Notes and observations from TCU's practice this morning -
* Player of the Morning Award easily goes to redshirt freshman wide receiver Jonathan Jones, who had three great catches, the best of which came late in practice during redzone drills when he made a leaping touchdown catch near the back left corner of the endzone. "He had a chance to make plays,'' TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "Down in the redzone, we did it scrimmage level cause we hadn't done it in a couple of days, and you have a few plays to do it, and you got to make plays down there.''
*Another great catch came when quarterback Andy Dalton rolled to his left and threw to Jimmy Young, who made a nice reception with safety Tejay Johnson right on him.
*TCU receivers have been one of the big highlights so far in the preseason. They did show plenty of concentration and made catches under tight coverage this morning, but Patterson continues to be cautious about their potential. "I'm going to have to wait until gametime cause gametime's when you've got to make plays,'' he said. "(The redzone drill) was about putting them in a situation - not in a long period but a short period - where it's game level and you see who can make plays and who doesn't.''
*The redzone drills were active. "Defensively we stopped them the first time, but the second time they drove on us. You've got to get that done,'' Patterson said. Some other quick details ....Linebacker Daryl Washington made a nice stop when the offense tried to run up the middle. Washington was quite pleased, and jumped up in the air while letting out a passionate yell. ...Quarterback Andy Dalton had two nice runs, including one for a touchdown. ...There was a scuffle near the back of the endzone that Patterson broke up, and got quite upset over. ...Patterson said he'll have to watch film to get a better idea of how the team did overall.
*One of the funnier moments in this morning's practice came when Jimmy Young was being covered on a play by cornerback Nick Sanders. The two were concentrating on each other, and unfortunately collided with Gary Patterson, who fell to the ground. He got back up quickly, prompting some players to jokingly shout, "TRAINER, TRAINER!"
*Several teams throughout the country have already suffered major injuries in preseason, which makes developing depth even more critical. Patterson has found ways to try and combat that. "We go live, but you'll notice, we go small amounts. I think people get hurt when they're tired, so when we do it, we do a lot where we stay up and we're not taking people to the ground,'' he said. "We call it 'thud' level. I believe when people get hurt it's when they're on the ground.''
*Talked to senior defenive end Matt Panfil, who was quite pleased with the development of the Horned Frogs' defense. "We've got a couple of problems here and there, but it's getting worked out,'' said Panfil, a North Crowley graduate. "I like our defense."
*It certainly helps to have an indoor facility to avoid the rain and possibility of injuries, but on a much more important note, I've got to think programs that don't have facilities like this are killing themselves in recruiting.
*Greg McCoy and Aaron Brown were rotating on kickoff returns at one point.
*The Horned Frogs will practice again today. Patterson warned his team that "tonight's going to be just as tough." Let's see how they respond. -Trae Thompson