When Gary Patterson hired Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham before last season, he didn’t outline specific expectations for his new co-offensive coordinators.
Try your best, he told them, and make us better. After going 4-8, he couldn’t ask for much more.
Don’t expect Patterson, probably ever, to apply that kind of hands-off approach to his defense, even after promoting two assistants to co-coordinators of the unit this off-season.
He’s still “the manager,” as he put it Thursday after the Frogs’ second practice.
Never miss a local story.
During the two-hour session, Demontie Cross worked with the linebackers and Chad Glasgow worked with the safeties, the positions they coached last year before moving into the coordinator roles in February.
They replaced Dick Bumpas, who retired after 11 seasons as defensive coordinator. Bumpas also oversaw the defensive line, which is now coached by Dan Sharp, another in-house hire.
The staff shuffling, which also included promoting Paul Gonzales from graduate assistant to cornerbacks coach, was all to say that TCU’s defense, ranked first in the Big 12 last year with 19 points allowed per game, isn’t changing.
On game day, Glasgow, who’s entering his 14th year on Patterson’s staff in the past 15 years, will still coach from the box, serving as an experience view from above. Cross, meanwhile, will be on the field, helping Patterson with in-game adjustments.
“I’m going to be a little bit more involved with getting some calls out there,” Cross said. “Being down on the field, you’re hands on and in the fray, whereas in the box it’s more of a chess match.”
During the week, there will be few differences.
“The talking in front of the guys a little bit more and some of those sorts of things are the things that have changed the most,” Glasgow said. “It’s a chance to grow.”
Glasgow, who was Texas Tech’s defensive coordinator in 2011, has done plenty of growing since joining Patterson’s staff as a 29-year-old in 2001.
“Gary is phenomenal about seeing all 11 guys,” Glasgow said. “Sometimes you’re watching over here, and you see him look over on this side, and something happens on the other side of the field, and he knows exactly what happens. The quicker we can get something corrected, the better we’re going to be.”
Cross is newer to TCU’s system. Patterson hired him away from Kansas in 2013.
“I’m the new guy on the block and these guys have had things intact for a long time before I got here,” Cross said. “Pressure is built in because of the way we coach. There’s a high standard.”
While the additions of Meacham and Cumbie transformed the offense, Cross and Glasgow are there to help maintain Patterson’s specialty.
“I haven’t seen any difference,” defensive end Josh Carraway said. “When you have a guy like Coach P running it all, I’m not worried at all.”
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760