By Justin Adkins:
The Eagles have announced that cornerback Ellis Hobbs, a starter all season, has been benched in favor of Dmitri Patterson.
Patterson found out today upon arriving to work at the Novacare Complex that he was supplanting Hobbs in the starting lineup.
“It was a surprise, but hey, it’s an opportunity and I’m grateful for it,” Patterson said when discussing playing alongside Asante Samuel with the starting defense during Monday’s practice. “I’ll humbly accept any opportunity that’s afforded to me, as this one is. I’m a competitor at the end of the day, and if you’re in professional sports, no one wants to be second. You’re not working out in the offseason to be second, you’re working out to be first. You just have to make sure you’re prepared when the opportunity comes.”
Patterson has one interception so far this season (along with one in the preseason), and he leads the team in special teams production points with 120.
A fifth-year player undrafted out of Tuskegee, Patterson has played for Washington, Minnesota, and Kansas City. In his career, Patterson has spent more time on special teams than on defense. This new development has been a long time coming and is a major step up for the hard working corner.
“I didn’t become talented overnight,” Patterson said, “I came in as a talented player and I’ve just been a guy who’s been patiently waiting for an opportunity.”
Patterson’s first foray into the starting lineup will be an even bigger challenge than normal as he and the Eagles are preparing to face all-world quarterback Peyton Manning and the Colts this Sunday.
“Any week, as we prepare for any team, I’m competitor and I’m going to feel like I can cover anybody, so Kenny Britt was no exception, this week will be no exception and the rest of my career will be no exception,” Patterson said. “Assumption is not a word you want to use in this league. This is a day-by-day league. I just take it day by day and one opportunity at a time, and this is the opportunity that I have.”
Only time, and performance, will tell if this change is permanent.
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