Frogs Today weekly newsletter: Start of spring semester means start of player evaluations by new coaching staff

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Sonny Dykes was hired as TCU coach Nov. 28, but this week will be the first time he gets to evaluate TCU players first-hand. (The Associated Press Richard W. Rodriguez).



By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer.

FORT WORTH — A show of hands, please, for everyone who was working out this morning at 5:30.

Some of you may very well have been getting your sweat on before going to work or getting the kids ready for school. Me? I’m more of a mid-morning guy, part of the 10 a.m. crew at Orangetheory Fitness at the Arlington Highlands.

The TCU football team, though, went through its first workout of the spring semester at 5:30 a.m. sharp.

It’s vitally important that players clear the cobwebs by the first rep.

Monday was the beginning of the hands-on evaluation phase for the new coaching staff. A team meeting Sunday was scheduled so that the coaching staff could communicate their expectations.

“Then we start at 5:30 in the morning Monday,” new coach Sonny Dykes said last week.

Dykes and his assistants who came from SMU had seen many of the players on film and in person while competing against TCU. They have watched video to start playing catch-up on those they didn’t know. Three coaches — safeties coach Paul Gonzalez and receivers coaches Doug Meacham (inside) and Malcolm Kelly (outside) — are holdovers from Gary Patterson’s final staff.

These next few months will give the coaches a chance to decide if a player would be better off at another position or to pinpoint where a player needs to improve. Some players might be shuffled out of their previous pecking order.

No one is going to win a job before spring practices. The slate is clean. Everyone, even quarterback Max Duggan, must compete for a job.

“Our deal is every day you’re competing for your job,” Dykes said. “It’s kind of the Tom Brady mentality we believe in, where Brady goes to work every day and believes he’s competing for is job. That’s the way I think it should be. It’s the same thing in business. If you don’t produce, you get fired. That’s the way it is for me and all our assistant coaches, and that’s the way it is for our players.”

Evaluations are under way.

Speaking of Patterson …

The former coach is seriously considering taking a job as a special assistant to Texas coac Steve Sarkisian, which a source said would to be an attempt by Patterson to better position himself to get another head coaching job for 2023. The job is posted for those interested in applying.

Patterson spent time last week in Austin, touring the campus and the Longhorns’ football facilities. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte knows Patterson from their time together at TCU. The Longhorns need all the help on defense they can get, obviously, so adding Patterson is a risk-free endeavor.

Patterson left the Frogs on Oct. 31 after he was told that he would not be retained beyond the season. He exited as the program’s all-time leader in coaching victories and is hailed as the person most responsible for the sustained turnaround TCU football has enjoyed the past two decades.

What to watch this week

Basketball is back after lengthy COVID stoppages for the men and women. The men’s game Saturday at Schollmaier Arena was worth the price of admission. The women are back at home this week.

Others sports are firing up, too.

Clear you calendars and/or keep you eyes open.

One note on men’s hoops: X-rays of the right wrist of guard Mike Miles Jr., the team’s leading scorer, were negative and he is now on track to play this week.

Men’s basketball: at Kansas State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU); vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU)

Women’s basketball: vs. Kansas, 6:30 p.m. Monday (ESPN+); vs. Oklahoma State, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN+); at Oklahoma, 1:30 p.m. Saturday (Bally Sports Oklahoma)

Women’s rifle: vs. Ohio State, Saturday-Sunday

Women’s swimming and diving: at Iowa State, Friday-Saturday

Men’s tennis: vs. UT-Rio Grand Valley, 6 p.m. Wednesday; vs. Florida, 6 p.m. Friday.

Women’s tennis: vs. Incarnate Word, 9 a.m. Saturday; vs. Abilene Christian, 5 p.m. Saturday.

Frogs Today update

Things are starting to pick up around here, in case you haven’t noticed.

It helps when the basketball teams aren’t paused because of COVID, whether the result of their own outbreaks or another team’s. With classes resuming, athletes are back on campus and getting ready to do their spring things.

Construction of the studio for Brian Estridge’s TCU-themed YouTube show is coming along, and the hope is the show debuts sooner than later.

I’ve been burning up my laptop with stories, so keep looking for written content multiple days a week at All the content is here currently free.  You can follow Frogs Today on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and follow me on Twitter. There’s a good chance you’re already following Brian, but if not do so here.

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You will not regret it.

The lighter side

Title game tonight: Who ya got Monday night in the CFP Championship, Alabama or Georgia? The line favors Georgia -2.5 even though the Bulldogs were crushed 41-24 by the Crimson Tide about six weeks ago in the SEC Championship game.

I’d have a hard time betting against Nick Saban. Give me ‘Bama.

Speaking of Saban, I’m a sucker for a good impersonation, and Joey Mulinaro, a contributor for Barstool Sports, does the best Saban impersonation out there. Take a look for yourself.


Colts choke job: All the Indianapolis Colts needed to do Sunday was beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were dreadful despite having No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence. The same Jaguars who hired Urban Meyer and fired him after only 13 games, after he was caught grinding on Not Mrs. Meyer to reportedly kicking a kicker.

But as the Colts proved once it again, it’s hard to win with one hand firmly around your neck. Oh, did they choke, losing 26-11 and opening the door to some AFC playoff chaos in Week 18.

How bad was it? The loss spawned many a meme. This is my favorite:


Bad golf shot: True story: I saw Hale Irwin do this once in the early 1990s at the International just south of Denver. Of course, it was on the driving range, but it was still pretty remarkable to see a U.S. Open champion do what this non-U.S. Open champion did below.

Jeff Wilson,

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