Tuesday’s weekly conference call featured familiar faces in Trevon Moehrig and Gary Patterson, as well as the debut of quarterback Max Duggan, who spoke with the media for the first time since joining TCU Football in 2019.
Many of the questions asked were surrounding the health of the sophomore quarterback, who assured reporters that his heart condition is “solved”, saying “I’m all good now.” He also feels ready for a full four quarters Saturday if called upon, and was gracious in crediting all of the folks behind the scenes that have helped get him back up to speed. “I’m working hard every single day; teammates are helping me, the strength staff, and athletic trainers are helping me every single day to get back where I want to be and be able to help this team as much as I can in whatever role that is.”
His hard work has not gone unnoticed, something Moehrig alluded to Tuesday. “He’s a warrior. I think that defines his character pretty well. It’s him pushing through and just wanting to come play, come back and play and just do his best to get in there and work with everybody in practice. I just think he just has a heart of gold. He’s a great leader and I’m excited to get him back.”
Moehrig didn’t make excuses for the defense’s performance, and wasn’t willing to write off the loss as a by-product of not getting a tune-up game first. “I don’t think that was a big deal. We’ve been practicing just like every other team. It’s really on us to get the win. Preseason would’ve helped maybe, but the bottom line is we’ve got to win games.” He also spoke about the five big plays and the breakdowns that led to them — and how they plan to correct them going forward. “You’ve probably heard me speak on interviews before about the communication aspect of this defense; it’s probably one of the most important things we can do,” Moehrig said. “If we don’t have communication, our defense will fall apart.” How do you fix it? “I think just fine tuning the little things, communicating better — and that starts with me. If we can communicate better, we play faster.”
As far as Duggan, his communication with the wide receivers looked good Saturday, and it’s obvious they’ve built a rapport early in 2020, despite him missing time. “We have a very talented group in that receiving corps and on the offense. It’s been a lot of fun getting to grow with them and see what they can do and how they can help us.” He has also enjoyed working with Jerry Kill and Doug Meacham, and has apparently learned a lot. “They are all very smart guys. Everybody on the O staff has a lot of input in what we do and how we’re doing it.” Much like the defense, though, the success comes down to one thing, “the main thing we talk about is execution.”
Moehrig was critical of the defense as far as the five big plays, “we’ve got to eliminate big plays and then I think from there we’ll be fine,” but happy to have Noah Daniels and Lakendrick Van Zandt back in the fold. “Noah is a good player, he’s one of my really good friends. As y’all saw, he did his job. He did his thing out there, so it was exciting to see him get out there.” Of LVZ, “he’s a great athlete. He can do just about what me and AD can do, anybody can do. He’s fast, he’s real strong, he’s smart, and I think there’s some big-time plays, just like you saw this last weekend, coming his way.”
As far as where they go from here? The Big 12 is wide open, and Moehrig knows his group can be in the mix. “I think it comes down to the most prepared and the team that can execute the most. Any given day a Big 12 team can win, so for any game we’ve got to come ready and prepared. Just know that each team coming in each week is going to be a really good opponent.”