Patterson Aiming for Repeat Performance

Steelers WR impressive in first preseason game

Josh Rowntree
August 16, 2018 - 11:53 am
Steelers WR Damoun Patterson in 2018 training camp

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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Between his Twitter and Instagram accounts, Damoun Patterson believes he gained nearly 10,000 new followers last week. 

The Steelers rookie wide receiver got the attention of fans by grabbing six passes for 77 yards, including a leaping touchdown catch, followed by a celebratory backflip, in Pittsburgh’s 31-14 win over Philadelphia last Thursday. 

“A lot of people have been coming up to me,” Patterson said. “My social media’s been blowing up. It’s taking me by storm a little bit. But it’s pretty exciting.”

Patterson came into rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. He impressed Steelers coaches enough to earn an invite to training camp. 

“I’ve been taking it day-by-day,” he said. “I came into minicamp not knowing what to expect. Then I got signed out of minicamp and that gave me a lot of hope and motivation to continue to get better.”

Now he’s hoping to keep it rolling when Pittsburgh takes on Green Bay tonight. 

“I think I had a pretty good first game,” he said. “But, personally, I feel like I could have done a lot better.

“Consistency. (Coaches) haven’t said much, but that’s been the main thing throughout camp, just staying consistent and everything.”

Mike Tomlin took notice of what Patterson, among other young players, were able to do in a game environment. But keeping things in perspective is critical at this point in their careers. 

“They’ve had their moments, but a lot of guys have had their moments,” Tomlin said. “The moments that you have out here set up the opportunities that you get in stadium.

“They earned those opportunities and they made some plays. We’ll see if that upward trajectory in their play continues as we give them some opportunities that they’ve earned.”

Patterson’s route to the NFL is a bit unconventional. An Apopka, Florida native, Patterson committed to Utah State. He played minimally and left the program, enrolling at Highland Community College in Kansas. 

But Youngstown State coach Bo Pelini saw something in the lanky, 6-foot-2 wideout. In two seasons, Patterson caught 52 passes for 1,039 yards and six touchdowns. 

He has never been a star, but now he has a shot to make the Steelers roster. 

“I try not to focus on it,” Patterson said. “That’s the goal from the start, but I really just want to put my best foot forward and continue to get better every day.”

Patterson will likely need to unseat a veteran like Justin Hunter or Darrius Heyward-Bey. The best way to do that is by excelling on special teams. 

“I feel like I’m in a pretty good position in special teams,” said Patterson, who did not return kicks or punts at YSU, but did make 17 tackles, most on special teams. 

“I love special teams. Punt, kickoff, all that. Wherever they put me at, I’ll do it.”

His first game was against the defending Super Bowl champions. Now, he looks to impress in the NFL’s most historic stadium, Lambeau Field. 

“Every stadium we walk in is going to be special to me,” he said. “My first NFL game ever was last week, so that was pretty big time for me.”

Hear more of what Patterson had to say below.