Big 12 Media Days: Patterson

TCU head football coach Gary Patterson met with the media at the Big 12 Media Days.

What are the comparisons with Casey and Andy?

"I don't know if I'll ever coach a guy again like Andy as far as how a guy acts off the field. What Casey will have to realize is last year was last year, now he has to prove it all over again. Football wise, Andy was a guy that was very consistent that did all of the little things and was a student of the game, but had to learn to play in the big games. Casey, he's always loved playing in the big games. What I told him last year I didn't think we were as consistent as we needed to be. His whole thing is consistency. I think consistency has a lot to do with once you get into the season how do you handle yourself, it's going to sleep, "x" amount of hours watching film. You've got to prepare as much as a coach does to play that position. I didn't feel like the consistency of that position was as good as it was in the past. I thought in big ball games maybe it was a little higher than it was in the past. But, if your goal is to win the Big 12 conference what you have to do is play week after week; you can't play C and D games, you have to play A and B. That will be what we find out in year two of the Casey Pachall era."

Your defense is known to be pretty good, are you concerned at all that there may be a game or two in the Big 12 where a team may get the better of you, will that hurt their confidence?

"No, we went in the Mountain West and beat Utah 23-20 and beat BYU 51-50. If I would've kicked an onside kick and won 51-50 at Baylor last season what would've everyone said? The thing you've got to realize about our kids is they're 36-3, it's important that they've only had three loses. This is not going to be our first rodeo, it's not like we haven't played in big ball games before. In the last ten years I think we're 9-4 against the Big 12. That was all of those other teams, not the 2012 team. We have twelve seniors and eleven juniors, 85% of our team is going to be freshman, redshirt freshmen and sophomores. Our whole thing as it's always been is how we're going to build this football team the best we can be. If we can play the best we can all the wins and losses fall out on the table. If we want to have a chance to win the conference than we have to add depth. Last year was the most freshmen I ever had to play in a season, I played five true ones. There's ten in our freshman class athletically that can play this year on this team. That means we're very young if ten freshmen are playing."

From a recruiting perspective have you found that doors have opened more with the Big 12?

"Oh yeah, we've always recruited at a high level but sometimes we just couldn't get a kid to come over and look at our place. Now with the new facilities and being in the Big 12 I'd say 99% chance that those kids and parents come over and look at our place. We're trying to be different and we've proved we can be different."

Last year Chad Glasgow tried your defense at Texas Tech and it didn't work out that well in the Big 12, are you concerned about that?

"The question you should be asking is why it didn't out. Was it the scheme or because of new players or because he had four coaches that had never coached the scheme before when he got there. It's a lot of different things. Here he's not calling the defense, I am. There are some high powered offenses in this league so the first thing you better learn is how to kick field goals."

On that same note, did he bring back any valuable info?

"I haven't really asked about it. He made me move out of his rental house so I wasn't going to have a pregnant mom mad at me. I told him if I was going to move twice in the same year out of rental houses he better coach them well. We're real young there, I think one junior and everybody else is sophomore and freshmen at the safety position. There are some guys that have some talent; we came a long way in the spring. I thought we were a better football team at the end of fall in the bowl game then when we started at Baylor."

When you encounter fans alumni groups, do you sense a buzz over being in the Big 12?

"You've been watching it; I try to stay away from it. I told them everyone needs to calm down to be honest with you. One thing our group has to understand is that you have not arrived just because we got in the Big 12; you've got to win in the Big 12. Being in a conference doesn't make you who you are, just because you're in a conference doesn't make you a good football team. You make yourself a good football team. For us, our goal has to be – win. Whether it's this year or whenever it is, for us to get done what we need to get done you have to win consistently. Our fans need to understand that being in the Big 12 doesn't make you special, winning makes you special. That's what made us get back to this point."

What do you have to do defensively to be successful?

"I think one of the things that help us in defending the Big 12 is last year we had lost six wide receivers from the Rose Bowl team so most of our team even in practice were all freshman so they lost their legs halfway through two-a-days. This spring we covered them a lot better and we have some very good players at wideout. We have good players at runningback. You've got to be physical, last year of our four starting defensive tackles; three of them that rotated were freshmen. We're going to be stronger and be able to fight back. You've got to have a better pass rush and we'll getting Matt Anderson back to help Ross Forrest on one side then you have people like Devonte Fields and James McFarland that are freshmen coming in. Linebacker is a place that will be kind of by committee. I can tell you this much, I'm very fired up about the possibilities for the future in growing guys up. We were a better football team at the end of spring ball than when we played La. Tech in December. We lost Travoskey Garrett that was the big corner we needed this year so we're a little tight at corner."

The win in Oklahoma in 2005 turned some heads, where would you say your program was at that point and how much has it grown?

"I think it was a starting point that turned some heads but he had not learned about being a winning program because the next week we got beat. We came back and went 11-1 and played Iowa State in the Houston Bowl which was a very good football team. We kind of changed our philosophy on how we were going to look at things; we stopped comparing ourselves to universities like Texas and A&M. We started dwelling on our positives and one of them was our graduation, of the twelve seniors I think eight of them have their degrees. They have a 36-3 record and nearly all twelve have graduated."

How has social media played a role with your team and has it made your job anymore difficult?

"Well, not yet. I'll say this though, what you want to say about yourself is one thing. I go back to the family values, anything that gets said within the family is one thing, but nobody else talks about your family. I don't think that's a person's right because they don't know as coaches what we're trying to get accomplished. If somebody is out on Twitter saying things that hurt you from a personal standpoint or you're giving away information game plan wise, you're affecting people's lives and that's not appropriate. If you want to say what kind of shirt you have on or who you went out with last night if that's your business is. In this day and age you've got to let people express themselves. But when it comes to the team I don't think it's appropriate. We're trying to teach them something bigger than themselves, we're trying to teach ‘we' instead of ‘I'."

You said recruiting is a process, do you see you guys getting a guy like Devonte Fields five years ago?

"I don't think so. We have gotten some like a Jerry Hughes. Again, they're just paper tigers; hopefully Devonte can turn out as good as Jerry Hughes did. I'll be honest with you, I slowed down my recruiting, if you notice us up to about five or six weeks ago I only had four commitments. And that reason was I felt like in my freshman and sophomore classes too much of getting this early commit I wasn't asking the right questions. I want guys who want to come win championships and get a degree; not guys who just want to wear the uniform. I put another category in recruiting and that's the ‘care' factor where they come in and care more about winning and not how many balls they catch. We care about whether we win, then how many balls I catch. When we've had teams like that we've won a lot of football games. That's where I am with it. There's an old saying that's very true; it's not the ones that get away that get you beat, it's the ones you take that can't play. We've got to see how hard a kid works and how passionate he is about what he does. I think one of the things that have been a positive is we're getting more kids to come through the door and see what we have to offer and can see the graduation rates and all of the bowl rings our kids have and the amount of wins. We're just going to try to add on to that; we're only going to be as good as our last game and that's starting on September 8th when we play Grambling."

Are Big 12 defenses better than what people think?

"Yes, there's a lot more athletes then people give them credit for. Did Oklahoma State win their bowl game? That had to stop Stanford and played against a pretty good quarterback last time I looked. Look at all the teams and how they played in their bowl games, look how well Kansas State's defense played against Arkansas. How many points was Arkansas scoring in the SEC? There were scoring more points than 29 points a game. For people to say the Big 12 defenses aren't very good I think are misunderstood. The thing you've got to understand is that some point in time it can't be about stats; the only stat that counts is one more point. Some years you may have a defensive group that you can shut down whatever they have to offer. But not many of us get the opportunity to have those kinds of defenses."


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