For a while, Cordarrelle Patterson looked like nothing more than the Minnesota Vikings kick returner, but he has taken advantage of recent opportunities in the passing game.
Since Cordarrelle Patterson came into the NFL, fans have been waiting to see the explosive player the Minnesota Vikings thought they were getting as a wide receiver. Sadly, that wait took a long time, as Patterson ended up in the team’s doghouse, with coaches saying he needed to work on his playbook and routes.
Meanwhile, Patterson stuck with the Vikings through his special teams play. As one of the best kick return specialists in the league, he continued to impress. Minnesota felt it was time to give him another opportunity and decided to give him a try as a special teams gunner on returns.
So far, that project has been a success as well. Patterson’s willingness to prove that he is willing to do more of the little things to help the team succeed moving forward has helped him in a big way to keep getting more and more opportunities.
Now, Patterson is getting more looks with the Minnesota Vikings offense. While he did catch a touchdown during week 5 against the Houston Texans and start two games so far during the 2016 season, the real difference is when you watch the young man during plays where he isn’t the primary receiver.
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There is a different feeling of mentality with Cordarrelle Patterson when you watch him. Before, he was mostly thought of being a finesse player on offense, one who tried to avoid the physical contact as much as possible. However there is a fire in Patterson this season that makes him feel like a completely different player from what fans have seen in the past.
Watching him fight for yardage, block in the run game, play special teams coverage units, and have an all-around tough attitude during the final year of his contract with the Minnesota Vikings is not a fluke. This type of play takes a mental change
It is possible that watching Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes get fifth year deals on their contracts made the wide receiver realize that he might not be part of the Vikings long-term plans. Or maybe he’s finally put it all together with the hard work he puts in for conditioning and is applying himself in other ways on the field.
“It’s good for all guys to see,” Zimmer said. “If you work hard, good things come.”
No matter what it was that ignited this visible change in Cordarrelle Patterson, it is a fantastic thing. There is no denying that he is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL, and when you add in the new, physical nature and a willingness to do whatever it takes for the team to win, Patterson once again has the potential to be a game-changing player for the Minnesota Vikings.