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July 16, 2018

Gary Patterson

Frisco, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Gary Patterson from TCU. Coach welcome to Big 12 Media Days and your thoughts about the season?

GARY PATTERSON: Yeah, we're excited as always. People assume coaches don't like Media Days. I love it, get a chance to be around Media Days. That's why I was coming early to do the radio shows and gives me a chance to talk about everybody and I think this will be our seventh year in the Big 12, coming off a leap-3 season, playing a championship game, and I think he usually find out what we're all about by reading the magazine just like you guys do, people, you've got to go on the offensive line, 5 guys that were seniors and four of them in NFL camps, it's going to be a big key, quarterback position Shawn Robinson, usually I don't bring a young player with me, I brought 5. So he can come with older offensive players, I joked the other day with somebody, two years ago I didn't bring Kenny Hill and we went 6-6 and last year I brought him and we went 11-3. We didn't need to wait another two years to win enough ball games and I think you will not find out all those guys are good guys, and the guys we brought with us are great guys and they handle themselves very well. As the season, you go into, there will be question marks and we were naught of last year as being young on defense growing up and this year we will be younger on offense, at least as far as starts and all those kind of things so how do we grow up and, you know, here in a couple weeks we've got a month to be able to get that done. You have a very strong schedule, I think one of the things everybody wants to talk about the high lie State game but to be honest with you, we tell our teams all the time, the league games take care of themselves because we have Texas starting off the Big 12 conference after Ohio State along with Iowa State who we lost to last year and then Texas Tech and OU. We're going to worry about TCU and Southern and got a lot of guys on defense back, we lost some good players. How do we replace them? Not very much of them but they played a lot of starts and for us how do we do that? Questions?

Q. Was that because of superstitious reasons or because you're ready to name him?
GARY PATTERSON: Superstitious reasons. Obviously he's the guy that played the most games. He played in six and obviously he started which was a hard place to play. He was able to win this last year. So obviously he's proven himself, he probably has the edge. Mike Collins, 6-5, got transferred out last year, a guy that can spin the ball, leader, great kid and then you have Justin Rogers that was one of the best players in the state of Louisiana that came in in January and then you have Grayson Muehlstein that's a fifth year senior, probably top-to-bottom, depth chart wise the best we've seen. But you've listened to me before, I don't judge quarterbacks in practice or stats, anything else. I judge 'em on Saturdays. We a guy a long time ago, Jeff Ballard, great family man, married. He got fired every Tuesday. He ended up 19-2 as a starter and I never would have found out except Tye Gunn got hurt against BYU and Jeff came in and led us on five scoring drives and we came back to win 51-50. That position is just different when you have a new guy in place, you do them a disservice if you ask too much of them as far as the pressure of it. There is enough pressure on the opposition, anyway, even though people call me a defensive guy I've had a few quarterbacks come through that have been successful and we've had to change guys and between Shawn and Mike and Justin and Grayson. It's how do we get them with their offensive line. We're going to have a good skilled group around them and how do they grow up and become leaders and I think one of the biggest ways to become a leader is to come to this event and get a chance to see all of you and see, really, what's out there, what you represent and the people that are going to be talking about you and what you do. So I thought it was a good thing.

Q. You're one 5 coaches that brought a running back and this is a league typically dominated by quarterbacks. How do you feel that the depth of the running back position looks in the Big 12 this year?
GARY PATTERSON: There are some very good ones. Obviously, the two guys up at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, I think we have two very good ones and there are other guys in the league that have good tail backs, but as you can Sewo is here, I think he's 6-4, 240 pounds. Jeff is around the 200 to 215 range they played as true sophomores last year, we brought in the a junior college running back that gained 1600 some yards last year along with Kenedy Snell. So for us, I don't think you can ever have, anytime somebody said you got three good tail backs you going to play them all by the third game of the season the third guy is playing. So it's a position where I don't think you can have enough good tail backs, and obviously anytime you have a guy that can make you miss in the league when you have to play 'em, we got to play a couple of good one at Ohio State also. So it's good you practice against them because you know what you've got to tackle.

Q. The Big 12 perception in the last couple of years has improved the instability question has gone way. Have you detected that on the recruiting trail in the circles you run in and is that a question you don't have to answer so much anymore and has it benefited all the schools?
GARY PATTERSON: You're talking to a guy that's been in a lot of conferences, I don't know anything thought the Big 12 had instability, you should have been in all the conferences I've been in. It's less and I think you're seeing -- you look in the recruiting, your kids are starting to stay in at least the state of Texas and in surrounding states, starting to stay home more, lot of good players. Every year is different when you see guys going to the NFL or good teams, it usually comes down to how old are they.

I think one of the things about this league. It's going to be a plus and a negative is just number one it's going to be wide open, get a chance to be more parody, whoever did the best job since January growing up their football team, West Virginia, couple of teams in our league have returning quarterbacks and you have to give them the advantage because I think an older quarterback helps you. But I do believe the stability and just the way Oklahoma did in the playoff run getting to where they did last year, the way they played, and the way we played in bowl games I would have to say that you would have to give us more credit than sometimes people do and I think there is a lot of good coaching that goes on in this league.

I'm always interested in people that don't think that because one of the reasons why it's hard for our league is you we're one of the few leagues where we play everybody. When you play a round Robin that's more difficult than it is when you go on and off the schedule with somebody that you play every couple of years for the simple reason you can't fool them. You've got to have better players and you have to be in a situation where you have to be able to change and you've got to grow your teams up continually. So we're in a league where everybody knows each other, everybody studies each other, we have to recruit against each other and we're also friends. If there is anything else I would change about this Media Days is we have a night where we can all go to dinner. In other conferences we have done that where you got a chance to meet the four best. Everybody brings their four best players and their head coach and their wives and gets chains to know them because somewhere down the line even from the other conferences I was at I helped other players that I got to know in those conferences.

I've always said I think it's helped us at TCU when you play on Saturday you've got to hate each other for about three years, but outside of that you've got to do what's best for the conference and do the things you need to do. That's what I've done at TCU. I've helped every other sport recruit. When they bring 'em on campus they can bring 'em in my office because it's best for them and our basketball got back to the NCAA tournament. He didn't make the series this year but he's been to it a bunch and you look at all our other sports. The only way you're going to win is everybody wins and I felt like that's important and I think that's important and the reason I say that is because I think it's important in the Big 12 that we all win. The better we get, every program gets and how we do things the more we are going to be looked at. The better we get the harder this league is going to get and I think you're going to see that this year in parody and where people play and what they have to do.

Q. Just to follow-up on that theme of every day matters and the competition in your league. You played Oklahoma last year in the Big 12 Championship Game twice in a month?
GARY PATTERSON: Nobody wants to play them twice.

Q. Going forward that's going to happen with championship games. What was the preparation like with the teams that you saw so soon before?
GARY PATTERSON: Obviously, that was probably in all my years that was probably the second best -- that was the best or the second best offense the other one was Sam Bradford, when you've been around as long as I have that was probably one of the top offense the other one was the Sam Bradford and Gresham and they had a good running back and the defenses they had so I'm able to compare through all the years the teams they had. But you're going to have plusses and minuses. That game probably cost us a New Year's six bowl, but you had an opportunity to win a championship because the winner of that game and that's the positive for the league when you play a round Robin. The second place team gets a second chance to play the team that won it. Now, the negative of that is if you do beat that team the team with the better record you may keep them out of the playoffs because you have that championship game, because you had to play them, a lot of times in other conferences where they have split divisions the only time they play each other is they play them that one time. So you don't have anything to compare to which to beat somebody twice is difficult and that's where you have to give Oklahoma a lot of credit. They were able to do that. If you watch in the championship when they played in the playoff game they were up 31-0 so that was a very good definition. Outside of other things I've heard out there, Georgia has a good defense and they would play well in our conference but it's a little bit more high-flying and more chances being taken and you've got to score points if you want to win.

I do believe that we play pretty good difference in this league. It's one of those things where you can't judge it on yardage always, you've got to see where you played on the road and how you do things. It's always a challenge, I can tell you that.

Q. Coach, you're not a guy who gets a ton of five stars, you don't get a ton of four stars, but you and your staff seem to get a lot out of the guys that you do sign. How do you guys assess from a recruiting perspective the guys that are out there and two stars, three stars and once they get in your program. How do you develop them to play at such a high level?
GARY PATTERSON: Number one, that rating is your rating. That's not my rating. If I'm bringing them in I think they're a pretty good player so they may be a four star or five star, obviously we're getting more of those guys. I have always believed that the it's not where you start, but where you finish. So you recruit whoever you want to recruit, you recruit who fits your program. Doesn't do you any good to have a good athlete fits a square peg fitting into a round hole. The guy has to fit that position or he needs to be good enough that you will create a new position within your defense and offense so he can be successful and he will make you better. I think that's one of the things we've always done. We know what we're looking for. We trust the high school coaches in the state of Texas and Louisiana and surrounding states to tell us about the young man. Does he fit what we do and how we do it? There is no science. We've made mistakes, guys that have not turned out the way we need them to be. But as a general rule kids come in knowing that you're going to work hard and we want you because of class sizes, we want you to get a degree, not just talk about it. We don't have many on online classes. Of you're going to be in speech class you're going to have to give speeches, you want to be in sales. I tell them knowledge is power. Someday your NFL career is going to be done. I think the average is three or four years even if you do make it. So what are you going to do from 26 to 62. One of the reasons I've stayed at TCU is when you move, and I moved ten times in my first fifteen years, and now I've been here for 21 years is that when you move you've got to help yourself, get everything in place when you stay you get to help others. That doesn't just mean TCU or your players, it means the community, Ft. Worth. We just raised a lot of money for literacy and libraries in the county where we're trying to give back to kids and do things. That's what we have to learn. It's like being a young coach. Everybody wants to play ball. Ten percent of college coaching, being a head coach in college football is play calling it's 90% of how you manage people, how do you do all of it so that you put everybody in place and they can be successful, whether it's your players or your university or your coaches or anybody else. When it comes to recruiting we try to get guys when they leave TCU they will be successful and we've built a representation. You can do that. I had a high school coach talk about a kid and say he doesn't play. Parents don't play. What you want to do is be a parent. How do I grow 'em up so they can become somebody that's not going to be a name on a back of a jersey or just a number? Wherever they leave TCU or wherever they leave from how are they going to be successful. So in the recruiting world that's how we try to get it done. And that's why we've been able to stay 21 years because I have been an athletic director and this one we have now is going to be great. How do you do that? You be good people on the field like I look like I'm this guy that's always upset and really that's not who I am. So don't watch the delivery. Listen to the message. Go Frogs.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. We will have the University of Kansas in about 10 minutes.

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