The Cleveland Browns will be without cornerback Joe Haden on Sunday in their Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but replacement CB Dimitri Patterson says he is ready to step in and fill Haden's shoes so that the defense doesn't miss a beat. The 29-year-old cornerback has only started 10 NFL games over the course of his seven seasons in the league, but he recently told Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer that he could be a top-five cornerback too:
"If I was a guy who had over 80 starts, I'd be considered that [a top-five corner], as well," Patterson said. "The NFL's a matter of opportunity. At the end of the day, it's not about replacing him. It's about me. That's it."
It is often said that cornerbacks need to have confidence to succeed, and it's clear that Patterson has that part of the game down. On Sunday he will be asked to walk the walk, however.
Patterson has been forced into action because Haden was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the season after testing positive for Adderall, a violation of the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.