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Star-Telegram.com

With spring break over, Patterson puts TCU football back to work

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2012

By Brent Shirley

bshirley@star-telegram.com

For the TCU football players, spring break was a chance for vacation and relaxation.

But Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson didn't join his players on break. Instead, he stayed in Fort Worth to prepare for TCU's first season in the Big 12.

Patterson, whose team returned to spring practices Tuesday, studied film from West Virginia, Kansas State and nonconference opponent Virginia.

"It's a busy time," Patterson said. "I sleep well at night."

Patterson even found time to examine gameday plans for his team to run from the locker room area to the renovated field and started looking at the marketing campaign for next season.

But on Tuesday, Patterson and his players were back to X's and O's during the Frogs' first workout since March 15.

"You could tell in our special teams meetings that everyone was glad to be back," Patterson said.

Patterson said he was happy with the way his defense played Tuesday.

"I think, for some of young players, this break has been great," he said. "It was about what I had hoped we would get out of this Tuesday practice. Lot of good one-on-one stuff. And we have to keep getting better, but we are a lot better than we were when we started three weeks ago. We're not where we need to be yet ... but at least we are farther along."

The Frogs have adopted an every-other-day practice schedule, which has helped younger players learn quickly.

"There's a lot more retention coming back," Patterson said.

Red-zone issues

While TCU's defense didn't show rust from taking 12 days off, the Frogs' offense struggled in red-zone situations.

"Was not happy with red zone," Gary Patterson said. "We gave up a big play, then we threw a silly interception."

Building up

Gary Patterson said he set up the Frogs' spring practice schedule to help the young players get stronger. Starting this week, the players will complete a six-week cycle of weight training before finals.

"We have to keep getting stronger, especially in our upper body," Patterson said. "This will allow us to have three hard practices with lifting this week, and then we will be able to follow it up next week with two."

The Frogs will practice Thursday and Saturday before finishing up spring practices with workouts April 3 and 5.

Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @bshirley08

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