Just as quickly as things ramped up when TCU’s fall camp began Aug. 3, they are winding to a close this week.
That fast pace that has characterized this fall camp, which stood out to coach Gary Patterson as he looked back on the past two and a half weeks.
“The thing I’ve really liked — I’ve really enjoyed the tempo,” he said. I’ve liked the way they’ve practiced hard together.”
Much of that can be attributed to the new fast-paced offense brought to town by co-offensive coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham.
But some credit is due to the veteran leaders of a team older and more mature than any squad TCU has featured in the Big 12.
“We’ve stayed healthy because nobody has done anything stupid,” Patterson said. “Usually somebody drags somebody down or a late hit or something. We’re more mature.”
Now, things slow down for the Frogs as they focus more on their first opponent, Samford.
TCU will hold a walk-through followed by a mock game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The game is open to the public.
Players will wear helmets but no pads for the game, resembling a full-speed walk-through.
“We run Samford plays and Samford defenses and Samford kickoff return,” Patterson said. “You just do it without pads and it’s about substitution. We run people in and see if they can run the calls when everything is going on and go about our business.”
A kids’ football clinic will follow the game, then a Meet the Frogs autograph session in the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility.
Before any questions could be asked after Wednesday’s practice, Patterson quickly disputed a quote about Patterson attributed to Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel in an ESPN.com report published Aug. 19.
In the report, Manziel said Patterson told him, “Not all dreams end with a Division I scholarship,” during Manziel’s recruitment. TCU never offered Manziel a scholarship.
Patterson said he never talked to Manziel or his parents.
“Just to set the record straight, I never, ever sat down with Johnny Manziel in my office. Never talked to him,” Patterson said.
Speed has always been junior wide receiver Kolby Listenbee’s biggest asset.
This spring, Listenbee ran a 10.12 in the 100-meter dash for the track team, making him the fastest athlete at TCU.
“Kolby Listenbee has been the biggest change of everybody. The speed he has, he’s just hard for us to handle to be honest with you,” Patterson said.
Listenbee, a former Arlington Bowie standout, has improved his pass-catching ability while hoping to become the vertical threat Patterson envisions.
“It’s been good for us because, you don’t want to play him one-on-one,” Patterson said.
Special teams woes
Patterson shed more light on some of the special teams troubles that caused him to call a special 30-minute practice Sunday, the players’ day off.
The Horned Frogs missed four field goals during Saturday’s scrimmage, Patterson said.
Patterson said that starter Jaden Oberkrom of Arlington Martin struggled and that he “just needs to quit pulling it.”
Briefly• Patterson said quarterback Trevone Boykin would be used as a punt returner only on special occasions. He added that running backs B.J. Catalon and Kyle Hicks are primary candidates to return kickoffs.
• Junior offensive tackle Aviante Collins is progressing well from a foot injury and could participate in some drills next week.