The Frogs held their first two-a-day practices of fall camp on Monday with the afternoon practice held inside the humid confines of the Sam Baugh Indoor Facility thanks to lightning in the area. Aside from the normal cramping that usually comes with the first few days of practice, Patterson was pleased with his team's enthusiasm and performance.
However, in classic Patterson form, he was quick to tell the media in attendance that this phase of practice is just the teaching and there is still plenty of room to grow.
"It took us to the end of the year to do what we did today," Patterson said. "We're going to have to have depth and some guys got to play and we got to keep pushing people through, if a guy is tired the next guy has got to go in.
"Young guys, we really came along even from the morning practice to the evening practice; which is the first time we've done that on the first in two years. Our young guys are going to have to grow up to be the team we want to be."
With so many question marks surrounding the secondary, Patterson lauded the play of most of his defensive backs on Monday.
"There were a lot of good things, I liked Elisha (Olabode), he cramped up on us but he'll be fine. Hackett came in and did a well job. Probably of the older guys on defense I'd probably say Sam Carter, Verrett and Kevin White (played well). Keivon Gamble this afternoon had some good plays in the one-on-one."
With such a small amount of depth at corner, Patterson didn't rule out the possibility of moving Olabode over to corner for some reps. After all, the junior played corner as a true freshman for the Frogs. However, for now he's not going anywhere else besides safety.
"Right now we're going to try to make him our best free (safety)," he said. "I can hide a corner some, but I can't hide a safety."
Zach Jackson was one of the most talked about freshmen out of the impressive 2012 class with his work ethic over the summer. When asked how Jackson performed the first day, Patterson said his young safety showed improvement as the day went along.
"He was a lot better this afternoon, he communicated," Patterson said of the freshman safety.
SHANNON THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB
When TCU hired former Miami Hurricane head coach Randy Shannon a few weeks ago, they hired one of the best defensive gurus in the business. Patterson said his new coach didn't miss a beat on the first day of practice and admits that if there's anyone that can grow up a young group of inexperienced linebackers, Shannon is the man for the job.
"He did a good job, he knows a lot of football," Patterson said of Shannon. "If you're ever going to have a guy that was going to grow up a bunch of linebackers, he's the dude."
FIELDS AND MCFARLAND ON ALERT
Defensive end Matt Anderson sat out the entire 2011 season due to injury after seeing playing time in eight games as a true freshman in 2010. Although he's back practicing with the team, Patterson says Anderson still has to overcome the long layoff from football. With the uncertainty surrounding his return, that puts true freshmen Devonte Fields and James McFarland on high alert to play right away.
"He hasn't played in a year and a half so Devonte Fields and ( James) McFarland got to push to go be somebody," Patterson said of his freshmen defensive ends. "It's going to take all three."
Patterson said on Monday that projected starter at right tackle, James Dunbar, has yet to report to camp as they await to see if he will be academically eligible. In the meantime, junior Eric Tausch and sophomore Michael Thompson are competing for the starting right tackle position.
TUESDAY PRACTICE OPEN
The Frogs' practice on Tuesday will be open to the public and starts at 4 pm. No photos or videos are permitted at practice.