Coach's Perspective: Hercules Satele

The Cardinals O-line is one of the touchiest areas of the lineup. Last season, the unit made huge strides, including a couple top-10 accolades. Problem is, there is little depth and any injuries could shake up Arizona's promising season. Hercules Satele is one of the rookies looking to provide the needed depth. Dusty Wittig catches up with Satele's former offensive line coach at Hawaii.

Dusty Wittig: In your own words, what kind of player is Hercules Satele?

Dennis McKnight: Hercules is a really good pass blocker who started in our system for two years. We threw a lot at Hawaii and in a league where they pay you to pass block, I hope that he can show the Cardinals that he knows what he is doing.

DW: What is the strongest part of Satele's game?

DM: I would say the strongest part of his game is his athleticism. He also is a very smart kid who has good recoverability. He is a tenacious player and stays after it.

DW: What are some things that he needs to improve?

DM: We didn't run the ball a lot, it's not that I don't think he can do it (run block), it's just that we didn't do it. He would have to work on his techniques ands stuff like that, he already plays with good leverage, but if he had to work on something it would be run blocking because we didn't do much of it. With him being able to play guard and center, I think he is versatile enough to get it done.

DW: What kind of guy is Hercules off of the field?

DM: He is pretty quiet and private. He isn't one of those guys that goes out and runs around in the street. Hercules is very family oriented and likes to spend time with his friends. But overall he is a very quiet and reserved young man.

DW: How do you think that your staff's pass first offense has prepared Hercules to block in the NFL?

DM: I think at that level, they look for good pass blockers and protectors. The fact that he played in a pass oriented offense, and that he knows how to read pass coverage makes him that much smarter and more experienced than other players. He also has been around a winning program and is used to winning. Those two facts along will help him make it.

DW: How do you think that Hercules will adjust to the NFL caliber talent he will be facing?

DM: We have played a lot of good teams over the past two years, teams like Purdue, Arizona State, Washington and Georgia last year in the Sugar Bowl. So Hercules has played against a lot of good players, and has seen a lot of different styles. He can handle speed guys and bull rush type guys. I think that at that level, speed is such a big difference compared to the college game but Hercules will be able to adjust.

DW: How would you describe his leadership skills?

DM: He is a very quiet leader. He never has been one of those raw-raw type of guys who are always out there yelling and screaming. He likes to lead by example by working hard and being dedicated to the team. I don't think he has ever missed a practice in the last two years and he has always been a great guy in the huddle. We were down early a couple times this last year and Hercules never panicked, just remained steady and took care of business.

DW: What is your favorite memory of Satele?

DM: I would just say that for me he was just a great heady player and you never had to worry about him. He could always adapt and was an easy guy to coach. Other guys might do something wrong, but Herc would always come out of it like it was natural and easy.

DW: Is there anything else that you would like to say about Satele?

DM: I just think that he is another one of the long line of players to come out of Hawaii. He will be another great Polynesian offensive lineman. These days there are more and more Polynesian players coming into the league and Hercules is going to be the next one.

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