Monday, July 23, 2012

Casey Pachall must up his game for TCU to make strides in Big 12 - Fort Worth Star Telegram

engel DALLAS -- The adjectives and verbs that are used to describe Casey Pachall around Fort Worth do not equate with a guy who, in his first season as a starting college quarterback, was about as good as a you could want.

No other TCU player generates as much rumor, speculation and criticism as this guy."We hear some crazy things," teammate Blaize Foltz said Monday at the Big 12 media day. "The one I can remember was that he was quitting."This is one of the nicer ones.For the record, Casey Pachall has never been kicked off the team; he hasn't quit; he isn't leaving tomorrow for the NFL; and there was zero indication of him being involved in the marijuana arrests in February even though he was Tanner Brock's roommate and he was there the morning of the raid.It would seem one of Pachall's biggest problems off the field is that he committed the crime of not being Andy Dalton, and that he is a college kid."Andy was a kid you wanted your daughter to marry," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. "I may never coach a kid like Andy again."This is not Casey Pachall's fault, so give the guy a break. If you do, you'll find if he continues to grow and mature he may yet wind up being better than his predecessor."I've always thought that just because I'm not Andy they want to find something wrong with me," Pachall said. "That and the tattoos and stuff, they just want to speculate and try to cause problems."Casey sounds and looks a bit raw and unrefined. The tats. The white dude's 'frohawk. He can be a bit candid when maybe the situation calls for banality.A 21-year-old living in the playpen that is college has a tendency to do certain things that they may look back on not with regret but amazement.The difference is the level of scrutiny and responsibility on Pachall is far greater than the random college kids whose punishment is a stern warning from their parents.A few unflattering pictures on Facebook can become public domain, and suddenly you can become "immature" and "incapable of being a leader.""I regret a lot of that stuff, but I have learned from it. I know what is a stupid decision, and to not go around or attempt to be around [stupid decisions]," he said. "The scrutiny and the crap that comes along with that, that is the part I do regret."If TCU is going to be successful in this transition to the "big time," his evolution can't be limited to knowing when and where to hang out after hours. As a player, this can't be his ceiling.Patterson may be the greatest defensive coach who ever called a blitz, but it won't matter unless his QB makes plays. Defense may win national championships, but quarterbacks win the Big 12."This is a points league," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Monday.The days of GP just needing a quarterback who set up his defense and whose forte was not screwing up are gone.He needs Pachall to make plays.The days of Pachall candidly admitting he didn't really have to study or do any film work to prepare to beat UNLV or New Mexico, which he did on Monday, are over."Football-wise, Andy was a student of the game and he had to learn to play in the big games," Patterson said. "Casey loves playing in the big games. His whole thing is consistency."When Pachall knew he had to study -- like for the games at Baylor and Boise State -- he prepared like an A student and earned a good grade.When Pachall knew he could coast -- like against New Mexico or any other lesser opponent -- he prepared like a C student and sometimes he got away with it.His predecessor never coasted, because he realized he couldn't. He did not have Pachall's natural abilities, so he studied."If your goal is to win the Big 12, you have to play week after week; you can't have C and D games," Patterson said. "You have to have A and B games. That will be what we find out in year two of the Casey Pachall era."Mac Engel, 817-390-7697Twitter: @MacEngelProf

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