After a week of rest, Dimitri Patterson came back to work at the NovaCare Complex Monday morning to a big surprise - he would be taking the first-team reps at right cornerback. Patterson, the five-year veteran who has found a home in Philadelphia after stops in Washington and Kansas City, has excelled on special teams with the Eagles over the last two seasons. Now, it looks like he'll have an opportunity to make a name for himself on defense.
"It was a surprise, but hey, it's an opportunity and I'm grateful for it," Patterson said, acknowledging that he played opposite 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."
There is no official word as to whether any permanent change has been made at the right cornerback spot, held by Ellis Hobbs for the first seven games of the season. Of course, the Eagles allowed a franchise-record 225 receiving yards to Kenny Britt in their last game, a 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Most of Britt's success came against Hobbs and free safety Nate Allen.
Patterson, meanwhile, has been a situational defensive player this season, notching an interception while playing on the left side against the San Francisco 49ers when Samuel was out with a concussion. He also had an interception in the preseason. He also leads the team in special teams production points with 120.
"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."
If Patterson does indeed get a start this Sunday, he'll have a tough opponent for a debut in Peyton Manning and the Colts. But Patterson's doesn't lack confidence, or respect for the opportunity.
"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."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:40 p.m., November 1