Football season gets one step closer for TCU on Monday as the Horned Frogs take the stage at Big 12 media days.
Gary Patterson will speak to reporters Monday morning. TCU also is sending quarterback Kenny Hill, running back Kyle Hicks, linebacker Travin Howard, and linebacker Ty Summers.
Here are some of the biggest storylines and questions that Patterson will address at media days.
Will there be a quarterback competition?
Hill was inconsistent in 2016, getting benched multiple times for Foster Sawyer. Sawyer has since transferred to Stephen F. Austin. True freshman Shawn Robinson, a 4-star recruit from DeSoto, Texas, enrolled in the spring and immediately won the backup position. Patterson will face questions about whether Hill will have to fight to keep the starting role, and how much playing time Robinson will see this season.
How staff changes will affect the offense
Patterson promoted running backs coach Curtis Luper to co-offensive coordinator after Doug Meacham left for Kansas. He also hired offensive line coach Chris Thomsen from Arizona State and brought in former Cal head coach Sonny Dykes as an analyst. TCU is hoping those moves will help its offense put up more points after regressing in 2016.
Defensive line needs players to step up
The Frogs gave up 2,441 rushing yards last season — the most they’ve allowed since joining the Big 12. Veteran leaders Josh Carraway, James McFarland and Aaron Curry are gone. TCU needs some young players up front to get better if the defense is to thrive. Former 4-star recruits Ross Blacklock, Isaiah Chambers and Brandon Bowen are prime candidates.
Will TCU have a true ‘Gary Patterson defense?’
Patterson built his name as TCU’s head coach with unyielding defenses. But thanks to injuries and a lack of depth, the Frogs have dropped off defensively the last two seasons. With the exception of the line, they have experience and leadership on that side of the ball. So will 2017 mark a return to prominence for Patterson’s defense?
Searching for consistency at kicker
TCU still hasn’t gotten over the loss of Jaden Oberkrom. Jonathan Song missed last season due to injury. Brandon Hatfield and Ryan Graf both struggled, which proved to be the difference in multiple games in 2016. Can the Frogs find a consistent kicker?