Cordarrelle Patterson has great natural talent for making plays with the ball in his hands. This year he’s committing himself to being a complete receiver, and not just a natural talent.
That’s the word from Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who said Patterson has made great strides in getting better at running routes.
“The most obvious thing, and you see it when he returns kicks, is he’s a natural runner,” Turner told FOXSports.com. “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.”
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel has noticed the same improvement from Patterson.
“I just think his route-running and his ability to recognize defense,” Cassel said. “I think that’s huge for him, and any receiver, as you move forward. The key component, I think, is understanding defenses and how they’re trying to attack you and how you work your different releases.”
Despite Patterson’s great speed, he averaged just 10.4 yards a catch last year, in large part because he was often used on screen passes. If Patterson can improve as a route runner, he’ll become the consistent deep threat the Vikings think he can be.