Search This Blog

Saturday, October 20, 2007

West Hawaii Today: Jesse Mahelona Article

Mahelona relieved about landing job
Kealakehe grad joins hawaii alums at Miami
by Joe Ferraro
West Hawaii Today
Friday, October 19, 2007 9:17 AM HST
Miami's 0-6 record didn't dissuade him. All Jesse Mahelona wanted was a job, and the Dolphins gave him just that.

Mahelona's father, Steven Mahelona, said Thursday his son was more relieved than excited Wednesday, when Miami signed the 6-foot, 311-pound defensive tackle to a two-year contract.

"A lot of relief,'' Steven Mahelona said. "He's just so happy he's somewhere. He's grateful, glad and appreciative. The opportunity presented itself, and he was ready."

Chad Speck, Jesse Mahelona's agent, did not disclose terms of the deal. The younger Mahelona could not be reached for comment.

The Tennessee Titans, who made the 24-year-old Mahelona a fifth-round draft pick in 2006, released the 2001 Kealakehe graduate on Sept. 11. The Titans traded a draft pick to Seattle for defensive end Bryce Fisher, and Tennessee made room for him on the roster by cutting Mahelona.

Speck said a handful of teams, including Miami, put Mahelona on a "short list of guys to keep an eye on.'' Tampa Bay invited the Kailua-Kona native and "a handful of other defensive tackles" to a workout on Oct. 9. However, Speck said the Buccaneers did not sign Mahelona, instead opting to shore up a depleted running back corps.

Mahelona, who recorded 11 total tackles and one sack with Tennessee last season, then attended a Dolphins workout a week later. Miami, which previously expressed interest in Mahelona in the 2006 draft, signed him the next day. With several injuries at defensive tackle, the Dolphins needed help at the position, according to Speck. The Dolphins' Vonnie Holliday has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.

"They've struggled a little bit against the run, and they wanted to bring in somebody in like Jesse, and his strength is (being) a run-stopper,'' Speck said.

Speck said Miami's warm weather and players who had ties to Hawaii -- center Samson Satele and fullback Regan Mauia both played for the University of Hawaii -- made signing with the Dolphins appealing.

Speck said he'd be surprised if Mahelona played Sunday, when the Dolphins host 6-0 New England. After that, Miami will next play the N.Y. Giants on Oct. 28 in London.

No comments: