TCU head coach Gary Patterson came off the field covered in sweat, hair matted to his black visor and speaking like a man who was crawling out of the desert.
“Young players,” Patterson said, laughing as to why he was so hoarse after Thursday’s practice.
The freshmen, who have been “hot and overworked,” need a high stress level to play all four quarters, Patterson said.
Patterson said freshman receiver Cameron Echols-Luper is showing flashes of talent and freshman defensive back Cydney Calvin is in the middle of a battle for the second-team cornerback position.
Patterson said that freshmen tailbacks Trevorris Johnson and Kyle Hicks are playing in rotation at the running back position, although Patterson said his main three running backs are still Waymon James, B.J. Catalon and Aaron Green.
Patterson said he will wait until a few games into the season to determine whether to redshirt either of the freshmen running backs.
“People asked how [we would] use three backs last year, but then B.J. [Catalon] started throughout the season,” Patterson said, regarding his philosophy on redshirting freshman running backs.
Here are notes and highlights from practice number eight:
First scrimmage completed
TCU had its first situation scrimmage Wednesday, in which red zone situations were heavily practiced.
Patterson said that the team played a bit flat during the scrimmage, but energy had picked up by Thursday’s practice.
Patterson said that the young players fumbled three times, but the first-team offense got the best of the first-team defense. He also said the offense scored on the defense in the mayday drill for the "first time in two years."
Patterson said both Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin were flipping rotations in the first-team offense during the scrimmage. Patterson said only two touchdown passes were thrown in the scrimmage and that both were thrown by Boykin. Kolby Listenbee caught one and Brandon Carter caught the other.
Offensive line seeing changes, but needs work
Offensive tackle James Dunbar, in addition to playing tackle, is seeing time at offensive guard, Patterson said. He said the move is because other offensive tackles are improving in camp.
“Big V [Halapoulivaati Vaitai] is having the best camp since being here and Aviante Collins is not a freshman anymore,” Patterson said.
Despite the improvement at offensive tackle, Patterson said he was not pleased with the offensive line as a whole.
“We still have a lot of work to do in order to get where we need to,” the coach said.
Les Miles stories
After commenting on defensive end Devonte Fields Tuesday, national publications published stories that Patterson had a negative opinion on Les Miles allowing a team vote to reinstate running back Jeremy Hill.
After Thursday’s practice, Patterson said he felt that the stories did not reflect what he said.
“There was no intention at all about the way it went down,” Patterson said. “It was all about my guys. Period.”
Patterson, who shares an agent with Miles, said he sent Miles a transcript of the interview.
“Les Miles and I are good friends, it’s not big deal to us,” Patterson said.