Ron Rivera continues to heap praise on rookie running back Jaret Patterson

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Rookie running back Jaret Patterson was the star of Washington’s preseason Week 1 game at New England.

Patterson was even better in Washington’s preseason Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown while also catching three passes for 25 yards.

Patterson even made an impact as a kick returner in his lone attempt, returning one 37 yards.

After Friday’s game with the Bengals, head coach Ron Rivera was asked about Patterson’s performance, and he offered the following:

I thought it was solid. I really did. He’s an explosive, dynamic young back. We gave him some opportunities early on with the first bunch, and he did a nice job with that. And then when the second bunch was in there, 2s on 2s, I really thought he showed his ability. You’ve got to be able to do that consistently, so we’ll see.

Rivera was then asked a follow-up question if Patterson’s success through the first two weeks of preseason would change his role moving forward.

“No,” Rivera answered. “We feel very comfortable with the role we have for him.”

Does that mean the coaches are already confident in the role they see Patterson playing in the regular season? It sure sounded like it.

In Rivera’s meeting with the media on Saturday, he again discussed Patterson.

We were really were fortunate that one of our scouts, our northeast scout, Peter Picerelli, absolutely loved the kid. He hammered Martin (Mayhew) and Marty (Hurney) on him. We liked him but just listening to our scouts, then you really put the tape on and really look at the kid, and all of a sudden you think there is something there. We had a draftable grade on him.

It feels like every preseason Washington has an unsung running back win over fans with a couple of impressive performances. This time is different. Patterson can play and has a future in the NFL.

Washington knows what it has in Patterson and he will be on the team’s 53-man roster come Week 1.