Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson got his new teammates smiling when he returned the opening kickoff 50 yards in last week’s preseason opener.
And it appears they’re going to be doing a lot of grinning, at Patterson’s talent, his easy going manner, and colorful stories.
Patterson told Tom Pelissero of USA Today that after he left his first place in Knoxville during his one year at Tennessee, that he ended up living with three women he barely knew from class. He was careful to point out he “didn’t know ‘em like that,” however.
“Man, I’m not a bad guy, but some things happened at Tennessee where I had to move out,” Patterson said. “I had to find somewhere to stay. I had them girls that was there for me.”
“It was a great experience living with girls. They was kind of dirty, though. But I was the man of the house so I made sure everything was good and clean around there.”
He needed it clean, since he apparently didn’t have a specific piece of furniture to sleep on.
“I was everywhere, man,” Patterson said. “I was that guy. I was a rolling stone. Wherever I lay my hat was my home. I’d sleep there. I’d find somewhere to sleep. Sometimes, you get tired of your roommates. You need to get away so I had to find me somewhere else to sleep.”
The fact the 22-year-old is quoting Temptations lyrics with context aside, his living conditions aren’t the Vikings’ primary concern.
They interviewed him three times in the pre-draft process, primarily to determine if they could trust the person behind the immense physical talent.
“When he came in, I said, ‘What are we getting? If we draft you, what am I getting? Because I want to know before I put my name on it,’” Vikings receivers coach George Stewart said. “He said, ‘People don’t know me. You’re going to see a different person.’ And he’s exactly right. You see him from afar, and all the things you talk about – easygoing, low-key, having fun – you see those things. But once you have him around, he’s a different person.
“He’s a guy that’s focused, he wants to be good and he’s willing to work. He’s very coachable. He’s a yes-sir, no-sir young man. You can’t coach him hard enough. He’s not defiant. He wants to get better. He loves ball, and he understands football.”
Patterson’s talent is undeniable, and as long as the Vikings can get him into good positions, he has a chance to make plays for them immediately. His size, speed, and No. 84 jersey have drawn some early Randy Moss comparisons, and he has that kind of talent.
If he develops it, he might even be able to get his own place.