Eagles must do best to protect Patterson

Posted Jan. 08, 2011 @ 2:12 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Eagles CB Dimitri Patterson has gone from feel-good story to the man under the microscope. That's because the safety-turned-cornerback is in a starting role, despite being benched two weeks ago against the Vikings mid-game, and is the Eagles' defensive back whom opponents most often like to target. Why go after Asante Samuel and his seven regular-season interceptions, or even nickel CB Joselio Hanson, when Patterson has struggled to stop passes thrown his way with any kind of consistency? He's a high-effort player with some tackling strength, and he has done a pretty good job of keeping most of the receptions he has allowed to remain in front of him. But it has been a constant concern, and opponents — most definitely including the Packers this weekend — have taken notice of his relative struggles. Getting front-seven pressure always makes it easier for defensive backs if the pressure works, but it's a double-edged sword. Blitz with man defense behind it and fail, and Patterson is out on an island, where he has not done well of late.