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Gary Patterson explains the most important thing about great defense

What’s the identity of your defense going to be?

August camp is right around the corner and that’s the question most defensive coordinators will be sorting out during camp.

The best coaches will get the most out of their talent and tailor their schemes to fit their personnel. It’s something TCU has done extremely well over the last ten years, five of which the Horned Frogs have led the nation in total defense.

Head coach Gary Patterson carefully explained to the Star Telegram the reason for the traditionally strong and successful defensive units at TCU. The Horned Frogs have always based out of the 4-2-5, but adjusted the philosophy each year to fit the players' strengths.

Patterson said, “We have tradition, so that's something we talk about, and we talk about it in recruiting. But out on the field now we're a whole new defense again. We did it differently all five times.”

“In 2000, we had 10 NFL guys and we hardly blitzed at all, playing base defense and only blitzed 6 percent of the time. In 2002, our personnel was different and we man-blitzed 43 percent of the time. In 2008, we were a zone-blitz, two shell team, that's what we did the best. In 2009, we were a four-man rush team because we could run. In 2010, 50 percent of the time we held offenses to three and out. When you get teams down to six possessions you're going to have a chance to win. You just have to find what you're good at.”

“Last year we weren't very good in red-zone defense. The key was, teams didn't get there, so it didn't make any difference. Our whole thing comes down to how many touchdown passes do you give up in a year. We want to average one a game. The last three years we've allowed eight, 10 and 10. We're going to have people in the box to stop the run. Stopping the run and don't give up big touchdown passes, don't give up the big play.”

TCU opens at Air Force, then travels to Baylor.