Patterson Meets With The Media

Gary Patterson


FORT WORTH, Texas -- TCU football coach Gary Pattersonheld the first of his weekly news conferences Tuesday in the Four Sevens Team Room.

The 17th-ranked Horned Frogs open the 2012 campaign Saturday at 6 p.m. versus Grambling State. It will be TCU's first game as a Big 12 member and the first contest in Amon G. Carter Stadium after its $164 million rebuild.

Included below are excerpts from Patterson's meeting with the media.

Opening Statement ...
"It's the start of the season. The advantage for everybody else is that they have played a game, and they know what they need to fix. Hopefully, we can win the game, get things fixed and move into the Big 12 with KU as the second ballgame. It's a big week with the Big 12, the new stadium and Dutch Meyer. Hopefully, all of those things turn out to be positive. Our kids are excited. Like anybody else, they are a little antsy because they didn't play. We kept them busy enough on Saturday, so they didn't get too much time to think about that stuff."

On team practices ...
"We got a lot of preparation work done for people down the road. It is hard to go good on good to get that. This is our last day in pads, and we will still try to get as good a look as we can. We still have our middle drills and emphasis periods, where we give each other a great look. We will move forward on Saturday and see what we have."

On the progression of the TCU program ...
"It has been a long road, and you have to learn from it. We did not get in this conference just to compete. The top of the pyramid says to win a national title and Big 12 championship. That is the level we are trying to get to, and that is not going to be any different. It does not matter what conference we are in."

On preparing for the Big 12 ...
"All the intangibles are things we have to get used to. We have to see the locker room at the other school, their fans, travel, all those kinds of things. We have to get used to the early start times. Every scrimmage we've had was at 10:30 a.m. Most kids will be ready for later in the day, but you have to get up and be ready to go. That is where we are. We knew Kansas was going to be an 11 a.m. game, so you have to be ready to play."

On the growth of his team ...
"I am not a big patience guy when it comes to winning and losing. This football team has grown unbelievably, but we still have a long way to go where we want to be. I have watched everybody, and I think everybody has improved in the league. I heard (Iowa State head coach) Paul Rhoads say they have the most talented team they've had in four or five years. It's going to be an interesting challenge as to how we fit in, and that is all right."

On the leadership on the TCU defense ...
"We have had great guidance, and it has been by committee. We have received good leadership on the defensive side. We are not as deep at linebacker. I think we are better on the defensive line. I think we are more talented in the secondary but are not as deep there. I wish I could play with my practice squad, because we have four guys who have transferred who are going to make us a better team. We have a long way to get where we want to. It is hard for me to understand where reality is. I think we are better on defense, but you don't know how that will be translated to stats and numbers. The most important stat to us will be winning. Some will say we are not as good on defense, but we can still say we are good enough to win games."

On defensive tackles ...
"Last year, we had three freshmen and DJ (David Johnson). We are a year older and stronger. They have to play smarter. We had to limit some of the things we did at the beginning of the year. Jon Lewis and those guys are where they need to be. Davion Piersonis a redshirt freshman who will start the opening game."

On his team's approach ...
"During the season, we are going to have to look at what we do due to the banging. We have been smarter in the last few years. When we first started, we used to do 24 periods on Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the entire season. Now, we go down to 21 or 19 periods as the season goes on. Everybody's approach is different, but you have to have the mindset that they play better on Tuesday. Teams that win conference titles usually become stronger in the second half of the season. They are stronger, faster and can handle the grind. We have been talking about that during the season. We were able to go into one-a-days sooner with the extra week. It gives you more time to talk about those kinds of issues."

On Grambling State ...
"We watched every Grambling State game from last season. They didn't do some things in their first game that we saw a lot of in film from last season. They are a lot better football team in (head coach) Doug Williams' second year. For us, having an extra week to prepare, we better be ready to win the ballgame. If you start taking people lightly, you get people hurt."

On Grambling State's offense ...
"They are big upfront, run a lot of power football and they play action. They didn't show us much out of four-wide. They have a couple of transfers and some big wide receivers. They have good skill players. They did not look like the same football team I saw on film from last year. They are a better offensive team than a year ago."

On Grambling coach Doug Williams ...
"You can really tell he cares about those kids. He is very well respected. Watching what he did with his football team in his first year to win the conference speaks highly of the job that he does, and what the people of Grambling think of him. He will have his team ready to play."

On possibly becoming TCU's all-time leader in wins ...
"Sometimes I get a bit emotional, because I think about all that we have put into it. When we do win that game, I would like to do a trading card collection of all the senior classes. I think about all the donors and alumni who have helped financially to reinvent the program. You have to reinvent yourself to last at a place 15 years, 12 as a head coach. When people talk about Dutch Meyer, they speak about how he helped kids grow up. I have been here 15 years. You have heard me talk about how that is. I don't think Dutch would want me to get too caught up in it. He knows that I am busy. As soon as that game is over, I will be thinking about KU. That is what he would want me to do. I have talked to people who played for Dutch, and they talk about how he was all about playing football. That is what Gary Pattersonis about, playing football and changing people's lives."

On the new Amon G. Carter Stadium ...
"We have scrimmaged in it six times. I have done as much as I possibly can to ensure they are ready for it. If you go back and look at the stats, every time we start the year on the road or at a neutral site, I think we have won at least 10 games. I don't like starting at home. There are so many distractions. Girlfriends, parents, tickets, everybody is coming into town and everyone wants to talk to you. Even though you tell them not to look in the stands, they are. The seniors have been there and know the drill. The new guys are excited about the jersey and the helmet. It is all crazy."



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