This is a huge year for Minnesota Vikings second year wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. He was the best kick returner in the NFL last year, but didn’t get to showcase a lot of his wide receiver skills as Jerome Simpson‘s backup for a large portion of the year.
That looks to change this year, as Patterson is slated to be a starter across from veteran Greg Jennings. While we’ve already heard Jennings praise Patterson heavily this offseason, there were still quite a few things to worry about concerning him becoming a full time starter at wide receiver. From the sounds of things, those things might not be as be as big of deals as originally thought.
Recently, Brian Hall of Fox Sports North put out a great article about Cordarrelle Patterson making the leap to being a starter and a featured target in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s schemes. Here are some great quotes from that article:
The first is from Cordarrelle Patterson at minicamp this year:
“This year I’m going to try and pull something different out. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I can get better and improve on my game. When this year comes, I hope I can show the fans and everybody something a little different.”
One of the major knocks on CordarrellePatterson was his ability to learn an offense. According to his offensive coordinator in Minnesota, that doesn’t seem like a major issue. Here’s what Norv Turner said about Patterson:
“The most obvious thing, and you see it when he returns kicks, is he’s a natural runner. He’s got great instincts when he gets the ball in his hand and he makes great run decisions. He’s got great vision. I think from Day 1 to now he’s improved as a route runner. He’s been very serious about working as a route runner.”
Cordarrelle shined a little light on what he’s doing to make him a better football player in the NFL:
“I still watch film on last year’s games to see how I can get better as a person, on and off the field, just trying to help improve my game. Just watching that film, I see a lot of things I can improve on and get better.”
Patterson also talked about working with the first team offense:
“It feels kind of good working with the 1s. At the end of the day, your spot can be gone, so just going out there working hard, make sure your spot is secure.”
Cordarrelle Patterson seems to be doing all the right things and saying all the right stuff this offseason. It was exciting to see Patterson “flash” last season quite a few times. It will be great to see what kind of production he can put up as a full time starter.