How will Norv Turner utilize Cordarrelle Patterson and his unique talents? That’s a question that will have to be answered on the fly, as Patterson develops his route-running abilities, and Turner gets a feel for what Patterson does best.
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Things may be fluid with Patterson now, but the Vikings do have an ultimate plan for the second-year receiver, and that plan involves mostly using him as a split-end. This is what Turner indicated to Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei, who features Patterson in his latest Read Option column.
Pompei spoke to Turner about Patterson’s on-going development as a receiver. Turner told him:
"Like all of these college guys, he’s had limited exposure to route running. The progress he’s made as a route-runner will make a difference in the way he performs. In the spring you can’t do any bump-and-run or press, so we have a lot of work to do in camp. But the biggest thing about him is he’s such a good runner after he catches the ball. So while he grows as a route-runner, he’s going to make a lot of plays because he has very good run instincts after the catch."
Turner has spoken recently about his attempts to “modernize” his offense by incorporating new looks. One assumes he’s specifically referring to Patterson, who has been lining up at multiple receiver positions so far this spring and summer, as Turner seeks to maximize his impact.
However, Turner’s remarks about mostly using Patterson as an X speak to a desire to ultimately have him settle in as more of a traditional downfield receiver. In the end, Patterson will only truly maximize his talents if he learns to use his size and speed to beat defenses deep. First he has to learn the subtleties of the game in order to get consistent separation.