Posted by Jerry Hinnen
TCU was already facing what many expect to be something of a rebuilding year. And it's now possible that rebuilding is losing a major part of its foundation.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that starting quarterback Casey Pachall will undergo an MRI Wednesday to examine an injured shoulder that has kept Pachall out of the last two practices. Pachall suited up for Tuesday's session, but did not take the field.
Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson declined to speculate on the severity of Pachall's injury or what the MRI results might show, but he did make it clear he wasn't happy with the Frogs' performance Tuesday in Pachall's absence. "The offense wasn't good at all," he said. ""We need leadership [with Pachall] not out there."
That the Frogs are already struggling to replace Pachall shows what a heavy, heavy blow it would be if the shoulder keeps him off the field for any substantial length of time. Though still just a sophomore preparing for his first year in the starting job, the Brownwood, Texas native was also one of the most highly sought-after recruits of Patteron's tenure and has been carefully groomed to succeed Andy Dalton from virtually the moment he stepped on campus. With just three offensive starters returning -- including just one offensive lineman and one of the Frogs' top four receivers from a year ago -- Pachall is expected to be the cornerstone of the Frogs' attack in 2011 and beyond.
Should Pachall miss any or all of the Frogs' upcoming campaign, redshirt freshman Matt Brown would likely get the first crack at replacing him, with true freshman Trevone Boykin also in the mix.
But the truth is that even given Pachall's lack of experience, neither Brown nor Boykin seems likely to replicate Pachall's Dalton-but-with-a-stronger-arm skill set. Whether TCU's 2011 truly is that rebuilding year or another potential championship season might be hanging in the balance of those MRI results.