TCU is six practices into spring camp and the linebacker battle still rages.Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson wasnt pleased with the defensive effort in TCUs first scrimmage March 7 before the team departed for spring break. The next scrimmage is Saturday morning.Somebody is going to have to step up. Theyre not where we want them to be, Patterson said after Thursdays practice, the teams second workout since returning from the week off. The Frogs 15-practice spring concludes April 6.Patterson is pleased with new linebackers coach Demontie Cross, who replaced Randy Shannon in January after a season coaching linebackers at Kansas. Cross has gone through a crash course on the intricacies of TCUs 4-2-5 defense since being hired.Hes done a real good job for being in the first six days of practice of understanding the concept and picking it up because he was a 3-4 guy, Patterson said. Hes done a great job of teaching them and understanding what were supposed to get done. Ive been really excited about him; I think hes made them a lot better.One of those improved players is Paul Dawson, Patterson said. Dawson was stuck in Pattersons dog house for much of the fall and was seen doing some post-practice drills as punishment Thursday.He still is, Patterson joked. But hes made a few more plays. [He] has actually made some strides, if hell just go to class.No bracket zoneGary Patterson said he has not filled out an NCAA basketball tournament bracket and doesnt want to see any floating around the football office.Dont you know what happens to a coach when you do those kinds of things? Patterson said. I look around the office making sure no one else is either.Another PattersonJosh Patterson, Gary Pattersons eldest son, has been no stranger to the football program after serving four years in the U.S. Army, including a stint in Iraq with the 4th Infantry. He has helped out as a scout team quarterback without pads during practice the last couple of seasons while taking classes at TCU. But hes officially on the roster as a junior quarterback this spring.Bottom line is I want him to get a degree so thats what his job is, Gary Patterson said.Spring saleThe annual TCU spring sale when fans can buy TCU jerseys and other merchandise is scheduled for April 6. More details with the time and location will be released soon.QuotableWaymon James, when he gets out there, was a really good leader a year ago. Thats one of the biggest things we lost with him when he went down we lost leadership. TCU coach Gary Patterson on the running back who is missing spring practice while recovering from knee surgery.Briefly• Cornerback Jason Verrett is practicing at full speed after recovering from surgery in January.• Trevone Boykin is only practicing at quarterback and not working at all at running back, Gary Patterson said.Cornerback Keivon Gamble has missed practice this week with a minor injury.• Defensive end Josh Carraway (leg) missed practice, but Patterson said hes expected to return next week.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs