March 13, 2012

Tuesday practice report

TCU coach Gary Patterson brought up a point after Tuesday's practice that not many people may have considered.

Every contest the Frogs played against bowl-eligible teams last season, whether in the Big 12 or Mountain West, was played on a field not named Amon G. Carter Stadium.

He said defending the Frogs' home turf has to be as much a priority as making a statement on the road.

"What I wasn't very fired up about the defense Saturday was when we step in the Carter, that's when our motor has to run high.

"We did not play well last year in our own stadium - not one ball game. And that's unusual - we're 66-6 (at home). We've got to get where we turn the motor up when we come out of our tunnel.

"If you want to win championships, you've got to protect yourself," he said.

Patterson admitted he told his players before last season that winning against quality teams on the road was one of the major keys to success.

"But it might be my fault because all the bowl teams (we played) in the Big 12 and Mountain West were on the road.

"You had to go to Air Force, you had to go to San Diego State, you had to go to Wyoming, you had to go to Boise, you had to go to Baylor. All those teams went to bowls."

Another move

There was a surprise move on the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday as Antonio Graves made his fourth position move since joining the team, moving to the strong safety spot.

"He had three or four really good plays," Patterson said of Graves, who was recruited as a safety. "He did play well, especially when he was blitzing."

But making the move wasn't one Patterson wanted to have to make.

"We've had three guys go to the NFL at that position and now the young guys here haven't been making plays," he said.

Safety is more or less Graves' natural position and Patterson said he was pleased in what he saw in the sophomore.

"He kept getting bigger and there's not much need for a 230 pound wide receiver at 6-1 so you've got to find a place.

"When he was playing linebacker for us, there were two things he did really well - coverage and blitzing. He wasn't good inside as far as gap alignment…We didn't feel like we were getting the blitzer we need to and today we got one. He ran by the tackles a couple times."

Patterson on recruiting

"We've always recruited to play in the Big 12 because we knew if we could recruit to play in the Big 12 we could have a chance to win in the Mountain West.

"We're like the girl next door. If they're not careful in the Metroplex, pretty soon they are going to go three hours down the road. They are going to grow up and we are going to grow up and be beautiful and they are going to wish they would have went out with us because somebody else is taking them to the prom.

Patterson on changes in philosophy in recruiting

"We are going to get where we are recruiting a bigger nose guard but that's only going to happen over time. We aren't going to go out to our garden and sprinkle water.

"You can do it in the weight room and one of the ways you get bigger is instead of being a 600 pound squatter, you are an 800 pound squatter.

Other notes

- Patterson said his red zone defense did not perform well on Tuesday

- Patterson said JUCO transfer and early enrollee Kevion Gamble is coming along and freshmen Kolby Listenbee, BJ Catalon and Tyler Matthews have been introduced to a whole new game during scrimmages as none have seen the kind of competition and schemes before they have experienced in spring practice.

- Patterson was especially displeased with the secondary. When asked about who he was pleased with in the secondary he said :" I'm not happy with anybody in the secondary. Probably Jason Verrett if I had to pick one.

- Travoskey Garrett is still battling an injury. Patterson: "(His) knee is still not strong where he's comfortable enough to take the brace off and play."

- Patterson had some interesting things to say on the Frogs' move to the Big 12. He pointed out one advantage TCU has over every other school:

"Really TCU is the best destination place in the Big 12," Patterson said. "You've got a chance to come in here on a Wednesday, if you are from Iowa State, and go to a Ranger game early in the season, go to the Galleria, play two days of golf, go out to eat, got to the Stockyards then watch the TCU game and go watch the Cowboys on Sunday. It's a slam dunk for Fort Worth and TCU."

- The Frogs have their final practice Thursday before breaking for a week for Spring Break.

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