Patterson wouldn't mind if some of his players found ways to get the ball in their hands, but he mostly searches for players who can blitz, strike, stripe, tackle and guard. Then he puts those parts together in a variety of packages to defend the Big 12's variety of offenses and personnel groupings.
Ideally, the looks change, the offenses never get comfortable and the defense is never caught with the wrong group on the field.
Yet Patterson is also teaching a lot of things to what this year is a lot of players. That was part of the problem last season, all the way from a complicated start to a very vanilla finish.
"Later on in the year, we were trying to be too simplistic because guys were playing the wrong technique," Rigg said.
"During camp last year, we were trying to put in so much stuff that we didn't get good at any one thing. This year, we're worried about the base defense and getting great at that and then building off of that. We play base in everything we do, no matter if we're at a disadvantage or if we have an advantage to stop them."
That is the mundane process by which the Mountaineers have maneuvered through the first two weeks of practice for the 2013 season. It hasn't been particularly exciting or exotic. Stunts and twists, corners crashing in from the boundary and safeties swooping down from the back end of the defense are not yet Patterson's concern.
Hurrying in from the sideline. Lining up properly. Communicating calls quickly and correctly. Finding the ball, racing to the ball. So far, all the players have been permitted to be interested in is mastering the basics.
That's about to change, though. When camp breaks following Saturday's practice and Patterson and his staff of three assistants put together a depth chart, they'll take the field together and begin a graduate level course in that description-defying defense.
"I think at first it was broad just to get a feel for all of it," Rigg said. "Before, you'd just drop. Now it's more, 'OK, drop here, but drop two feet that way.' It's going to be more detailed coming up. I think once we start paying more attention to detail, the better we're going to be."
Should you see Doug Rigg on campus a few weeks or months from now, he hopes all the questions have been answered. If not, he knows the conversation will be different.
"If we don't play well defensively, it'll come down to the linebackers," he said. "We take pride in that. We know we have to be able to cover, rush the passer and stop the run. Nobody else on the field has to do all three. If the defense is bad, then you can yell at me."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.