Washington Football Team rookie running back Jaret Patterson went undrafted, but now, not unnoticed.
In Thursday's 22-13 preseason loss at New England, the smallish back from the University of Buffalo ran for a team-high 40 yards, with an additional 30 receiving yards.
“It was a blessing,'' Patterson said after the game. "My mindset was whenever I get the opportunity, I was going to take advantage of it and show these coaches … I belong in the … NFL.''
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The 5-8, 195-pounder, a Maryland native, supplemented the work of more high-profile runners Antonio Gibson (five carries, 15 yards and two catches for 14), Peyton Barber (six for 20 and a TD) and Lamar Miller (a late TD catch0 by carrying 10 times and by registering four receptions.
“As I was in there … it kinda just slowed down for me,” Patterson said. “At the end of the day it’s football.”
Head coach Ron Rivera said he wasn’t surprised about Patterson’s performance.
“That’s what we saw in the young man. He had a terrific college career and he’s had a good camp so far,” Rivera said. “I think we expected him to do some positive things, so it was good to watch.”
The first-year back knew he’d be going up against a six-time Super Bowl champion in coach Bill Belichick's Patriots, but he fit on the big stage just fine. For Patterson, his NFL debut is an experience he’ll never forget. He's looking like he really can be the 'real deal.''