Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Coach Patterson Luncheon

The Finch and I had the privilege of going to see Coach Patterson speak today at Sullivan’s Steakhouse in Austin. It was arguably the best $12 I have ever spent. As expected, Patterson had a bunch of really insightful information of the upcoming season, as well as the future of the program in general. He consistently referred to himself as “the Keeper of the Keys”, meaning he can go to the AD or Boschini to get the new facilities and renovations necessary to continue to improve our recruiting and strengthen our fan base. He claimed that he wants Amon Carter Stadium to be the “Camden Yards of College Football” by playing up the historical significance of Fort Worth with reference to the Stockyards, Panther City, and Cowtown. He clearly has big plans to continue to turn our program into on of the elites in college football. Listed are some other highlights from his speech and the conversation The Finch and I had with him afterwards.
  • He spoke about how he wanted all of the young players to continue to improve and work hard to get better. He mentioned that he used to recruit "C" players and turn them into "A's", and now he is landing "B" players and wants to prevent them from becoming "D's".
  • Hughes was the perfect example for how he wanted the players to improve, saying that he continues to get better every day, and is far better now than he was at the end of the season (that's scary).
  • Speaking of scary, he mentioned that Braylon Broughton went from a 6'6, 225 lb DE who went from squatting 300 lbs to 550 over the past 2 months. Not to mention he said he has gained 20 lbs of pure muscle and runs a 4.53 40. This guy sounds like a freak, so lets hope he sticks with the good work ethic he seems to be showing.
  • Of course he mentioned that we need stronger fan support and better turn outs on road games as well. He said there are no more Thursday games so there shouldn't be any excuses.
  • Said that people always hear about how nice fans are at OU, Nebraska, etc after they win, but he doesn't want our fans to be that way yet, because he said we aren't to that level yet. He said they win every home game, so they have reason to be friendly. He specifically referenced the fans that sit behind the opposing bench and was happy with the way they get in the heads of the likes of Utah and BYU. Basically, continue to be jackasses.
  • He also said he liked playing BYU and Utah on Thursdays because they don't have practice on Thursdays...I never thought of it that way.
  • Claimed he started the trend of wearing Mock Turtles on the sidelines.
  • Jeremy Kerley has the strongest arm on the team, and used to throw a 95 mph fastball. The wildfrog is staying put.
  • Made fun of Yogi Gallego's reaction to what turned out to be a not so serious knee injury. Said he needed to start acting like a D-lineman instead of a QB. Said the way he was acting made it seem like he severed his leg at the knee, but he is fine.
  • Said he was worried about our depth and progression of Defensive Tackles. Said he needs to drop some of them off in North Fort Worth a few times and let them find their own way back to toughen them up.
  • Is excited about the co-offensive coordinators Anderson and Fuente, citing a revamped passing game, which was evident in the Spring Game. Also had very high praise for WR coach Rusty Burns, who he said turned down a few NFL jobs and D1 coordinator jobs to be near his family in the Metroplex. Said that he has potential to land us a few recruits from Louisiana and Florida because of former ties in the area.
  • Clemson game was scheduled because it is a "win financially" and Houston had a scheduling conflict. We are making a lot of money of that game apparently.
  • He said he set one rule when he married his wife: If a Texas high school coach is upset with him and his wife is upset with him too, he sends flowers to his wife while he goes on the road to see the coach. Clearly takes his job VERY seriously.
  • Told The Finch and I about how good it was that Yogi's knee is okay, because it gives him the chance to potentially redshirt Casey Pachall.
  • Also told us he is worried about all of his players remaining academically eligible for the Fall. He hinted that there might be a couple on the brink. Mentioned that sometimes they lose focus, citing Henson's marriage and potential NFL prospects becoming a distraciton and causing him to lose his eligibility. His remark after that was "and somehow that is my fault."
  • I asked him about the legendary blowup on the Spring Game official, and he laughed it off saying that those were guys trying to be high school refs and that the reason for doing so was because they let Dalton get touched when they shouldn't have. He said he cant afford to have Dalton get injured on something like that, and after the scrimmage he bought the refs lunch and they went on about their business.
  • Also asked about the Freshmen QB's not wearing the red jerseys. He said that they both thought they were real tough and couldn't be touched in practice, so basically he took that comfort away and made them fair game for all of our frightening defenders.
  • The Finch asked him if he heard the comments during the Spring Game, which he did, and inquired about the Ross Evans heckling. He said Evans is a great kicker with a strong leg and that he is what we have at the position, so you can either get behind him and help build his confidence or get on his back and break him, so lets lay off and hope he redeems himself.

As we left he thanked us again for our attendance at the Spring Game and really appreciate the support. He seems to have a great appreciation for the Spitblooders, although he had never been to the site or heard of it. When it was mentioned to him, he seemed to think the name was pretty sweet and hopefully he will give us a look one day when he is bored, although he claimed not to read the websites and write ups about the Frogs. Wish you all could've been there. It was amazing.