Patterson on spring quarterback battle: “I have until August [to decide]”


After six practices, a scrimmage and a spring break breather, there’s still no official word on who will be starting at quarterback come TCU's opening day.

“I have until August,” head coach Gary Patterson said after Thursday afternoon’s practice. “We only judge quarterbacks on what they do on Saturdays.”

TCU has nine practices remaining in the spring, in which Patterson will continue to evaluate his quarterbacks.

Here are some other highlights from Thursday’s practice:

Quarterbacks improving
In the opening scrimmage of the spring season, Patterson said Pachall had a long connecting pass with Brandon Carter, but then quickly noted his quarterbacks were both performing during the scrimmage.

“Casey [Pachall] is the older one, but both [quarterbacks] are doing great things,” Patterson said. “One can move around and get himself out of trouble, the other can use his arm to get him out of trouble.”

Patterson refused to give criteria on what he will judge his quarterbacks on, repeating that he would “judge them on Saturdays.”

He said Boykin is “far advanced” in his playing compared to himself as a freshman quarterback. He gave similar praise to backup quarterback Tyler Matthews as well.

Patterson confirmed Boykin is not taking reps at running back this spring.

Linebackers not at level Patterson wants

Patterson said he is excited about new linebackers coach DeMontie Cross and how he is working with his linebackers, but said he felt his linebackers were not at the performance level he desired.

“Cross is who I’m excited about,” Patterson said. “In the first six days of practice, he’s understanding concepts and picking them up. He’s done a great job of teaching the linebackers.”

Despite the high praise for the new coach, Patterson was clearly not pleased with his players, as he crossed his arms and looked out at the practice field.

“They aren’t at the level I want them to be,” he said.

Patterson specifically mentioned Jonathan Anderson, a former safety who converted to linebacker this season, and Paul Dawson, who was running extra drills after practice due to skipping classes.

“Someone needs to step up,” Patterson said.

When asked about leadership on the team, Patterson went straight to his defense, citing All-America cornerback Jason Verrett and safety Sam Carter as the clear leaders. On the offensive side of the ball, Patterson was a bit more hesitant.

“We need a bit more, honestly,” Patterson said. “Casey [Pachall] is getting back into it, but we need more.”

Patterson said he expected Waymon James to come back as a leader when the running back returns in the fall. James is not participating in spring practice due to recovery on an ACL injury.

Verrett to play on special teams
According to the spring prospectus, Deante’ Gray will be the lead returner on punts and kickoffs while Brandon Carter will be the other kickoff returner. Verrett is listed as a backup to those players.

Patterson confirmed in his post-practice press conference that Verrett could see playing time on special teams in the season, as could James.

“Those are guys who have caught balls and made plays before,” Patterson said.