So far through five days it's been either good or bad each day of practice. On Friday, it was a mixture of both as the coach said his team started off well but failed to finish strong as practice progressed. That included players and coaches, who Patterson said needed to do the running instead of the players who ran gassers after practice.
"The first 12 (sessions) were good, we had a breeze, it was only 101and 29-percent humidity, we should've had a great one but we didn't finish," Patterson said. "I told them if we keep getting like this with great practice, bad practice, fair practice, you're 6-6. Win one, lose one, win one, and lose one you're 6-6; that's what I told them today.
"We did good for the first half, we did not do good with the way we finished today. I didn't like it today; not only just my players, my coaches. Coaches and players did a poor job today of getting us through the last half of practice. Poor. I blame my coaches more. I think my coaches should've been the guys to run today."
Typically when the pads are on for the first time, there is plenty of hard hitting and tempers sometimes flair. However, Patterson remarked that the practice lacked the physical aspect you would typically see the first day in full pads.
"Really to be honest it wasn't as physical," he said of his team's first day in pads. "I gave them a chance to do three plays in middle drills and one had to do five and one had to do six. It wasn't where I liked for it to been. We've got a chance, but we got to keep getting better. We've got to keep practicing every day."
Patterson did see some bright spots from the practice, one being the continued emergence of Paul Dawson at linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound sophomore worked with the first-team defense for the second consecutive day alongside senior Kenny Cain. Patterson says he has the athleticism and mentality needed at linebacker, which is something the coach definitely likes. He hasn't been surprised by his progress.
"Dawson has been working with the one's the last day and a half, in fact he's done an awesome job," the coach said of his sophomore linebacker. "I've watched on film and I think he's what I thought he was. When he gets on the field he has a real presence about him."
Another positive which should be music to Frog fan's ears is the improvement at cornerback. Jason Verrett had a strong spring and has carried that over early into fall camp. Patterson says at this stage his corners are playing the best they have in two years.
"He's played really well," Patterson said of Verrett. "I think Kevin White is better and right now on a day to day basis what we play at the corner position we're playing better than we have for two years; since the Rose Bowl year."
Patterson gave high praise to true freshman defensive tackle Terrell Lathan on Thursday and said that he continued to alternate with the two's on Friday. That's a good thing for the Frogs defensive line mainly because when they have the depth, they like to have a rotation of ten to eleven players to keep pace with high powered offenses. With the move to the Big 12, that's exactly what Patterson is hoping to accomplish in 2012.
"With all the fast huddles we'll be doing it this year too," he said of a 11-man rotation.
TRANSFERS MAKING A SPLASH
Although they have to sit the 2012 season, Patterson had high praise for his transfer players on Friday afternoon. David Jenkins, a transfer from LSU, has excelled at cornerback according to Patterson while Aaron Green, a runningback transfer from Nebraska has also given the defense strong looks. While they have to sit this season out, Patterson knows the future is bright and already sees the impact not only those two, but others are making, to improve his team.
"Awesome, they come from programs where both teams have won a lot of ball games and they know how to practice," Patterson said of Green and Jenkins. "Both guys have been awesome. In fact, David has done a great job of learning the defense. They're taking reps of guys that our #1's can't and they're giving us great competition. When you get a guy that transfers from Nebraska and LSU and comes in here and can compete against anyone you've got, that's the future. You've got Josh Doctson and about five guys that can't play this year that transferred in. I wish I could play with my practice team because we'd be a better football team right now."
NO LEADER AT BACKUP QB
There continues to be a battle at the number two spot at quarterback between last year's backup Matt Brown and redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin. Patterson doesn't have an answer on who leads the race but knows one of them needs to step up before too long.
"I don't know when we'll find out but pretty soon we're going to have to lock in to one guy," he said. "If we don't, the guy is not going to get enough reps so he can go."
HUNT MOVE NOT JUST FOR DEPTH
True freshman Joey Hunt spent his second day of camp on the offensive line after moving from defense on Thursday. Patterson said it was a move to add depth since junior Eric Tausch is being relied on at a number of different positions along the line. However, the coach also was quick to point out the fact that Hunt and another true freshman have a chance to make an early impact on the line.
"He's also very talented and we get Chad Childs back going and it gives us more depth and we're going to need it," Patterson said of why Hunt was moved to offense.
FIELDS SECURING A BACKUP ROLE
When he signed with TCU earlier this year, everyone knew that Devonte Fields would have a chance to make an early impact at TCU. Well, through five days of practice he's already worked his way up to #2 on the depth chart at right end behind senior Ross Forrest. That leads the question on who he passed up and the answer is Matt Anderson, who is coming off an injury that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season.
"As far as I'm concerned Devonte Fields is my #2 at right end," he said.
TCU will hold two practices on Saturday including a scrimmage. They will not practice on Sunday and return to the practice fields on Monday afternoon.