August 10, 2008

Frogs go through scrimmage

For those watching from the stands Saturday afternoon for the Frogs afternoon practice, you may have not noticed what Coach Patterson had; he has a tired football team. The team wrapped up the twelfth practice of the fall with a 2-hour practices culminating with a scrimmage with officials from the Mountain West Conference.

The Frogs will have the day off on Sunday, at least in pads, and an off day is coming at a good time after the players and coaches have pushed themselves to the limits all week. Coach Patterson said the lack of energy was reflected on the field Saturday.

"We're a tired football team," Patterson said. "It was quiet, no hits, it's not unusual. The one's on both sides played well as far as doing what they needed to do. The two defense has got a way to go, I think they're just tired. We were a tired football team tonight."

"As usual it's never as bad as you think it is and never as good. I just would've liked to see a little bit more physical but when you're tired you don't see much of that."

One of the primary focuses Coach Patterson and staff hope to build on is takeaways. Players such as Stephen Hodge(interception), Tejay Johnson(interception), and Jason Phillips(forced fumble on a sack)caused turnovers on the afternoon.

"Takeaways is a big thing to us," Patterson said. "We led the nation in 2005 and we won the conference. The last couple of years we've had a lot of sacks but we haven't had a lot of takeaways. This year we really need to get ourselves in that situation, we got the kind of talent to be able to do those kind of things. Everyday we always doing some to work on takeaways."

NEW FROG HIT AND MISS

True freshman kicker Ross Evans got his first taste of kicking inside Amon G. Carter on Saturday. He finished 1-of-2 on his attempts first missing wide right on a 47-yard attempt and then nailing a 42-yarder. Coach Patterson commented on his young kicker who is expected to be the opening day starter.

"I know he missed one and then made one," Patterson said. "It was his first day of pads, first day as a Frog kicking in front of people in the stands. I don't think he did too bad."

SIMPLY THE BEST

When looking at what the Frogs return this year at key positions, it doesn't take long for one to see the corp at linebacker. Coach Patterson has seen his share of talented players at the position including guys like LaMarcus McDonald, Martin Patterson, and most recently David Hawthorne. However, it didn't take long for the coach to answer where the group of Jason Phillips, Robert Henson, and Daryl Washington rank in his tenure at TCU.

"We haven't ever had another better linebacker corp then what we have right now," Patterson said without hesitation. "They run, they've played a lot of football. Jason's a four year starter, Robert's a four year starter. And Daryl has put himself in that situation purely because of the athletic talent he has. You watch him out there today, everyone is tired and he's still running everywhere."

Looking forward and adding depth

Coach Patterson says while his first team defense is performing well, he knows to win a championship he has to have depth. That will be the key as they continue practices next week.

"I know what that number one defense can play like, the key for us in the next 22 practices is how I can get the number two and three's to grow up. For us that is the key to winning a championship, getting depth."

For more notes from Saturday go inside Hell's Half Acre.

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