Cordarrelle Patterson had a pretty successful rookie campaign on 2013. The former Vol accounted for nine touchdowns during his rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings, which in turn led to him making the Pro-Bowl. Patterson was also named to the Associated Press All-Pro first team as a kick-returner.
That’s a pretty impressive first season, especially when you consider the Vikings didn’t use Patterson all that much to begin the season.
Cord Patterson ran at least 65% of the routes in each of Vikings final 7 games (0 in first 9). Averaged healthy 22% of targets.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) February 18, 2014
It’s somewhat understandable why Patterson didn’t run that many of the routes early in the season for the Vikings — he was extremely raw after playing only one season of major college football at Tennessee.
But then again, Patterson showed the Vikings how dynamic he could be with the ball in his hands when he returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a score in the second game of the season against the Chicago Bears.
Once the Vikings figured out they needed to find a way to get Patterson the ball, his production exploded. Over the last five games of the season he had 16 catches for 219 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He also had 156 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in that same time period.
The good news for Patterson and Viking fans is that new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is already focusing on adding plays for Cordarrelle Patterson, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
Norv Turner‘s first order of business as Minnesota Vikings offense coordinator didn’t involve the quarterback position. Turner immediately installed 10 plays for Cordarrelle Patterson, the team’s most dynamic wide receiver.
“That’s the first thing (Norv) was doing when he was putting the Xs and Os part of it together,” Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said this week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “(Cordarrelle) is a unique talent.”
Turner is a huge proponent of the vertical game and finding ways to get the ball into the hands of the best player on the team.
Second year Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who’s also been described as an athletic freak, excelled in Turner’s offense this past season.
While I doubt Patterson will be able to reach the 1,600 yard plateau as Gordon did in 2013, he should still be line for a big season, no matter who the Vikings’ quarterback ends up being.