Patterson Meets the Media 8/22

Gary Patterson met with the media for nearly 15 minutes Thursday and from the sound of it, he likes the way his team is coming together.

TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson has never been one to mince words. He says what he means and he means what he says. With a young team in 2012, Patterson knew he had a tough test ahead of him. He still has a young team heading into the 2013 season, but they've gained invaluable experience on the field after am eventful first season in the Big 12. With LSU just 8 days away, you can tell that TCU's all-time winningest coach feels pretty good about his group.

Here's a few of the questions Coach Patterson answered this afternoon.

Question: How was today's practice?

"Good, after Wednesday we start cutting back. Today was 19 periods, a little bit of good on good but obviously the full attention is on LSU."

Question: What are your thoughts on the Big 12 vs. SEC discussion by other coaches and those in the media?

"The only people I have control over is TCU. We're a young football team, we're not going to play with an All-American, so the key is, it's our job to try to find a way to win by one point. They're a very good football program but the biggest thing is that can't be your leading factor. For us, it's about playing well, it's about staying healthy, it's about getting ourselves in a position where we can play well in the league. My thing is, the only way that you're ever going to be able to prove you can is we've just got to keep playing them when we get a chance. Obviously you can't have what it looked like it did in the Cotton Bowl but if you look at Ole Miss, Texas, you look at Oklahoma State and Mississippi State this year, it doesn't have anything to do with talk, it has to do with actions on the field."

Question: How have the special teams looked?

"It's nice because last year was all freshmen, now we have an older deep snapper, an older kicker and an older punter. Nothing worse in life than to have a freshman kicker and a freshman punter. The other thing that I think we're a lot better at, and more than just one person, is we're a lot deeper at our returners. Brandon Carter is probably our starter (Punt return) but you also have Ranthony Texada who had two big returns in our kicking scrimmage and then also Cam Luper. And then kick off return, you add that to Waymon James, B.J. Catalon, all guys that can get back there and go, and we feel better about that."

Question: You mentioned that some of the younger players had hit a wall, have they been able to get their legs back yet?

"It's been more mental than it's been physical. They'll only play themselves into that. You had two a days and now what you have is the school grind. The fortunate thing about the first ballgame is, we basically have two weeks to get ready for it. The fortunate thing for our offense is they won't see any more coming at them than what they see from our defense and vice-versa. Guys like Ty Slanina hit a wall but he's starting to move forward, Cam Luper, moving forward and I think it's one of the reasons our offensive tackles have done a good job blocking us this fall camp compared to what they blocked us a year ago."

Question: Have you seen the LB's start to emerge?

"Well, you know there's three. You have Marcus Mallett, you have Jonathan Anderson and you have Paul Dawson, and to be honest with you, we're more athletic than we were a year ago. We moved Jonathan Anderson, that's 6'3" 227 pounds and runs a 4.48 but he didn't know how to play LB a year ago, now every scrimmage, he's gotten better. In every one (scrimmage)of them, those guys got better. Sammy Douglas has to keep coming on but really, athletically, Paul and Jonathan are as athletic guys as we've had but it's just attention to detail."

Question: How is Jamelle Naff looking?

"You know, the guard position just needs to keep coming. Tackles, we're happier about. We'll probably move one of the three tackles in to one of the starting guards for the gameday. Right now we've got to keep growing guys up but for the first time in a few years, we're finally going to get an off-week somewhere in between. The last few years, it's either been the first week off or the last week off so now having that third week off will really help us with our young guys.

Question: As the LSU game gets closer, do you feel like your team is honing in on their opponent?

"Oh yeah, well more important, we're honing in(coaches). More attention to detail. We've really been working on TCU through camp, Texas Tech and LSU. Because LSU and Texas Tech are so different. Then we also had to focus in on Southeast Louisiana which has 18-19 starters back and they do all kinds of things on offense. Now to know we're just focusing on one out of three is a whole lot better than trying to get ready for an offense that's motioning everywhere to LSU playing two backs and trying to run it down your throat, then throwing it over your head on play action. It's a lot of work.

Question: Oklahoma just named a RS Freshman as their starting QB, Tech is going to have a true freshman starting. Is having two guys that have started a luxury?

"Let me say this to it. I didn't get any phone calls when I moved a running back to quarterback on a Thursday from anybody. So if they're looking for any sympathy, I'm the wrong person to come talk to(laughing), let me tell you that right now."

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