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Meachem learning from a vet.....

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Old 03-19-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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Meachem learning from a vet.....

Leaning on a vet: Saints' Meachem turns to Patten to get better | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | Sports | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | wwltv.com

Leaning on a vet: Saints' Meachem turns to Patten to get better

05:40 PM CDT on Tuesday, March 18, 2008

By Bradley Handwerger / WWL-TV.com Staff Writer bhandwerger@wwltv.com

METAIRIE – For Robert Meachem, his first year as a professional football player was one giant malady, save for Draft Day in April.

New Orleans took him with the 27th overall pick, higher than many draft experts expected.

And then his season took a nose dive.

He showed up to offseason training overweight. He injured his ankle in training camp. He had surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in his knee.

In the end, when 2007 swept into 2008, Meachem was the only one of 32 2007 first-round picks not to play a single down his first season. He wasn’t on the active roster at all.

So Meachem did what any other first-rounder would do. On second thought, he did the exact opposite.

He went to 12-year veteran David Patten for help.

“From a humility standpoint, that takes a lot for a kid of that stature,” Patten said. “When you’re a first-round draft pick a lot of times this day in time, let’s be real, they come out cocky, ‘I’m the man, I know it all, I’ve already got it down pat.’ For him to humble himself and come to a guy and be like, ‘Hey, I need you to help me make it to the next level, help me do what’s expected of me.’

“That’s the foundation. That’s where it starts. Before you can learn anything and get better, you have to humble yourself and be willing to learn.”

Meachem came to New Orleans off a standout junior season at Tennessee. His 71 catches ranked second in school history and so did his 11 touchdowns.

His 1,298 yards in that year ranks fifth in SEC history.

He was a first-team all-SEC pick by the AP and the coaches.

But none of that means a lick now. The only thing that matters is that he remains healthy – which he said he is right now – and prove to himself, his teammates and his coaches that he was worth a first-round pick.

“You use that as a lot of motivation,” Meachem said. “You want to show your fans that it wasn’t a bust.”

He added, “Your self pride kicks in all the time. It’s very motivational to hear somebody say, ‘Well, he was a bust.’ To prove everybody wrong and just let everybody know you wasn’t a bust and you’re going to do what you’re supposed to do.”

The idea to go to Patten for help wasn’t the veterans. Rather, it was something Meachem figured he needed to do if he was going to make it in the NFL.

“He’s been in it 12 years,” Meachem said. “This will be my second year. What’s better than to work with a guy like that that’s going to push you? If I do good, he looks good, right?”

The biggest thing Patten has given to Meachem isn’t anything tangible in a physical sense. Rather, it’s the mental part of Meachem’s game that appears to be the reward.

Following his knee surgery, Meachem wasn’t running like his old self. That’s no longer.

“I’m getting a lot of confidence back in my body,” Meachem said. “When something’s hurt, your body doesn’t want to let you do it. It’s all about telling yourself I’m fine, I can do it, I can jump, I can cut.

“I can come in on my breaks and do everything I need to do to be great in this league.”

From what Patten has seen, he believes the future is bright for his fellow receiver.

“First and foremost, he feels like he let everyone down last year, let alone his family and his team,” Patten said. “But more importantly, he feels so badly because most of all, he let himself down.

“He’s such a high character guy, he has great work ethic. He would never make the excuse it’s his knee. He just says, ‘Hey, I’m not getting it done.’ He never blamed it on his knee. The reality of it is that’s what it was.”

<I believe it was Patten who said he and Meachem have been working out together for the past four weeks (and that was a week or so ago).>

Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, over, and over again...and expecting a different outcome!
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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Re: Meachem learning from a vet.....

Don't think Patten couldn't use the work too. Hope he hasn't lost a step.

Hey, nice find and great post. Meachem should be fine. He's not a rookie even though he wasn't activated for any games. Just being around had to teach him something. I look forward to seeing him live up to his drafting this year and believe he will make an impact. I think it is unselfish of both players to be doing this. The weather has been great for workouts like this. Just as long as Henderson isn't teaching him how to catch, it's all good.

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Old 03-19-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Meachem learning from a vet.....

This is why we look for people with character. Both Patten and Meach stepped up and hopefully itll lead to something positive for both.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Meachem learning from a vet.....

Ok this is exactly what he needs to do and exactly how a "FOOTBALL" player needs to be. Go in and learn and be humble.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
 
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Re: Meachem learning from a vet.....

Henderson teachin' Meachum how to catch... Good Lord ... is that trouble or what!?!?!?
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Meachem learning from a vet.....

Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
Henderson teachin' Meachum how to catch... Good Lord ... is that trouble or what!?!?!?
Ok you would have a point and it would be funny if Henderson was actually mentioned in the article.
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