Is it crazy to think that Dimitri Patterson has flown beneath the radar for this long. The 27 year old Patterson has been a straight-up stud since drawing the start for an injured Ellis Hobbs two weeks ago against the Indianapolis Colts.
In his first start Patterson was solid. He ostensibly shut down Wide Receiver Reggie Wayne, while setting a defensive tone with his sure tackling and heady play.
If Patterson’s solid performance against Indy was the steak, than Monday’s game against the Washington Redskins was when he brought the sizzle.
He showcased his solid, sure-tackling early by stopping Keiland Williams short of the 1st down on the ‘Skins first drive, which was just a prelude for what was to come. Soon after, Patterson’s precise route reading of Redskins receiver Joey Galloway provided his first of two interceptions that evening. His second came as he intelligently squatting on a route during an ‘a-gap blitz’ by the front seven that netted him a high-stepping gallop to pay dirt for his second interception of the night, third of the season, and first for a touchdown.
Sure it’s early, but Patterson’s play warrants these accolades. This is what the Eagles fan base has been clamoring for since the Birds traded cornerback Sheldon Brown to the Cleveland Browns this off-season.
Patterson is the sure tackling corner who plays with intensity and fire that this defense needs. It’s ironic that Ellis Hobbs, the man that was supposed to replace Brown, is now on the cusp of losing his starting position to a player who brings a very similar skill set both mentally and physically.
It’s not that Hobbs has been terrible this season. In fact, with the notable exception of the Tennessee Titans meltdown, where wide receiver Kenny Britt abused Hobbs unmercifully, he’s been good. The simple fact of the matter is that, in addition to Patterson’s outstanding play, he has the fire that Hobbs doesn’t. The kid is on defense, but he is playing like he is still on special teams, that cannot be measured.
To that end it’s very interesting how back-ups like Patterson and defensive tackle Antonio Dixon have made such an impact in such a short amount of time. They have outplayed the guy ahead of them on the depth chart through sheer hustle, hunger and drive and the team is thriving on it. These upstarts are setting the tone on defense by being hungry, and they are making those around them better by doing so.
When looking at Dimitri Patterson’s resume you would be more inclined to label him as a journeyman than a starter. However his play in the past two weeks has flipped the script on that mentality. If his play continues to rise, and he does not get complacent with his new found attention, Patterson could quickly become a household name in the city.