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Patterson promoted to starter at CB after Hobbs burned by Britt

PHILADELPHIA -- Kenny Britt's big day cost Ellis Hobbs his starting job.

Dimitri Patterson has replaced Hobbs as the right cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles. The sixth-year pro will start against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts (4-2) on Sunday.

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"It was a surprise, but it's an opportunity, so I'm grateful for it," Patterson said of his promotion. "Any time I'm able to get on the field, it's a beautiful thing. I just try to go in there and make a statement. That's my goal. If I get five reps in a game, I'm trying to make a statement to everybody in the league and I'm going to do that Sunday and for the rest of my career."

Patterson, a career special-teams player, took over for Hobbs on Monday in Philadelphia's first practice since Britt had 225 yards receiving in Tennessee's 37-19 win against the Eagles on Oct. 24.

Britt caught touchdown passes of 26, 80 and 16 yards and finished with seven receptions to help the Titans rally from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. It was the best game receiving ever against the Eagles (4-3), topping the 213 yards by Dallas' Tony Hill in 1979.

"Any week, as we prepare for any team, I'm a competitor and I'm going to feel like I can cover anybody," Patterson said. "And Kenny Britt was no exception, and this week will be no exception and the rest of my career will be no exception. My mindset week in and week out is I feel confident I can cover anybody."

The Eagles acquired Hobbs from New England for a pair of fifth-round picks in last year's NFL draft. Hobbs started every game when the Patriots went 16-0 in 2007 and started all 16 games in '08. He didn't make any starts for Philadelphia last year, and missed the second half of the season after having neck surgery.

Hobbs became the starter when the Eagles traded Sheldon Brown to Cleveland in April.

Patterson signed as an undrafted free agent with Washington in 2005. He was briefly on Minnesota's practice squad in 2006 and then spent 2007 and 2008 with Kansas City before joining the Eagles.

He certainly doesn't lack confidence.

"I've been here five years, and I didn't become talented overnight," Patterson said. "I came in as a talented player, I've just been a guy who's been patiently waiting for an opportunity. I haven't been any more frustrated today than 2005, when I was a rookie. It's just been a constant, constant push to just make sure I'm ready when my number's called."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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