After coming off a 12-1 record in 2014, Gary Patterson’s interview at Big 12 Media Days was decidedly different from last year when the TCU Horned Frogs finished with a 4-8 record.
“For me, many of you that know me, it’s about standing in between the lines, not getting too high or too low, either way. So a year ago you had to prove people wrong. This year you have to prove people right. As a football team, that’s really, from my approach on down, how we’ve tried to handle it.” Patterson said in his opening statement.
While admitting it was a nice feeling entering the season as the league favorite, Patterson added that he’s been in the business too long to get caught up in the emotion of it. He maintains that he has been very even-keeled about success which has led the team’s attitude to be very businesslike this off-season.
On Trevone Boykin
A big reason TCU is favored is because of the play of Heisman candidate QB Trevone Boykin.
“Really, I wasn’t surprised by his success.” Patterson said. “That’s the thing that I’ve tried to instill in Trevone is to make sure — I’ve been very proud of him in the fact of everything that — the circuit he’s been on, some of the awards, everything he’s been a part of, that he’s handled it in the right way”
Patterson added that Boykin has displayed incredible leadership this summer.
“He’s had a couple of the NFL guys, quarterbacks, the gurus that wanted him to come work out with them this summer, and he told them all no. I think his biggest thing was staying with the offensive group this summer, making sure they were doing seven-on-seven, winning ball games. He knows all that.“
On TCU’s Offense
When questioned about the evolution of his offense, Patterson intimated that “there’s always another level,” which should be of no comfort to opposing Big 12 defenses.
On TCU’s Defense
TCU’s has had one of the best in the country, and that won’t change this year.
“We have the chance to be more athletic than we were a year ago.” Patterson said.
They lose some production on defense, but coach Patterson is preparing for war? Yikes!
“we started in the spring because I treat spring like two-a-days, where it’s really about being physical and learning. And then we’ll get into two-a-days just in addition, and hopefully it carries through. We’ve got a lot of practices before we get to Minnesota, which it’s going to be a very tough ball game. It’s like Custer. The only difference between Custer and us is we know what’s on the other side of the hill.”
On The Retirement of Defensive Coordinator Dick Bumpas
TCU enters this season with a new defensive coordinator after Dick Bumpas retired at the end of the season.
“Obviously, losing a guy that’s been in the profession as long as Coach Bumpas has, it’s hard to replace that. But Coach Sharp has been in our program for a long time. He’ll be our D-line coach. Coach Cross, now being his third year, just the spring and then fall, it’s way different than what it was starting when young coaches in our scheme come in.
“And Paul Gonzales, that is our corner coach, really is a guy that has been behind the scenes, was a graduate assistant. He’s probably one of the more articulate guys we’ve ever had, done a great job recruiting so far.”
Overall, Patterson is pleased with his staff.
“I think it’s probably the most experienced staff we’ve had in a couple of years.”
On The College Football Playoff & A Conference Championship Game
If Patterson conveyed doubt in anything today it was concerning the College Football Playoff.
“After last year, I don’t feel confident about anything. But the key to the whole story is — and I’m going to always be a team player. The bottom line, I handle it the way I handle it because that was what was best for college football, best for the Big 12, best for TCU, best for my team. And I knew if I handled it differently, then they wouldn’t have played like they did in a Bowl game.
“For me, I think every year is different. I’m not a big believer that you have to have a conference championship. I thought the whole thing about going to a playoff was that they picked the four best teams. You didn’t even have to have a championship game. That’s what I was led to believe. In 33 years, I’ve seen different forms of how we got to a national championship in every shape and manner.
“For me, all I can do is control what I can control, and that’s to try to put the best TCU team on the field that I can and make sure that they act right on and off the field and let all those other people decide all the other things they need to.”