Gary Patterson explains the most important thing about great defense

What’s the identity of your defense going to be?

August camp is right around the corner and that’s the question most defensive coordinators will be sorting out during camp.

The best coaches will get the most out of their talent and tailor their schemes to fit their personnel.  It’s something TCU has done extremely well over the last ten years, five of which the Horned Frogs have led the nation in total defense.

Head coach Gary Patterson carefully explained to the Star Telegram the reason for the traditionally strong and successful defensive units at TCU.  The Horned Frogs have always based out of the 4-2-5, but adjusted the philosophy each year to fit the players' strengths.

Patterson said, “We have tradition, so that's something we talk about, and we talk about it in recruiting. But out on the field now we're a whole new defense again. We did it differently all five times.”

“In 2000, we had 10 NFL guys and we hardly blitzed at all, playing base defense and only blitzed 6 percent of the time. In 2002, our personnel was different and we man-blitzed 43 percent of the time. In 2008, we were a zone-blitz, two shell team, that's what we did the best. In 2009, we were a four-man rush team because we could run. In 2010, 50 percent of the time we held offenses to three and out. When you get teams down to six possessions you're going to have a chance to win. You just have to find what you're good at.”

“Last year we weren't very good in red-zone defense. The key was, teams didn't get there, so it didn't make any difference. Our whole thing comes down to how many touchdown passes do you give up in a year. We want to average one a game. The last three years we've allowed eight, 10 and 10. We're going to have people in the box to stop the run. Stopping the run and don't give up big touchdown passes, don't give up the big play.”

TCU opens at Air Force, then travels to Baylor.

Everett Withers calm, sincere, and impressive during first presser

Everett Withers held his first press conference as the interim head coach at North Carolina on Friday afternoon.

From the sound of his opening speech, you would have thought he landed the job in the traditional way.  Withers, who was honored as the 2009 FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coach of the Year, was relaxed, confident, spoke with humility, and did an outstanding overall job with his speech.

He spoke with a high level of sincerity and his impressive calmness to the situation will certainly benefit the UNC players and even the fans. (You can watch a replay of the presser, right here.)

Here are some of the interesting quotes from Withers:

“I just want to reach of to the alum, letterman, and our fans to say that this is just the beginning and we hope to take this thing a long way.”

“Once we get started, I think the process will be smooth.”

“I know there is no finer assistant coaching staff in the country.  I’m going to need those guys and I know they have my back.”

“I do have a sense of sadness because when I walked in this building this morning, I looked down the hall and didn’t see Butch Davis.  And you can ask anyone that works in this building…a much better person and a great football coach, so I am sad for that.  But I am excited to be the head football coach at North Carolina.”

“We’re going to be a good football team because we’ve got great football coaches on our staff, we’ve got kids committed to playing hard and being an exciting football team on the field. We won’t flinch as a football staff or a football team.  We’ve been through an awful lot already.  Nothing can come at us now that will bother us.  We will play hard.  We will play with class.  We will make the letterman proud.  We will make Carolina family proud.”

“We are committed as a staff to doing things right, here at Carolina.  We are committed to doing it right.”

“We just got to keep plugging as a staff and a football family.”

“I don’t think there needs to be a style change (to this team).”

“I don’t know if it’s gotten away.  We have to hope and pray that they take our leadership.”

“I know Coach Davis is going to be fine, which helps me move forward with this job.”

“One of my priorities will be helping these kids be total student-athletes, not just football players.”

(on shuffling the staff and promoting Art Kaufman to defensive coordinator) “I’m not going to get in the way.  I think Art (Kaufman) is a great football coach.  I’m going to stick my head in occasionally.  I’m going to try to stay out of the way.  I’m going to try to motivate.”

“I think it’s time.  I think I’m ready for this.  I don’t necessary like it on these terms, but it's like that quote said, ‘making the best out of these terms.’”

“Every player I have talked to has been excited.  No negative at all.  I bet I’ve talked to 35 or 40.”

“Our kids deserve an experience that is fun for them.”

Players report on August 4th.  Practice begins on August 5th at UNC.


Steve Sarkisian asked if the PAC-12 has "arrived"

It’s quite evident that PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott is doing one heck of a job.  Virtually every PAC-12 coach mentions how pleased they are with Scott during any national interview.

Not only did Scott secure a $3 billion deal with ESPN and Fox, but the new PAC-12 Networks will be available in 45 million homes nationally.  The four cable partners for the PAC-12 Networks will be Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, and Bright House.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked during PAC-12 media day if the conference had, “arrived.”

Sark told Petros Papadakis (great name / great voice), “We were there.  I think now though that the exposure is there. People are hearing about the PAC-12 more, understanding who the coaches are in the PAC-12.”

“I don’t know if people knew if I was the coach at Washington for a while, they just thought it was the Huskies.”

“Now that the exposure is there, the talents can be shown.  Whether it’s LaMichael James or Andrew Luck or Chris Polk or Matt Barkley, they can now get the notoriety that they truly deserve.”

The PAC-12 Networks will launch in the summer of 2012 and will carry 850 games a year including 350 nationally broadcasted games.

Joe Paterno: I think I can go another 4 or 5 years

Joe Paterno (84) is heading into his 62nd year of coaching. 

As typical, during the Big Ten media day, Joe Pa was asked how much longer he’ll continue on. 

Paterno took it from there: 

“I feel good. I had a couple tough years there, physically...” 

“I didn't think I did a very good job coaching last year. I didn't have a lot of enthusiasm. We had a young team and I didn't take into consideration some things and maybe didn't try to get them to do some things. But I feel good.” 

“I don't know how long. The good Lord's been good to me. I have good health now, back to where I was. I enjoyed this spring. … I got around a little bit more, trying to get to know the kids a little bit better. I've kind of gotten away from them the last couple of years.” 

“So, I don't know. I'd like to go four or five more years but you know, I think somebody else is gonna have to make that decision. I might think I'm doing a pretty good job three years from now and somebody might say, 'Hey, Joe, it's time.' But right now, I think I can go another four or five more years.” 

Since 2005, under Paterno, Penn State has finished 11-1, 9-4, 9-4, 11-2, 11-2, and 7-6.


Bret Bielema, so you're telling me there's a chance?

So you're telling me there's a chance.  Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said it today.  Russell Wilson may not end up as the Badgers starting quarterback when the season starts.

During his Big Ten media day press conference, Bielema was asked, “You called Russell a potential starting quarterback. Is there seriously a chance he wouldn't be your starting quarterback?”

Bielema responded, “Yeah, absolutely. I was very open with Russell during the recruiting process, You will have an opportunity to come in and show us what you can do.”

“I think that's one of the things that attracted him to our program. We were honest, truthful. My parents said if you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said. That's what we said, come in, have this opportunity, take full advantage of it, you'll be the guy that reaps the rewards.”

“I haven't seen Russell Wilson compete one snap competitively in practice. I think I might know what will happen, but until it happens, that's where we're at.” 

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