s duty on this day was fairly light; the heaviest lifting for him was of a $30,000 check resulting from the grassroots efforts of the We Get ‘Em campaign. In the context of UH’s deficit it’s not huge — but it does help, and proves there are still fans out there who care.

In order to wake up the rest, UH is going to have to do something right out of the gate, in the season opener against Colorado. Hawaii — picked to finish near the bottom of the Mountain West by media covering the league — will be an underdog against the Buffs.

If the Warriors don’t win much early on due to a killer early schedule, they must at least be exciting. Bailey turned around a moribund offense at Idaho State in just one season; maybe he can do it here.

At any rate, the Warriors should be better off at offensive coordinator than they have been in some time. Jordan Wynn (2014) was raw, Aaron Price (2013) never even made it to fall camp and Tommy Lee (2012) had come out of retirement.

Now that Chow appears to have the right man for the job, let’s see if he lets him do it. In his prime, Chow was considered the best OC in the country. Can he let go or at least hold on loosely? How long will he let Bailey call ALL of the offensive plays?

Yes, the guy at the bar asked a great question.

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