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Patten Optimistic For 10th Season




David Patten may not have found the end zone last season in his first year with the Redskins, but only those without a grasp of history would bet against the speedy receiver being shut out again in 2006.

In fact, Patten hauled in seven touchdown receptions during the New England Patriots' 2004 Super Bowl run. It was the Patriots' third Super Bowl victory since Patten had joined the team in 2001.

Even though the Redskins already have Pro Bowler Santana Moss and have added Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd, Washington opponents had best not forget about Patten in 2006.

The 5-10, 190-pound Patten possesses a great deal of professionalism and he's looking forward to a productive 10th season in the league.

Patten has had to fight for all that he's obtained in the NFL, ever since he came out of Western Carolina, not a hotbed of pro talent.

It's another season of challenge for Patten, and he sounds like he's up for it once again.

"You can bet that I'm working hard," Patten said this week at Redskin Park.

Patten's 2005 season was cut short after nine games when he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. His best game came at Denver, with seven catches for 63 yards (and a long of 16) in the Redskins' 21-19 setback on Week 5.

"Losing David in the middle of the year was a big blow for us," head coach Joe Gibbs said.

Patten finished last season with 22 receptions for 217 yards. The previous year in New England, he caught 44 balls for 800 yards for an average of 18.2 yards per catch. That 18.2 yards per catch is what caught the attention of the Redskins' brain trust and resulted in Patten's move from New England to Washington.

Looking ahead, the combination of Moss, Randle El and Lloyd gives the Redskins one of the most potent collections of game-breaking receivers in the NFL.

David Patten certainly has credentials, too, and the possibility of four-wide sets may be in the vision of Al Saunders, one of the league's most creative offensive planners.

"In New England, we had a lot of unselfish guys," Patten said. "If you caught 10 balls, that's wonderful. But if you caught one ball, you should have the same excitement about being happy for your teammates."

Of particular interest to Patten is the Redskins' Week 15 game at New Orleans. It was in the Louisiana Superdome that Patten turned in one of his chief professional catches.

Patten came up with an eight-yard TD pass from Tom Brady as New England beat St. Louis 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI in the Louisiana Superdome. The Redskins are at New Orleans on Week 15 this year.

"I'm definitely looking forward to going back there to play this year," Patten said. "I remember that play well. The Rams were in man coverage and I was matched up versus Dexter McCleon."

It may also be pointed out that another outstanding game in Patten's came versus Indianapolis, the Redskins' Week 7 opponent in 2006. Playing for the Patriots versus Indy in 2001, Patten became just the sixth NFL player since 1960 to rush for, pass for, and catch a touchdown in a single contest.

As far as 2006, opponents who overlook David Patten's skills may be doing themselves a great disservice.

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