LT has embraced his role with the LA Chargers, and with it, the move up the coast. He just wants to stay engaged with the game he’s loved his whole life.
“Naturally for me, when I left the game, I felt more comfortable doing something in the capacity of football. I’ve been fortunate to work with NFL Network. I guess you get inside sometimes the urge to play. I guess you get that out when you can talk about it, go to games and be around games. That has helped me, along with my role with the L.A. Chargers, being a special assistant to Dean Spanos, sharing my knowledge with players, executives and our owner. That’s why I’ve done it. It’s been the best thing for me in retirement.”
One of the things I have always admired most about Coach P is that he always turns the mirror on himself when the team struggles, not his players or his school. And he’s being incredibly critical of himself last year. Also, this story about Z and Mrs P is gold.
Patterson’s wife, Kelsey, was at a table with defensive lineman Zarnell Fitch. “He was having a hard time because of what I put him through in spring and summer and two-a-days,” Patterson said. So Fitch turned to Kelsey Patterson and said, “‘Mrs. P, I have a question. Do you really love Coach P?’ They had a hard time thinking anybody could like me after what they went through. Then he's found out what Gary is like, and they'll tell you, she didn't hesitate.
“So the key is we all have to get back to doing what we have to do. We have an obligation to our university. Sometimes we lose our way a little bit. I felt like I hurt my team a little bit. I got my knee replaced, maybe didn't give them as much energy. Again, you have to blame yourself before you blame anybody else.
The players said the right things at Big 12 Media Days... but it all comes down to what happens on the field.
“Normally people have a harder time on the road, whereas we were the opposite,” Summers said. “In a way, that is kind of a positive thing because it shows that we are able to play on the road and be successful, but now we just need to translate that and block out distractions when we come play at home.”
The 2017 season will join 2005 and 2014 as the only years under Patterson that his team will be coming off a losing season. He said the focus in an offseason after a down year is getting back to what has worked in the past.
“Sometimes we lose our way a little bit,” Patterson said. “When you’ve been in a program for 20 years, 17 as a head coach, you understand the history of what we’re trying to get accomplished. So, doing the little things that sometimes you forget and you get away from.”
But... in 2017? Texas, TCU, Houston, and... wait for it... SMU (yeah, I said it) should all finish the year ranked in the top 25.
“Number one, we’ve got to keep players here. I think the Internet and everything else has led to that because kids go anywhere now to look at a school. It’s not regional. And we’ve got to do a better job of keeping them in the state. If you want to have great teams, you have to have great players. No doubt about it, that’s what we have to be able to do.
“I think A&M going to the SEC hurt us a little bit because you have that common factor. But to be honest with you, it’s also now — I think the Big 12’s learning it’s helping us because we’re now leaving the state to be able to get kids to come into the state. But we should be embarrassed we don’t have a team in the top 25. There’s a lot of good football players, even that come to our schools, that can play and play at a high level, and we need to play better. It’s simple as that.”
Fish is back, healthy, and ready to get to the NCAA Tournament - and win.
Fisher said he looks forward to the bonding opportunities with new teammates and returnees that the Australia trip will provide for a team that returns its top six scorers, as well as all five starters, from a 24-15 squad. TCU plans to use last year’s NIT title as a springboard to the 2018 NCAA Tournament and already has received Top 25 acclaim in three different sets of preseason men’s basketball rankings (Yahoo Sports, USA Today, Sports Illustrated), with a high of No. 17 by Yahoo Sports.
“I definitely expect a tournament run and we’d be blessed if we could go far in the tournament,” Fisher said. “Right now, it’s within us to get better. I’m excited about everything … even the 16-hour flight.”