It's been an offseason full of promises and potential for receiver
ESPN believes Turner will get the ball to Patterson "as much as he can" because of his incredible playmaking ability. Patterson is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds and runs like the wind. He figures to be the Vikings' best offensive weapon behind Adrian Peterson.
Patterson scored nine touchdowns last season: four as a receiver, three as a rusher and two on kickoff returns.
"The most obvious thing, and you see it when he returns kicks, is he's a natural runner," Turner said. "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."
Turner said receivers coach George Stewart has done a great job tutoring Patterson on the details of running routes. "He's so explosive when he comes off the ball the way he's capable of coming off the ball," Turner said of the 6-2, 220-pound Patterson. "He creates problems for defensive backs. I think he's made great strides."
Quarterback Matt Cassel echoed those sentiments, saying Patterson has made "a tremendous amount of progress."
"I think the offseason was huge for him in terms of his progress and just being able to really learn," Cassel said. "He's still a young player. He only played a year in college and he was a year at JC [junior college] and now only a year here, and he played sparingly last year for us at receiver. But I think this has been a huge offseason for him to learn, to see Greg [Jennings] do it last year and now to kind of start to apply it more in this offseason."
Patterson finished 2013 with 45 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns and 12 carries for 158 yards and three touchdowns, with most of that production coming in the final five games of the year.
"This year my whole mindset is, 'Remember everything. Do better than you did last year,'" Patterson said. "I think I was kind of bad last year. This year will be way better."
New offensive coordinator Norv Turner is counting on Patterson having a better year. General manager Rick Spielman said at the NFL scouting combine that Turner already had 10 plays designed for Patterson, and Turner moved Patterson around in the Vikings' offense plenty during the team's voluntary minicamp this week.
"I think you've always got to hold that judgment in terms of how a guy handles it," Turner said. "We've had guys who have been very productive players, extremely outstanding players I would say, and they lined up and played one position. We've had a bunch of other guys we've moved around. We've moved Cordarrelle around quite a bit this week and he seemed to handle it pretty well, so we'll see how much he can handle?"
Echoing the sentiments of teammate Greg Jennings,
"[I]t's totally different than last year," Patterson said. "It's going to be tough, but us guys we are going to work together and we are going to be with each other. We'll have to come early in the morning and leave late after practice. We are going to be with each and we're going to get it done."
Patterson said he's spoken to receivers who have played in the offense including Josh Gordon, who was a superstar last season with the Browns. The second-year player said he's focusing far more on improving his work ethic after being disappointed with it last year.
|P3||8/23/14||@ KC||8:00 pm|
|P4||8/28/14||@ TEN||8:00 pm|
|1||9/7/14||@ STL||1:00 pm|
|3||9/21/14||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|5||10/2/14||@ GB||8:25 pm|
|7||10/19/14||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|8||10/26/14||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/16/14||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/14||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|16||12/21/14||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
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