Practice Notebook: 4/3

The Horned Frogs held their last scrimmage of the spring inside the friendly shelter of the Sam Baugh Indoor Facility Tuesday afternoon thanks to inclement weather.

Head Coach Gary Patterson said both his offense and defense did good but the Frog offense struggled yet again with penalties in the same fashion they did on Saturday. Tuesday's scrimmage gave the two's and three's most of the reps and aside from a few mistakes Patterson liked what he saw. Especially from a non-injury perspective.

"We went about eighty plays, ones, twos and threes. The two's got thirty, ones got nineteen and threes got the rest. We put the defense mostly in the redzone like we did the other day at the scrimmage at the end. Offense didn't do too good a job coming out, still too many penalties; we hurt ourselves," Patterson said. "But really it was pretty good, I judge this one by everyone walked off the field."

One major concern Patterson expressed after Saturday's scrimmage was the backup quarterback, or lack thereof. Matt Brown and Trevone Boykin continue to battle for the #2 spot behind Casey Pachall and on Tuesday neither set themselves apart. It's a race Patterson says will likely go deep into the fall.

"They did (get most of the reps), all three of the four had a turnover so we'll still working on it," Patterson said. "We probably won't know until 10-11 practices through two-a-days. You get through the teaching stage and we'll have two big scrimmages and by that time we'll have to decide on one, we won't have any other choice."

Another area of concern from Patterson throughout spring ball has been the lack of a consistent rush from his defensive ends. The coach feels for his team to be successful, improvement is needed in a big way. Help is on the way with four defensive ends from the 2012 class, two of which Patterson says will compete for playing time.

"We got to keep getting better pass rush," Patterson said of his defensive ends. "We're hoping that the four young ones coming in and Matt Anderson coming back at right end will give us more depth and athletic ability. I think at least two of those four young ones will push the older guys for positions. Who they are I don't know."

For anyone that's attended a TCU practice, they know it is very high paced and intense. There's a reason for that as Patterson and his staff continue to teach and see how each player reacts to certain situations. Much of that is for the defense. In years past the focus has been to get his defense as acquainted with an opponent throughout the season. Air Force with their wishbone and pistol offense was a prime example.

Now, West Virginia with a variety of complicated formations is one of the team's primary team's they've been dealt the task to learn more about. Kansas State is another. Patterson prepares his team through a series of "rapid fire" drills and according to the coach, the communication is already a big improvement from what he saw last spring.

"Every day we do some kind of rapid fire. We got two huddles coming at one defense; can you get lined up and can you make a play," Patterson said. "As far as communication, we're so far ahead of what we were a year ago at this time this spring. You got to remember, most of our safeties that came in were all true freshmen.

"We're a lot older so there's more accountability on all levels right now comparably to what we were last fall. We lost five receivers so we brought in five; you lost four safeties so we brought in five. We lost a couple of corners and we were very thin at corner last year. I don't know what we would've done if Jason Verrett or Greg McCoy would've went down for a couple of games.

"Kevin White has come a long way now at corner. Travoskey Garrett and Keivon (Gamble) have got to keep coming, they're better now than they were at the start of the spring. We treated spring like two-a-days."

Patterson went on to mention that Verrett continues to have a strong spring.

"He struggled the last three or four games after Boise, maybe even a little at Boise because he hit the grind. He's fought forward from that now. I think he was a little bit down now you come back get in the weight room and get stronger and feel better about yourself," Patterson said. "He's played a lot better."

NOTABLE

- Patterson said Michael Thompson practiced some today

- A handful of 2013 prospects were in attendance; Patrick Morris (committed to TCU today), Robbie Rhodes and Wesley Harris.


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