It’s week 11 of the 2018 college football season. That means it’s Baylor week. TCU Head Coach, Gary Patterson, had his usual Tuesday press conference. He talked about the upcoming game with Baylor, dealing with all the injuries, the offensive struggles, and the need to revamp the defensive signals. TCU signals are being stolen. It was a good one. Here are the notes.
Coach P talking Baylor
- Coach P said that Baylor is a vastly improved football team as opposed to a year ago. Just like TCU, they are trying to get bowl eligible.
- Baylor is a very physical football team. Good skill set. Their coach has done a good job down there.
- Baylor has a good group of wide receivers. Their quarterback has good escapability. He can run.
- Baylor has a couple of high school running backs who they put at wide receiver. They are doing a lot of formations and they move a lot of people around. TCU needs to be prepared for it.
- Coach P said Baylor’s offense had over 500 yards last week in a loss against a good Iowa State defense in Ames, Iowa. They also held Iowa State to 355 yards of offense.
- Coach P was asked about Baylor being a rivalry game. He said the rivalry is probably downplayed a little bit. It’s a lot easier to do that when both teams are winning. This year they are both sitting around .500. It’s a little bit more numb. He said the kids will always be ready to play against the kids they played against in high school.
- Coach P was asked if the team will stay in Waco Friday night. He said, no. The team will have an early morning on Saturday. They will leave early from Ft. Worth. They never stay in Waco. Never.
Coach P talking game preparation and dealing with injuries
- Coach P was asked if they will be able to do some one on one stuff in practice this week. They didn’t last week due to injury concerns. He said they probably won’t be able to do that this week either. Probably won’t be able to do it again this year.
- Coach P said they usually carry 11 safeties. Counting a cornerback, they just moved to safety, they currently have four. In a three-safety system, that’s not a good thing. Keenan Reed moved from cornerback to safety.
- Coach P said they have lost 20 players to major surgeries this year and another 16 or so have missed significant time. Senior safety, Niko Small, has played two series since the Texas game. It makes things difficult.
- Coach P was asked if this game is a must-win game. He said, no. They want to win, yes. But, they are not going to panic. When they are struggling, they just need to worry about themselves.
- Coach P said senior defensive tackle Joseph Broadnax football career is probably over. Every other year, for the last six years, they have participated in a concussion study. They have helped make some great strides by being part of it. They do blood draws and other tests like MRI’s. Because of the MRI, they found some early stages of some things with Joe. Because they caught it, as a young person, he will probably have an opportunity to live a lot longer. Broadnax didn’t play last week because he started showing signs like weakness in his arms and things like that. Coach P feels really bad; it’s something that they have no control over. This study helps both TCU and the players. Coach P is pretty positive, without this study, Joe wouldn’t have found out about this issue for another 10-20 years. They found out about his condition, this last summer when they did the program. Broadnax was ok to play then, but now he is having some signs that are preventing him from playing. They need to be smart. There are medicines out there that can help him at a younger age. By finding this out, now he can slow it down. Coach P said it’s been an interesting year.
- Coach P was asked if he likes this team even though the season has been a disappointment. He said yes, but he has a problem with some people right now outside the program. He said in any business, if you lose 15 valuable people, you will struggle.
- TCU lost 36 out of 85 scholarship players. Coach P has had 11-1 years at TCU and caught grief. It’s not about him though, it’s about the players. He is just trying to get his seniors the best season possible and get them to a bowl game. His kids deserve credit for continuing to fight their tails off.
- Coach P said they never gave up against West Virginia. They were a really good team and TCU got worn down defensively.
- Coach P was asked if it’s important to get Justin Rogers some playing time this year. He said, no. It’s because Rogers is not completely healthy and he is not able to do what he needs to do. Rogers would have already taken some snaps if he was totally cleared to play. They lost a defensive back early in the year to the same injury that Rogers suffered. It’s a tough comeback.
- Coach P was asked what he thought of the snaps that freshman safety Ar’Darius Washington played last game. He said he did well. It was going fast so he made some wrong checks. But, he is not scared. He loves to play the game. They don’t want to play him anymore, because they would like to redshirt him. They are not sure if that will be possible or not because of all the injuries. He has already played in the 4 games that he is allowed, if he plays again then he won’t be able to redshirt.
- Coach P was asked if offensive lineman Cordel Iwuagwu will play. He said he is still not ready to go. That’s from a player standpoint. It comes down to what the doctor says then it’s up to the player. He said that has been a big loss for them. He is probably their best guard, the most powerful guard they have this year.
- Coach P said it’s tough to lose veteran players. That’s why he keeps talking about losing Niko Small. Replacing him with a freshman is a big deal.
- Coach P was asked what his biggest limitation on defense has been with all the injuries. Do they just have to play a basic defense? He said losing Joe Broadnax forced them to move Defensive End, Mike Epley, inside. Epley has never played Defensive Tackle and was their 3rd rotating Defensive End. This move means they are replacing a 300-pound Defensive Tackle with a 240 pound Defensive End. This makes them a lot smaller up front. They are not sure if they have enough Defensive Tackles to play a four-man front. They also don’t have enough safeties to go to a dime package so that they can surround it more and play more coverage. They are pretty much caught in between.
- Coach P was asked about the offensive struggles? He said they have to get better. They need to answer the bell. Losing one of their two most dynamic players mid-season really hurts. If they lost Turpin before the season then they would have been better prepared.
- Coach P was asked what is causing their poor second-half performances this season. He said that he doesn’t know. If he did he would have probably solved it. They have had bad third quarters. They have tried different things. They have come out early. They tried to warm up as a team. He said up to a certain point, they have been able to fool the other team, but there comes a point in a game that you can’t fool them anymore. You have to just beat them. They have not been good enough to beat them.
- Coach P was asked about Sewo playing some h-back and not getting any carries last week at West Virginia. He said they are just down people. They are just trying to figure out how to get the best offense that they can on the field.
Coach P talking recruiting and the offseason
- Coach P was asked about some recruits de-committing this season. He said they only really lost a couple of guys. They will never embarrass a kid. A kid may say he de-committed from TCU but that’s not the reality. They have 18 spots, they have 15 or 16 kids committed. They just got another wide receiver committed about a week and a half ago. They have some really good kids that are not committed who are coming in for the Oklahoma State weekend. He said some of their best-recruiting classes have been during average years. Nowadays kids want to go to places that they can play. TCU is graduating four defensive ends and four linebackers. There is an opportunity for some good kids to come in and play. They are trying to get some guys in early to practice.
- Coach P said Defensive Tackle will be one of their strong positions when they start next fall. Getting Ross Blacklock back and the young guys getting playing time this year will be big. If they can keep them all healthy, they will be good.
- Coach P was asked if he was inclined to make offensive changes after this season. He said not people. They are going to go back and have some conversations about what they need to change to get back to competing at a high level. The way you look at changing your program is figuring out what you need to do to beat the teams who are on top. Besides recruiting, they need to figure out what else they need to change. They need to improve on both sides of the ball.
- Coach P was asked if they will have a different look on offense next year. He said that he is not saying that. They just have to be able to look at how they are doing things. They have gone from one person signaling the call to three people signaling the call. People are stealing the signals. An example is West Virginia. Their offensive coordinator was on Sonny Dykes staff at Cal. They had three guys watching Coach P’s signals at SMU when they played there. It’s gotten to the point where he is having to send signals in with a player. There is a lot of former staffers sharing information on the TCU defense. It’s hard to change all that stuff. Finally, after 21 years, it is time to change it. They are going to have to revamp everything. Especially on defense. They are going to have to redo everything. In the game Saturday, as soon as he signaled in a certain blitz, they did a fly sweep to beat that blitz. It happened every time. His kids are not given a chance to be successful if the other team knows the calls. He is pretty good at calling defenses.
- Coach P said that they steal signals too. One of the positive things is they have grown, but he has a lot of guys out there. Clay Jennings is at Texas Tech coaching now. He spent six years coaching at TCU. Texas Tech defense looks more like a TCU defense this year. It’s a compliment. They just need to change things up. They have to give the kids a chance. He is not making any excuses.
- Coach P was asked why college football doesn’t use headsets to signal in plays. He said it’s a financial issue. It costs a lot of money to get a closed circuit that somebody won’t be able to steal. He said many times he has put on a regular headset during a game that has been changed because it won’t work, or it’s on a radio station, or it picks up the airport. During home games, there are places on the sideline that he can’t stand because the headset won’t work.
- When Coach P was a young head coach he went to help another university. He knew them very well and he helped them put in his defense. He never does this but this head coach was very close to him. He let them film him calling in plays. They had an understanding and agreement that it would never leave there. It never did leave until that coach left. When he wasn’t a head coach anymore, those teaching tapes went everywhere in the country. He shuts down websites all the time with TCU defensive tapes on it. The media guys are always on the lookout for those websites. Coach P had a former player selling his teaching tape before he found out about it. TCU is still playing the defense well. He just needs to call things a different name. They have changed it some over the years but other teams have caught on to the second and third level. It’s time for a complete overhaul.
Go Frogs! Join the largest online forum for TCU fans at KillerFrogs.com. Alumni owned and operated since 1997.