"Les Miles and I are good friends, yeah, and it's no big deal guys."
Coach Patterson was in good spirits after a solid practice and he was ready to talk about his team as well as the media storm surrounding the August 31st game.
Question: How did the team look in the scrimmage?
Patterson: "We were a little bit tired but we had a lot more energy today. I thought it was a give and take but we've got a ways to go. The younger guys fumbled three times, the older guys didn't."
"The number one offense kind of got the best of the number one defense a couple of times in the red-zone and I'm excited, that was great competition."
Question: Did any of the young receivers do anything good?
Patterson: "Yeah, again, Ty Slanina. Cam Luper is starting to show some flashes but yes."
Question: How's the offensive line coming together?
Patterson: "We moved Dunbar a little bit to guard along with tackle and he's helped us but they've played better but today was great competition. This was the best practice we've had on both sides of the ball in a long time."
Question: Who ran most of the plays with the ones yesterday at QB (scrimmage)?
Patterson: "They both rotate. One goes with the ones, one goes with the twos then they flip flop. Actually, Trevone was the one that threw the two touchdown passes yesterday."
Question: Did you have Mallett and Jonathan Anderson as your two guys at LB? (scrimmage)
Patterson: "Well no, Paul Dawson and both of the two younger guys (Whitmill and Douglas) are making a push."
Question: So Paul Dawson is coming along from last year?
Patterson: "Yeah, he tweaked his ankle today and that's when Jonathan Anderson jumped in but yeah, like I said after practice 5, everything becomes repetitious."
"But overall, everyday, both sides of the ball and the kicking game have gotten better, which is what you want to see. A lot more than we saw a year ago at this time and you know, we have a lot of guys coming back but I don't know what that means yet."
Question: How has John Koontz looked?
Patterson: "He's the guy holding it down but the guy that we moved over there, that had a good spring and that's passed Carraway is McFarland. And Matt Anderson has been a welcomed surprise."
"One of the things we're having trouble with, we've had a stomach flu deal and both Chucky Hunter and Devonte Fields both had to leave. And we had a couple of guys this morning so it's going through the team a little bit and we're just trying to get a handle on it, it's hard to deal with it in the heat."
Question: Do you feel like Jonathan Anderson is getting the grasp of the LB position?
Patterson: "I don't know, you know we've got three more scrimmages so we'll see but he's a lot better than he was in the spring."
Question: Were you happy with the physicality?
Patterson: "Yeah, up to some point. For whatever reason, we were really tired and it was really hot yesterday. It was the first time we went in to the stadium and we really didn't have a lot of energy. But today, a lot of energy and it really helped coming in (AC indoor) and we'll probably go one more tomorrow but we'll go in the heat again. You can already tell the air conditioning is helping us."
"We're getting enough heat but it's really helping us when we come inside and do some of our team stuff. I think it's helped the younger players learn whereas maybe they were hot, overworked(and they maybe didn't learn as well). You still have to have that stress level to be able to play 4 quarters so that's something I worry about a little bit but we're still probably getting more heat than a lot of people do."
Question: How has Travoskey Garrett looked this year?
Patterson: "You know right now, Travoskey's in a big battle with Cydney Calvin. I mean I would say that maybe Cydney's even a little bit edging him but every day's been different but that's great. We need a big corner in the boundary and for our future both of those guys (are needed).
"It's the first time that Travoskey's stayed healthy in the two years he's been here. He's still getting used to the knee and getting it back where he's got some flexibility but every day those guys have gotten better, which is a positive for us."
Question: Is Kevin White still playing well?
Patterson: "No, he was the one that gave up the two touchdowns. He's got to compete but I still think he's a better player than he was a year ago, but he's got to compete."
Question: How is Tunstill looking at the guard position?
Patterson: "You know really, I couldn't tell you guard wise. Really all those guys are in the mix."
Question: Is Kyle Hicks running the ball right now?
Patterson: "You know, a little bit. Probably TJ (Trevorris Johnson) has gotten more but outside of that, we're using all 5 or 6 backs right now just to keep people healthy. I don't think it's any doubt the top three are Aaron Green, with BJ and Waymon but #6's (Jordan Moore) knee is a little sore."
Question: With Dunbar seeing time at guard, is someone stepping up at tackle?
Patterson: "Oh yeah, that's why we can move him. Big V is having his best camp since he's been here and then also Aviante Collins is not a freshman any more. We've got a lot of work to do to get where we need to get to."
"It was the first time in Mayday in 2 years that the offense scored on us. Which is a good thing and a bad thing (smiling).
Who caught the 2 touchdowns in the scrimmage?
Patterson: "It was Brandon Carter on a scramble, there wasn't anybody open. The other one was on a post to Listenbee."
Question: Do you let the stuff people say on twitter bother you?
Patterson: "No, here's the thing, I know what I said, I saw the transcript. I didn't mention Jeremy Hill, I didn't mention Les Miles. It was more about Devonte Fields so if they want to make something up so they can get fired up, I mean, I get the same thing when I go home."
"Everybody can stand in line, Les Miles and I are good friends."
"At least everyone knows where Fort Worth and TCU is now, in Louisiana. Then Baylor, Tech and Texas people have all chimed in because why not, but it hasn't bothered us or me that much. To be honest with you, I take it as a compliment."
He wanted to clarify the context of his quotes to set the record straight.
"The biggest thing is there was no intention with the way it all went down. I was just about my guys, period. So if they want to make it all about that, they can go ahead and do that but there was no intention at all of spiting anybody or making somebody look bad. And you guys know, I'm not Babe Ruth, I don't point at fences, most of the time I play below the water. Anybody that knows me knows that's way outside of character so why would I do it now? I mean why would I call out the Tiger? They don't need anymore help."
"They've got three deep at linebacker that can play in the NFL and I'm trying to find one."
There it is guys. Kind of long and not a ton of info coming out about the position battles but it will get more clear in about a week or two. I wish we could watch these practices because it sounds like they've been really good.