Greg Jennings watched Cordarrelle Patterson come on strong at the end of his rookie season, and now in year two the veteran expects the explosive Patterson to become the true focal point of the Vikings’ passing game.
With that in mind, Jennings took Patterson aside recently and let him know what is expected of him in his new role as the centerpiece of the offense.
Jennings told ESPN’s Ben Goessling about his words for Patterson:
I wanted him to know that, coming in, the expectation of you is no longer “rookie.” It’s “You gotta go. We saw what you can do. We’re gonna showcase this.” For me, it was making sure that he understands that he has to be a professional. He has to be a pro’s pro when he steps foot in this building, because we’re expecting [him] to give us what we’ve seen you put out there.
Norv Turner spoke recently about his desire to “modernize” his offense. To me, that’s code for “I need to find more ways to get the ball into the hands of Cordarrelle Patterson.”
Clearly, Turner recognizes the potential in Patterson to be a major threat. He also understands that Patterson is not necessarily a traditional deep receiver in the mold of a Randy Moss. Turner realizes he has to make adjustments to his system in order to maximize Patterson’s impact.
People are expecting certain things from Turner, but they may get a new variation on the old Air Coryell-derived offense, a variation that takes advantage of Patterson as a monster out in space. Turner also clearly wants to use Jerick McKinnon in a familiar Darren Sproles-like role out of the backfield.
How will all these pieces fit together? Nobody knows. But the fact that Patterson is so central to Turner’s plan shows what the Vikings think of his talent. Patterson can be special, and Norv Turner and Greg Jennings want to help him get there.