REED CITY — Just one glance at the physical appearance of T.J. Patterson as a lineman has to serve notice to opposing teams that it could be a long night during the 2014 football regular season.

Patterson and his teammates were practicing at midnight to open the preseason on Monday. He’s coming off a strong junior season in which the Coyotes, for the third straight year, finished the regular season at 9-0. Again this season, he’ll be at offensive and defensive tackle.

“It felt really good,” he said of last season. “The tempo was faster than it was in JVs. I’ll be improved more than I was last year. Going to camps, you get better on offense and defense.”

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Patterson indicated he’s bigger from last season.

“We lost a few (linemen to graduation) but we have some kids coming up who are big,” Patterson said. “They are learning new plays and are getting better at it.”

The defense, compared to last season,”will be taller, bigger and stronger,” he added “I think we’ll be good on pass rush.”

Reed City will open the season Aug. 28 at home against Baldwin. The first Central State Activities Association game is Sept. 5 at Tri County.

“I feel if we go hard every day in practice we’ll go to the game and do good,” he said. “We’ll have as much depth as we did last year but we’ll be stronger and faster.”

As a senior, Patterson sees himself as a leader.

“We’ll be teaching the underclassmen what to do,” he said.