Big 12 Media Days are here. It's hard to believe this is TCU's third time doing this thing. No longer the new kid on the block, the Horned Frogs have addressed their shortcomings from the past two seasons and have implemented changes to fix them. Now it's just a matter of how these changes will look. Here are the biggest takeaways from Coach P's Q&A as well as Chucky Hunter and Sam Carter's interviews.
You can also read Gary's complete Q&A here...
The QB Situation is Still Up in the Air
It's still between Trevone Boykin and Matt Joeckel. Joeckel is the educated guess right now. But everything on Deuce Boogie has been positive. Boykin has dropped down to 205 pounds and everything I've read on Twitter from other players has been beyond complimentary. We'll see in about a month.
I think the key is to find the guy that has the swagger, that allows us to move the football, score the points and the guy that's not going to turn the ball over. Felt like last year, if we just would have done that, we would have had an opportunity to win a couple more ball games.
Devonte Fields is still a mystery
Despite appearing in only three games last season, Devonte Fields is the Big 12 Preseason DPOY once again. When you can have a season and off-season as odd as Fields had and still garner this level of praise...you know you're special. From GP:
I haven't watched him since you watched him. So the key to us, we were still one of the top two defenses over two years without him. If he's able to play and do the things he needs to do, then obviously I think we'll have a chance to be better anytime you have that kind of player.
Margin of Error, Means "Finishing"
There are 4-8 teams and then there's TCU. 6 of TCU's 8 losses were by 10 or less. Lesson learned--the defense can't always bail the offense out and it's going to take "making plays at the end of the game" to win in this league. But even with an improved offense, TCU's going to have to limit turnovers...something it wasn't so great at last year.
Finally Running "a Big 12 Offense"
Gary sort of danced around it, but Chucky Hunter made it clear that what's going to make the difference this year is actually running an offense designed for the conference.The cherry on top to scoring more points is that it's going to make an already great defense even better. You can also read Nick's (Hawkeyed) really great piece on this subject.
Coach P doesn't necessarily share the same view as Jameis Winston, but had some interesting thoughts nevertheless...
Number one, you've got to take care of your kids. I mean, we can make them eat better. They can eat better, they can do things. I still think it comes down to growing young men up. I think it comes down to the scholarship is worth something. Do I think that it can be tweeted and you can have stipends and do things? Yes. But like everything else, if you're not careful, it gets abused also.
Sam Carter is the Captain of this team...and wants to start a tug boating business
Carter is the humble workhorse TCU needs leading the charge. One of the biggest complaints over the past two seasons has been the lack of leadership. In addition to learning a lot from Jason Verrett, Carter talked about how he and his teammates would opt out of playing video games and go study film. I think TCU found their guy...
Gary's back to his old self and TCU is "in a far better place"
When people ask me are you glad you changed, yes, because TCU is in a far better place than it ever had been if we hadn't changed conferences get a chance to have a true champion, financially, media-wise, nationally everything that goes along with it. As a coach you wouldn't want it any different. Did my job get tougher? Yes, no doubt about it. Even though this being my third time, a lot more comfortable coming into this setting. You understand who you have to play. You know the stints, you know the players. There's not going to be any surprises as far as you get -- everyone's going to have good players.
Since 2012, TCU is 11-14. Despite this, and making GP's job a lot harder, TCU's best years are ahead of them. I think we can all agree on this. Gary also made note that he's "back to his old self". In true Fight Club fashion, he made note of his split personalities and that his wife "loves Gary" but "is not really sure about Coach P".