Sunday, May 18, 2014

Patterson projected to start, but he'll have to earn it


Dimitri Patterson is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the New York Jets' starting cornerback gig opposite Dee Milliner.

Patterson, however, will still have to earn his keep.

"He really fits our style of play," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Friday, via "We’ve got to keep him healthy, but I think he’s got a chance to be a good one. And then like I said, there’ll be competition but the guy came here to compete for a starting job and we’re certainly going to be giving that opportunity."

Through four games last year, the then-Miami Dolphins cornerback had already tallied four interceptions, six passes defensed and a sack. However, a groin injury landed Patterson on the Injured Reserve list a couple weeks later.

Patterson had surgery on the groin during the final week of the regular season and was cut from the Dolphins in March before signing with the Jets in April. In New York, he'll look to get back to unfinished business.

"[The Jets brass] told me that there was definitely an opportunity there for me to come in and pick up where I left off last year," Patterson said last month, via

Patterson, who turns 31 in June, will be up against the likes of returners Kyle Wilson, Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster, as well as Jeremy Reeves, Johnny Patrick and Ras-I Dowling for an opening day roster position.

Gang Green also drafted Maryland's Dexter McDougle in the third round and Northwest Missouri State's Brandon Dixon in the sixth round, so there's plenty of competition at the position heading into the summer.

Still, Ryan projects Patterson to rise to the top.

"We expect him to be the starter," Ryan told Mike Francesca last week.

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