March 31, 2012

Saturday practice report

TCU held its final scrimmage of spring practice on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday and while the team didn't have the luxury of going through the motions with its locker room and a stadium full of fans decked in purple, Frogs coach Gary Patterson said the day was productive.

"With the ones, two and threes we got about 100 (plays)," Patterson said. "And today we did all four phases of the kicking game. We didn't do that live but it looked good."

The Frogs' offense and defense seems to switch off on which unit starts and ends well in practice this spring and Saturday was no different.

"Defense started well early, offense didn't," Patterson said. "Too many penalties and we had a couple big plays that got called back because of takeaways.

"Then, when we got down to the red zone, the defense didn't play as well at the end of the scrimmage and the offense played better."

Patterson said the No. 2 defense came in and stopped the first-team offense at one point.

"We've got to tackle, attention to detail and offensively we hurt ourselves with too many penalties today," Patterson said.

As far as TCU's last two spring practices, which are Tuesday and Thursday of next week, Patterson said he has a few things in mind as for what he'd like to see.

"The (No. 1) defense will get some more red zone work on Tuesday," he said. "And then we only have a shorts practice on Thursday so we'll turn our attention to Grambling, SMU, Virginia and Kansas.

"For instance, we haven't got a lot of fly-sweep stuff from our offense - so Virginia, West Virginia, Kansas - there's a bunch of fly-reverse stuff we better get working on. We'll work on Air Force and work on the Pistol-Veer Option.

"Offense, we are a four down lineman scheme so we'll have to work on a 50 defense and a three down linemen scheme…Those are normal things we do at the end of the year to get prepared.

Patterson said another challenge, like every year, is getting the team on the same page as far as pre-game activities and motions go.

"Today we came out, even though we didn't have a locker room, we all sat down here and we did our pre-game warmup and everybody got a chance to see where they are going to be.

"You've got true freshmen that have never been in a pre-game warmup," Patterson continued. "Running backs are down here and B.J. Catalon was standing with the wide receivers…When they get to game day, there's not anything they think about than playing the ball game.

"That's been one of our secrets is consistency - how we do it and where we go. So, hopefully it'll work. If it doesn't, we'll probably lose by one point. If it does, then we may have a chance to win by one point."

Defensive woes

Patterson said Chuck Hunter is currently the second-team nose tackle and elaborated a bit on the sophomore and his d-line unit as a whole.

"I don't think we are where we need to be yet," Patterson said. "I'm used to being No. 1 in the nation in defense and used to having the draft choices.

"(Hunter is) going to be a true sophomore. He hasn't had a redshirt year so he's got to grow up."

At linebacker, sophomore Deryck Gildon appears to still not have arrived in his development to the point where Patterson and Co. would like him to be.

"Deryck didn't play very well today," Patterson said. "Danny (Heiss) and Joel Halsley did OK. It's always tough because our second-team offensive line is not where it needs to be yet. It's all relative to who you play against.

Backup QB situation taking form?

Patterson said while starter Casey Pachall looked solid, the battle at backup between Matt Brown and Trevone Boykin could be just getting started as neither has stood out.

"I thought Casey did well getting us into what we needed to," Patterson said. "He checked a blitz and got us into a bubble screen which was a good play. We came underneath the block and Matthew Tucker went the distance."

As for Boykin and Brown?

"We've still got a long way to go from what we need to do with our No. 2 quarterback," Patterson said. "Right now, we're not comfortable with the backup.

"I didn't think I'd come out with a clear-cut guy. Especially going every other day. When we get in two-a-days and we get 40 chances to walk through, run through practice, doing things, then a certain guy…will have to become the guy."

Practice notes

- On the running back rotation: "They all get about even reps just like they do every ball game," Patterson said. "All five played - actually seven running backs played - walk-ons, everybody."

- Patterson on the aforementioned penalties: "Two guys moving, just things that we're not supposed to have," he said. "It wasn't holding all the time. We had one called back in the red zone because a tackle held a linebacker. Outside of that I think the rest of that was motion (penalties) which all comes down on us."

- Frogs 2012 signees Devonte Fields, Griffin Gilbert and Halapoulivaati Vaitai were in attendance.

- 2012 Mansfield Timberview graduate Frank Kee, who we told you about in the War Room, was also in attendance as was 2013 Mansfield Legacy WR Marchie Murdock and FW All Saints LB/deep snapper Kaleb Smith.

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