Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has noticed and is pleased with the offseason work put in by Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s suddenly looking at a depth chart that includes offseason trade acquisition Mike Wallace, last year’s breakout player Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright, Brian Hall of FOX Sports North reports. Patterson will try to etch out his own niche and become a valuable piece of the receiving corps.
“He’s really done well,” Zimmer said last week of Patterson. “He’s running routes good. He’s working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I’ve been impressed with the things that he’s done.”
Consistency, particularly in route running, is a major factor for Patterson. Always blessed with the physical talent, Patterson has concentrated more on the mental aspect of the game.
“Growing up, I was always athletic and could just do anything,” Patterson said. “I’m in the NFL now so I just have to focus on my craft and just work at route running, getting in and getting out of breaks and stuff like that.”
Patterson realized he needed more than just his speed and athleticism to succeed against NFL defenses. Patterson and the Vikings hope the offseason work, both mentally and physically, helps him rediscover the game-breaking ability which led to so much talk about the young receiver and returner.
“I felt like I was letting my whole team down and the coaches,” Patterson said of seeing his season slip away last year. “I feel like I have a lot to prove this year to everyone, fans and everybody else. So, this year is going to make me or break me. I hope I step up this year and have a good role in this offense.”