Here’s what we know about Quinton Patton:
- He was really productive in college.
- Jim Harbaugh loves him.
- He wears a grill both on and off the field.
- He’s generous with his gummy worms.
As for what he’ll do on the field as the San Francisco 49ers’ No. 3 receiver, it’s a learning process for everyone. Yesterday’s 23-10 win against the Carolina Panthers was revealing in terms of what we can expect from Patton in the coming week(s) and years.
After the regular season finale in Arizona and this catch he made on 3rd-and-10 as the 49ers’ offense was trying to get something going in their first drive, it’s clear that Patton has the ability to make important, “clutch” catches.
Here’s another angle, which shows that Patton possesses what Harbaugh often calls “contact courage”:
Speaking of contact, both teams were trying to intimidate each other both physically and verbally from the start. Patton showed a veteran’s ability to aggravate his opponent without drawing a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Here he is after the hit on Vernon Davis that gave the 49ers 15 extra yards, calling for the flag and getting a little shot in, but nothing egregious enough to create a situation where two offsetting personal fouls were called.
Patton looks like he’s trying to draw a flag here in the first quarter, but he was unsuccessful. No problem, he’d get his wish later in the game.
Patton’s snap count will continue to increase if he continues making blocks like this one on Colin Kaepernick’s touchdown run. After going in motion to the left, his block on safety Mike Mitchell created an opening for Kaepernick where he only had to beat one guy (Drayton Florence).
The 49ers would’ve won regardless, but Josh Thomas’ moronic personal foul in the fourth quarter turned what should’ve been 4th-and-8 into a first down for the 49ers and effectively ended the game. All because Thomas was so angry with Patton, who got up and walked away as if nothing occurred. Anquan Boldin didn’t seem too pleased, however.
Update: I got a chance to ask Jim Harbaugh about Patton today. He didn’t quite agree with an assumption I made in the question, but he still had some good things to say about him.
Q: Quinton Patton had an important catch early on, he also had the block on Kaepernick’s run. But he also got Josh Thomas riled up to the point where he got a personal foul. What does it say about a rookie to be able to get someone to that point and walk away like that?
Harbaugh: First of all, I can’t agree with you that he got him riled up to the point where that is fact. I can’t agree that that’s fact. I know that wasn’t something he was intentionally doing. He was blocking a man. He was doing it very well and very competitively. What resulted, resulted. Quinton’s been a real good blue collar guy for us now. He’s only really had limited action in the NFL, but the big stage does not frighten him. I really like that about him. Each and every week he’s contributed something. You just feel good about that, and that improvement. Hope for continued success.