Patterson Meets With The Media

FORT WORTH, Texas -- As part of Sunday's Reporting Day for the TCU football program, Horned Frog head coach Gary Patterson met with the media.Included below are excerpts from his news conference.

Opening Statement "Everybody is in camp, and the kids and coaches are excited about it. On the first day, we start with meetings to make sure everyone knows what we are doing, how to do it and that everything has been cleared with the NCAA. It's a little different than it used to be. In the old days, we would be busy doing physicals, fitting everyone for equipment and orientating the freshmen with the older guys and the program. The first week of teaching always stays the same. After that first Sunday off, we then start to change the practice schedule around to make it effective and get this group where we need to be.

"To close out the 2007 season, we were disappointed with the overall record of 8-5. We were very happy with the way we started to mature in the second half of the season, picking up our third-straight bowl win and playing in our ninth bowl game in 10 years.

"Things are exciting around here with the new building (the Dutch Meyer Athletic Complex and Abe Martin Academic Enhancement Center). I was told that if we play in another bowl game, in what would be our 13th game this year, it will be my 100th game at TCU. As a head coach, I would usually be more concerned with what the overall record has been, but I am still proud of that milestone."

On the incoming recruiting class ... "We have had a couple of additions who will be part of this year's class. Former Texas signee Antoine Hicks will be in camp with us as a wide receiver. He has been cleared to play this season. Cornerback Jason Teague from Tyler Junior College was an LSU signee out of high school, went to Tyler Junior College and will come in as a sophomore. Alonzo Adams, a wide receiver from Tyler JC, will also be a sophomore."

On preseason position concerns ... "The kicking game will be our first concern. All of our kickers and punters will be new to the program. We haven't been able to work with them this summer, but they have been working with the snappers and holders on their own. The older kids have said they are doing well and we are real excited to start working with them, because they will be a big part of our success this season.

"Anytime you don't have to start with a redshirt freshman at quarterback will make us better. We will need to stay healthy at running back with Joseph Turner, Aaron Brown and Chris Smith. We won a bowl game last year with Justin Watts getting the bulk of the carries. We will be by committee again this season, depending on our health.

"We have a lot more options at the wide receiver position than we did a year ago, and we are excited about that. We have guys who can go up and catch the ball. Anytime that you have a good season, you usually have a couple of guys who step up and have good years when you weren't expecting it. We will need that this season.

"We have to grow up in a couple of safety positions. They are very key in our defense. We need to find our third and fourth defensive ends. Everywhere else, we feel very positive about the guys we have coming back because they have played in a lot of games. We need to stay healthy on the offensive line."

On the difference in quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Marcus Jackson from last year ... "There's already a big difference. Not only mentally, but both are stronger, faster and have a better control of the offense. Look at the end of the year. We weren't throwing the ball to the other team as much. That's a good thing. You can't turn the ball over three or four times a game and expect to beat people."

On starting the season with a Mountain West Conference opponent (New Mexico, Aug. 30) on the road ... "The intensity factor shouldn't be any different. We have usually started the season with high emotion games against teams like Oklahoma and Baylor and have also had Texas Tech early in the season. Those have been some of the best practice weeks that we have had getting ready for a game."

On the weather during preseason camp ... "Everyone is going to lose their legs. This is Texas, and it's going to be hot. It's been hot ever since I've been here. We have moved some big air conditioning units into the indoor facility, but we also don't want to lose our edge of being able to play in the heat. Every year, we have to build up to game shape and get our legs under us. After we get our legs strong, we will be able to push harder in the final two weeks before we kick off the season.

"We will go indoors in the morning because it saves the players from slipping in the dewy, wet grass. We will then be outside every afternoon at 4 p.m."

On the Mountain West Conference this season ... "Every year, it's the team that is the most physical and stays the healthiest that has the best chance to win. We just have to grow up as a team. We will need to be able to go on the road and take some ball games. We also have to play with emotion. Those are the things you have to do to be successful.

"When you look at the teams that we have had that won, they knew how to go in there and get what they wanted."


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