TCU coach Gary Patterson, who says he can’t help but watch the NFL as a coach more than a fan, gave his former player Marcus Cannon a passing grade in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
“He played well,” Patterson said of the starting right tackle for the New England Patriots. “He is an unbelievable run blocker. And it looks like to me his pass protection has come light years. He’s a good player. Coach Belichick is a very hard evaluator. To be able to hold down any position on his team is hard to do. I would have to say Marcus is doing a great job.”
Cannon played four seasons at TCU, including as the starting left tackle as a senior protecting quarterback Andy Dalton on the Horned Frogs’ undefeated Rose Bowl championship team. The Odessa native was a fifth-round pick of the Patriots in 2011.
Cannon was the highest-graded Patriot in the game, according to Pro Football Focus, in winning his second championship in three seasons. It was one of the highlights of the weekend for TCU football. The school’s all-time rushing touchdowns leader, LaDainian Tomlinson, was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the day before the Super Bowl in balloting in Houston by media members.
The way he represents the NFL and TCU, I think is just unbelievable. His legacy will carry on for many years here in the community.
TCU coach Gary Patterson, on LaDainian Tomlinson
“I was very proud of the group,” Patterson said, speaking to reporters Monday in the football offices at TCU. “I’m a big fan of LT, what he has become, the way he carries himself. He was a great player, but he’s even a better person. The way he represents the NFL and TCU, I think is just unbelievable. His legacy will carry on for many years here in the community.”
The weekend could prove to be a boon in recruiting for TCU. Patterson said he surely will use the examples of Cannon and Tomlinson, a two-time Super Bowl champion and a Hall of Famer to counter “people who recruit against us (who) want to say we’re a small school.”
Patterson said both players are examples of outperforming their scouting grade.
“If they would have come here when we were in the Big 12, they would have had more stars,” he said. “Because a lot of those guys are better than some of the guys we’ve had that had more stars, and they were better players coming out of high school. It’s never been about how you start, anyway.”