Frogs Make It Through "Loud" Practice

Frogs finish Thursday's practice on a good note according to head coach Gary Patterson.

The music was loud out at the Morris practice fields Thursday afternoon. Its normal for those who see practice to hear music from time to time and while it's not a list of the greatest hits, it does prepare the Frogs for situations they're likely to see this fall; noisy stadiums. It's a practice the team has used for several years under Gary Patterson to simulate crowd noise.

Patterson said his team responded well today on both sides of the ball and finished with a good practice.

"Good practice," he said. "Today we used crowd noise, we were blaring the speakers, we had to use hand signals and they had to go with the silent count," he said. "Both sides of the ball did real well with it for the whole practice. We did a good job."


Shannon has brought a wealth of experience to TCU
It's been well documented that the Frogs are young; very young. In fact, Patterson notes that 85% of his teams consist of freshmen and sophomores. With such youth, it's tough to determine which unit is the best on his roster at the moment.

"We start sixteen sophomores and freshmen so I don't know that either," he said. "Obviously the quarterback position, we've been banged up a little at wide receiver, tailback with Matthew Tucker. On defense I'd say the defensive line."

For Patterson, coaching youth is a little easier when you have a veteran coaching staff. Among the veterans is Randy Shannon, who Patterson has spoken highly of throughout fall camp, mentioning how much he's helped the younger linebackers; which is a big plus.

"We only judge how well they play and we've had a lot of young guys that got to grow up but have come a long way," he said. "They key is how we get them to play on Saturday. We're excited about him. His wealth of knowledge and his patience, people say all the time if I ever went back to an assistant coach after being a head coach, I'd be a lot better assistant coach. He understands, he's like Eddie Williamson, he understands what I do. That's invaluable to have a guy that looks at things like that.

"Coach Bumpas is like that too with his wealth of information; it's really good to have to have those kinds of people doing those kinds of things, it's something for me to bounce off. You've got a guy that has coaches at the pro level, won a couple of national championships; all of those things help me."

Patterson said on Thursday that despite the youth of his team, when comparing this team to his team from a year ago, he already sees more maturity.

However, the big question is whether they can keep it up for the weekly grind during the season.

"The one thing I'll tell you is I really love the chemistry and the character of this team compared to a year ago," Patterson said. "The thing you can't answer is how this group of freshmen handles the grind when you get to game five, six and seven. By game six or seven you don't ever get over being sore; older guys know how to handle it, younger guys don't know how to handle it. That's the unknowns as a head coach with this football team that I don't know."

The Frogs will begin their mock game weekend on Friday which includes everything from a normal game week with the exception of staying in a hotel per NCAA rules. Patterson says the mock walk through is a big test, especially for freshmen who don't quite know the intricacies of game day.

"It's big because you're preparing for everything," he said. "In fact, I'll watch from a distance really close to see those who think it's just a joke off session or is it something that really makes a difference. It's a big deal. Come Friday there will be a guy walking around not knowing where he's supposed to be and not be in the right meeting."

Players aren't the only ones that need to be ready on game day. Every Thursday Patterson lets his GA's script plays and on more than one occasion he admits to "have given up the big play". It reminds Patterson and his coaches that once they feel like they don't have to prepare, they're in trouble.

"Coaches got to get prepared like players do, you've got to get prepared to make a call and do it quickly and communicate," Patterson said. "I've been doing this for thirty years, Eddie Williamson has been doing it for 43; but every year is a new one. When you decide, hey I've been doing this a while and I don't really need to go back out. Uh-uh, you get in a lot of trouble. You better go in the beginning and take care of your business."


A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT

Patterson said he's not worried about the crowd for home games but for away games he's already getting prepared for what his team will face on the road this year. One game is at Morgantown, West Virginia, one of the most hostile fan bases in college football. He's already had various people tell him what he needs to prepare for.

"We've never been to most of these places on the road; we've never been to West Virginia. I need to know everything my kids are going to hear. All the names they're going to be called. Randy Shannon got hit with a trash can when he was at Miami (at West Virginia). I need to know what's going to happen and what the fans are going to say. I need to prepare my kids for what's going to happen. We've had people that have played at West Virginia, from equipment managers to coaches."


NOTABLE

Linebacker Danny Heiss did not practice Thursday. "I think we're getting closer."

Tackle Michael Thompson continued to practice

ADDITIONAL PATTERSON QUOTES

On playing tough non-conference games…
"To find out about your program you have to play a stretch game, you don't have to do that every year," he said. "I believe playing an Oregon State the first game of the season prepared us for the rest of the year. Now, if I had an all freshmen group and we got beat by forty points that game I might've ruined my whole season. It depends on the year and depends on the team. I think all of those equations go in for how you do things.

LSU hidden message?
"The way we've always done it here is we always talked about the schedule; why would we do it, who we got coming up, what we're going into to," he said. "When we scheduled the LSU game for instance, that game was because we were in the Mountain West. We needed a game like that to find out where we were as a program. I don't need to find that out now."


---------------------


Horned Frog Insider Top Stories

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\r\n \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"The music was loud out at the Morris practice fields Thursday afternoon. Its normal for those who see practice to hear music from time to time and while it's not a list of the greatest hits, it does prepare the Frogs for situations they're likely to see this fall; noisy stadiums. It's a practice the team has used for several years under Gary Patterson to simulate crowd noise.

Patterson said his team responded well today on both sides of the ball and finished with a good practice.

\"Good practice,\" he said. \"Today we used crowd noise, we were blaring the speakers, we had to use hand signals and they had to go with the silent count,\" he said. \"Both sides of the ball did real well with it for the whole practice. We did a good job.\"

It's been well documented that the Frogs are young; very young. In fact, Patterson notes that 85% of his teams consist of freshmen and sophomores. With such youth, it's tough to determine which unit is the best on his roster at the moment.

\"We start sixteen sophomores and freshmen so I don't know that either,\" he said. \"Obviously the quarterback position, we've been banged up a little at wide receiver, tailback with Matthew Tucker. On defense I'd say the defensive line.\"

For Patterson, coaching youth is a little easier when you have a veteran coaching staff. Among the veterans is Randy Shannon, who Patterson has spoken highly of throughout fall camp, mentioning how much he's helped the younger linebackers; which is a big plus.

\"We only judge how well they play and we've had a lot of young guys that got to grow up but have come a long way,\" he said. \"They key is how we get them to play on Saturday. We're excited about him. His wealth of knowledge and his patience, people say all the time if I ever went back to an assistant coach after being a head coach, I'd be a lot better assistant coach. He understands, he's like Eddie Williamson, he understands what I do. That's invaluable to have a guy that looks at things like that.

\"Coach Bumpas is like that too with his wealth of information; it's really good to have to have those kinds of people doing those kinds of things, it's something for me to bounce off. You've got a guy that has coaches at the pro level, won a couple of national championships; all of those things help me.\"

Patterson said on Thursday that despite the youth of his team, when comparing this team to his team from a year ago, he already sees more maturity.

However, the big question is whether they can keep it up for the weekly grind during the season.

\"The one thing I'll tell you is I really love the chemistry and the character of this team compared to a year ago,\" Patterson said. \"The thing you can't answer is how this group of freshmen handles the grind when you get to game five, six and seven. By game six or seven you don't ever get over being sore; older guys know how to handle it, younger guys don't know how to handle it. That's the unknowns as a head coach with this football team that I don't know.\"

The Frogs will begin their mock game weekend on Friday which includes everything from a normal game week with the exception of staying in a hotel per NCAA rules. Patterson says the mock walk through is a big test, especially for freshmen who don't quite know the intricacies of game day.

\"It's big because you're preparing for everything,\" he said. \"In fact, I'll watch from a distance really close to see those who think it's just a joke off session or is it something that really makes a difference. It's a big deal. Come Friday there will be a guy walking around not knowing where he's supposed to be and not be in the right meeting.\"

Players aren't the only ones that need to be ready on game day. Every Thursday Patterson lets his GA's script plays and on more than one occasion he admits to \"have given up the big play\". It reminds Patterson and his coaches that once they feel like they don't have to prepare, they're in trouble.

\"Coaches got to get prepared like players do, you've got to get prepared to make a call and do it quickly and communicate,\" Patterson said. \"I've been doing this for thirty years, Eddie Williamson has been doing it for 43; but every year is a new one. When you decide, hey I've been doing this a while and I don't really need to go back out. Uh-uh, you get in a lot of trouble. You better go in the beginning and take care of your business.\"

Patterson said he's not worried about the crowd for home games but for away games he's already getting prepared for what his team will face on the road this year. One game is at Morgantown, West Virginia, one of the most hostile fan bases in college football. He's already had various people tell him what he needs to prepare for.

\"We've never been to most of these places on the road; we've never been to West Virginia. I need to know everything my kids are going to hear. All the names they're going to be called. Randy Shannon got hit with a trash can when he was at Miami (at West Virginia). I need to know what's going to happen and what the fans are going to say. I need to prepare my kids for what's going to happen. We've had people that have played at West Virginia, from equipment managers to coaches.\"

Linebacker Danny Heiss did not practice Thursday. \"I think we're getting closer.\"

Tackle Michael Thompson continued to practice

\"To find out about your program you have to play a stretch game, you don't have to do that every year,\" he said. \"I believe playing an Oregon State the first game of the season prepared us for the rest of the year. Now, if I had an all freshmen group and we got beat by forty points that game I might've ruined my whole season. It depends on the year and depends on the team. I think all of those equations go in for how you do things.

\"The way we've always done it here is we always talked about the schedule; why would we do it, who we got coming up, what we're going into to,\" he said. \"When we scheduled the LSU game for instance, that game was because we were in the Mountain West. We needed a game like that to find out where we were as a program. I don't need to find that out now.\"

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