It’s no secret that the New York Giants run defense was their greatest strength in an otherwise abysmal 2013 season as they only allowed two running backs to rush for over 100 yards the entire season (DeAngelo Williams and Ryan Mathews). With the addition of Jon Beason the defense eventually catapulted into the top ten overall after a slow start. Beason certainly provided a spark for the defense, but could not have made the same impact without the help from the “big butts” that made up the Giants defensive line.
While Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins had strong seasons and were able to keep blockers off of Beason, the line play was not simply just a four-man show. The rotation kept linemen fresh and provided valuable depth in the event of injuries. As a result the Giants were a tough team to run the football on. One of the key contributors to such a feat was former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle, Mike Patterson.
In his first eight seasons in the NFL, Patterson faced the Giants at least twice each year. As a result, he gained some respect for the Giants defensive line as he watched from the opposite sideline. Throughout the years, the Giants have produced fearsome defensive lineman that have won everything from Pro Bowl honors to Super Bowl titles, whereas the Eagles’ only real consistent threat on the defensive line has been Trent Cole.
Patterson was recently quoted as saying, “I waited a long time to get into this locker room.” To which he added, “hopefully I’m back next season.”
While Patterson’s numbers don’t suggest any real valuable production — as he finished the year with 23 tackles, 0 sacks, and 3 tackles for loss — his impact can be assessed on tape. The veteran was often in the right position, protecting Beason from blockers, causing a few errant passes, while also clogging the middle.
On paper however, Patterson translates to an average or less than average lineman that demanded only $620,000 for his services. As a result, the demand and asking price may not be too much higher than it was for this past year and it is feasible to see Patterson returning for a second season, especially considering his desire to return.
In the event fellow defensive tackle Linval Joseph is lost too free agency, the importance of retaining Patterson only grows more important. Don’t be surprised if Patterson is back in the rotation next season with a one or two-year deal.
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