DALLAS -- There's an upside, apparently, to TCU's position as the only team in the Big 12 forced this offseason to replace its top passer, rusher and receiver.
"It's either you work," senior defensive end Josh Carraway said, "or you get outworked."
Carraway ranks as a leader among a hungry group of Horned Frogs, who lost two of three games last November before overtime wins over Baylor and Oregon to finish an 11-2 season.
"There's competition at every position," Carraway said Monday at Big 12 media days.
Coach Gary Patterson describes the competitive environment as a pyramid. And at the top, as always, the quarterback draws the most attention. TCU must replace Trevone Boykin, a dynamic athlete who won the job two years over Matt Joeckel in a battle Patterson likens to the race this year.
"We'll judge the quarterbacks just like we always have," Patterson said, "[looking for who] makes the rest of the offense better and who can lead the team and make less mistakes."
Patterson said he anticipates a healthy competition.
"I'm like everybody else," the coach said. "I'm kind of excited about this season."
In fact, to enter his 17th season, Patterson said he's more excited about than he was a year ago because of the players' offseason focus. The attention to detail waned before last season.
"It's easier when you have unknowns as the head coach," Patterson said. "Sometimes you get a [negative] feel from your team, 'Here comes two-a-days.' This team has not been like that."