Defensive tackle was a staple of the Philadelphia Eagles vaunted pass-rush from 2005-2012, but now resides on the other side of a heated NFC East divisional rivalry. The Giants signed the nine year veteran back in April to bolster a defensive line that suffered through a down year by Big Blue's standards last season. Patterson makes the move up the Jersey Turnpike and excited for a fresh start in New York.
"I mean the only thing that is different is it's just a new team," said Patterson. "I've played against these guys for so long I feel like I know them and everything. So I'm pretty excited about it. I feel very grateful and another opportunity for me to come out and play the game."
Patterson was hot in pursuit of quarterback Eli Manning during his playing days in the City of Brotherly, so he has a familiarity with the division and how to attack its opposing quarterbacks.
"I've been in the division ever since I've been in the league," noted Patterson. "As far as all the team wise I know what they like to run and stuff."
The Giants signed Patterson along with former Philadelphia teammate Cullen Jenkins to revamp a bruised and batter defensive front early in the offseason period. With a familiar face at his side, Patterson is making a smooth transition to his new team.
"Most definitely, we were connecting out there in Philly and stuff," said Patterson of the time he spent with Jenkins. "We got to know each other well in the two years we were there. He knows coach Nunn from Green Bay, he was kind of able to give me a heads up and how to approach things." Another player Patterson has leaned on for guidance is defensive captain Justin Tuck. Both he and Patterson were drafted in 2005 and they developed a great rapport in spite of their respective teams battling it out over the years.
"Especially coming out here, we came out the same year," said Patterson of his relationship with Tuck. "I kind of felt like I knew him personally. Seeing him across the way all the time. He has leadership, guys look up to him. I know if I have any questions about anything and if he doesn't have the answer he'll direct me to where I can get it."
Giants' general manager Jerry Reese set the tone for training camp, by posting a Super Bowl countdown clock at the Quest Diagnostics Performance Center as a reminder of the team's goal this upcoming season. Patterson thinks the Giants have as good a shot as any to make it to February's big game.
"All the way I believe," said Patterson on how far the Giants can go. "We have a lot of talent,not just upfront on the defensive line just across the team in general. We have a lot of guys that just want to go out and win."
During last summer's training camp with the Eagles, Patterson suffered a seizure on the practice field and was later diagnosed with the brain condition arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is the tangling of blood vessels near the skull. He appeared in only five games last season and is looking to prove that he can still play at a high level in the NFL. <
"I want to be a productive guy," Patterson sad. "Go out and make some plays. Ever since I had my seizure people think that I can't go out there and play, so I just want to get rid of that stigma. I want people to know I can still go out there and play."