The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Patten Makes Most Of Opportunity

By Matt Maiocco, The Press Democrat

Rookie safety Jake Patten saw far more playing time Thursday night in the 49ers' exhibition finale than he did during his entire four-year career at Virginia Tech. Patten played just three snaps from scrimmage as a walk-on with the Hokies. He played in 13 games total -- almost exclusively on special teams. His résumé did not figure to attract NFL teams."To be honest with myself, I thought this really wasn't going to go anywhere," Patten said of his football career.Already, Patten has made it much further than he expected. He showed enough determination and skill to remain with the 49ers after the club announced its first round of cuts Sunday.As a sophomore, he played three snaps on defense at the end of the Hokies' 62-0 victory against Florida A&M.

Patten did not play at all as a junior, then participated solely on special teams his senior season.Because Patten continued to work for his degree, he was on the Blacksburg, Va., campus on the morning of April 16 when 33 students and faculty members were killed, including the 23-year-old student responsible for the massacre."When I got out of classes at 9 a.m., there was a commotion going on," Patten said. "None of us knew what was going on until I got back to my house and turned on the TV. I didn't have a clue."Sometimes I forget it happened. I push it out of my mind. The first time I wore a Virginia Tech shirt, everybody here started asking me about it."The NFL draft was held less than two weeks after the tragedy. Patten did not expect to hear his name called, so he was surprised when the 49ers asked him to participate in a workout.

He signed with the club on May 16 and received no bonus."He did not get to play too much at Virginia Tech due to the talent in front of him," 49ers vice president of player personnel Scot McCloughan said. "That sometimes happens at big-time schools. He did show enough to merit an invite to the Hula Bowl after his senior year."Our scouts noticed him in that game when he had a great game and great week of practice. After watching the way he went about practice, we felt he could come in and compete."Patten's father, Joel, played seven NFL seasons as an offensive lineman and is a national scout for the Washington Redskins.

It is unlikely Patten will beat the odds again Saturday when the 49ers must trim their roster from 75 to the 53-man limit for the regular season. He has made the most of the opportunity, though. He has taken diligent notes while with the 49ers, and hopes to become a coach when his playing days are over. When asked if he has come to grips with the possibility that his football career could end shortly, Patten said: "I'm not fine with that, but I am. Just to be given this opportunity is awesome."Every morning when I wake up, I smile. I love this."

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