Eagles Notes: Patterson a pro bowler? Lito a backup?

The Sporting News named their top 10 players likely to make their first pro bowl in 2008 and Mike Patterson was on the list.

4. Mike Patterson, DT, Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia has done a superb job of rebuilding its defensive line. Trent Cole made the Pro Bowl with a career-high 12 1/2 sacks, but it's time to recognize the talent the Eagles have inside. Patterson excels as a quick penetrator, and he disrupted backfields enough to produce four sacks and a forced fumble last season. It will be difficult for him to displace either Williams in Minnesota, but he should be considered for a reserve spot.

I think Mike Patterson is a guy that will make the pro bowl bow when/if the Eagles are good.  We see this every year where a team plays well and gets a bunch of guys in the pro bowl that maybe aren't necessarily pro bowl locks on a bad team. Good players, but not exactly household names. Dallas was a great example of this last year. Chad Lewis is a great example of an Eagle who made the pro bowl more for his team's success than his own personal stats, which were always pretty average.

Fox Sports thought Mike Patterson was overlooked for a pro bowl spot last year.

Defensive tackle: Mike Patterson, Philadelphia. Chicago's Tommie Harris was named a Pro Bowl backup despite having just 32 tackles. Patterson was more productive (62 tackles) and a better pass rusher than Harris, who hasn't regained the same form since suffering a season-ending leg injury in 2006.

Good to see Patterson getting some national respect.

Staying on the defensive side of the ball, I came across this article on the Sporting News entitled "Sheppard worth the price for Eagles". The gist of the article is that having 3 corners is important, the Eagles could have the best trio, they should make Lito happy blah blah... But this particular line caught my eye...

Sheppard lost his starting job when the Eagles signed Samuel. But Sheppard is not a luxury. As much as the Eagles use nickel coverage, coordinator Jim Johnson estimates Sheppard will still take at least 60 percent of the defensive snaps.

"There are going to be times when all three are on the field," says Johnson. "I look forward to it every day. It's like having two Big Browns in the Kentucky Derby. I walk out there, I see Lito, I see Asante, I see Sheldon. Those are good players."

No where in that JJ quote did he say Lito Sheppard wasn't the starter. The Eagles have never said Lito "lost his starting job." The only guy that Reid has proclaimed a starter right now is Asante Samuel. Andy has said Asante will start on the left, which is previously where Lito played. However, Andy was quick to say that the reason Asante will start on the left is that it's the only place he's ever played, whereas Lito and Sheldon have moved all around. Basically, we don't know who will start opposite Samuel. At this point, if healthy... I'd have to say the favorite is Lito. Sheldon is obviously more durable, but Lito is the more talented playmaker and a better pure cover guy.

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