Rick Spielman: Cordarrelle Patterson continues to make strides

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Last week, there was some talk that the Vikings would turn to Cordarrelle Patterson on offense more often with Charles Johnson out of the lineup.

As has happened often since his rookie season, that talk didn’t amount to anything on the field. Patterson caught one pass and saw the fourth-most snaps of any receiver. Rookie Stefon Diggs also showed chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater that made it hard to think that Patterson will be getting too many looks once the Vikings are whole at receiver.

Despite Patterson’s minuscule playing time and production on offense, General Manager Rick Spielman insists the team hasn’t given up on him and is coming up with more ways to get Patterson involved.

“He’s made so many strides since a year ago and he continues to make strides,” Spielman said, via ESPN.com. “As these coaches evaluated our personnel, the one thing Zim always preaches is team comes first before any stats. As our guys are learning these players, they have a pretty good feel but they’re still, you know, ‘What are we?’ Because now you have an Adrian Peterson in your backfield. With Cordarrelle, you can’t ask for a kid that’s working as hard as he can. And there are specific packages that he may be involved with. These guys are trying to put personnel together with specific packages.”

It’s not surprising that the guy who traded up to get Patterson in the first round would resist saying that the team has lost hope that the wideout will make an impact for them. He doesn’t really need to because every week that passes without Patterson in a prominent role makes it plain enough to see.

77 responses to “Rick Spielman: Cordarrelle Patterson continues to make strides

  1. Why don’t they stop pretending that Patterson is an NFL-caliber receiver and just let him be what he really is: an excellent kick returner? Chicago tried making Devin Hester, the best kick returner in NFL history, into a receiver. It didn’t work. That tactic won’t work with Patterson, either. He simply doesn’t have the ability to be a receiver. If he did, he’d be playing the position regularly and catching passes. Just let him return kicks, because that’s what he does best.

  2. As a Vikes fan, can say that I’ve officially given up on Patterson as a wide receiver. He apparently can’t learn the position as he routinely misses routes, can’t fight thru dbacks and can’t adjust to the ball in the air. He is a gimmick player, ala Devin Hester who excelled on special teams, but could never make the transition to WR. Once the NFL decided to move kickoffs up, every ball sails over his head, denying him an opportunity at a run back. Spielman is simply promoting him to get some team to bite on a trade.

  3. They use to call him Flash, by the midway point of this season they are going to change it to Flush, because that’s equivilent to what the Vikings did all with all those picks they gave up to be able to draft him…

    That GM needs to relax and find value that’s how you have good draft classes. You don’t take a 40th ranked player in the class at 12 because you need a QB. You trade up to the 55th pick, cuz you trust your scouts and there is a player they have ranked as the 40th best player.

    Except it’s seems his motto is done fire me, fire the head coach instead, look at all that first round “talent” I worked to acquire. Even though some of them turn out like Flush.

  4. What exactly is the issue with this guy? I know the Packers are having the same sort of frustration with Janis….fast, big, and athletic, but the guy just can’t seem to get on the field. Is it purely playbook-related? Man, hire a tutor for crying out loud.

  5. on this pick ted Thompson must have snuck in the war room and threw a dart at a balloon like he usually does! by the way the packers have ZERO championships since choke gate! ZERO!

  6. I am so glad the vikings traded up to draft him. I was so excited when he was drafted, I bragged to everyone how the vikings won the draft and the whole offseason. Visions of Super Bowls danced in my head.

    Then the season started.

  7. Same problems as the Packers are having with Janis?

    Seriously, Janis was a seventh round pick who actually has showed strides. He does need to continue to fine tune his routes but his speed and hands are superb.

    I would not trade Janis for Patterson, I doubt Ted would either.

    Queens you make my day, keep the purple strong and break out you pig tails on Sunday.

  8. We’ve been hearing this for years now. He’s just trying to justify all of the draft picks he gave up to acquire him.

    Of course they could have just read the many scouting reports on him that were out there talking about how he was too stupid to learn the playbook in college and couldn’t run a simple college route tree.

    It’s like they learned nothing from Troy Williamson!

  9. the kid only played two years in a big time college program and was raw coming into the NFL. There are a ton of kids with amazing athletic talent who can’t make the transition from free lancing all over the field to playing within a scheme. We know from his rookie year that he has talent. I am glad the team is willing to take the time to develop him. Unlike the Joe Webb experiment where they moved him back and forth from QB to WR, they are focusing on one position with him. I hope it works out. If not, remember the Packers brought in Desmond Howard as a kick returned just to help them win the super bowl and he was the game MVP. so there is room for a player who can change a game from that position.

  10. on this pick ted Thompson must have snuck in the war room and threw a dart at a balloon like he usually does!
    ————
    Thompson doesn’t wasted 1st round draft picks on WR’s. And he certainly wouldn’t give up a second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round draft pick for one.

    Instead he drafts studs like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and James Jones in the 2nd or 3rd round. Those are some pretty good darts.

  11. I’m sure he is.

    Of course, when talking about someone like Cordy (Wonderlic score: 11), “making strides” refers to just being able to find the practice facility on a daily basis.

  12. Another lesson for a GM to not trade with the Patriots. The Pats had a desperate WR need that year, but still traded down for a haul of picks that materialized into Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan and a trade for Blount.

  13. He was a project when he was drafted so it’s not surprising he hasn’t become a dominate NFL receiver yet. That being said I am a little surprised he hasn’t put it together a little quicker and at least become productive than what we’ve seen so far.

    That being said, even though his route running need continued improvement, there is absolutely no reason that they cant work a bubble screen or two a game to get the ball in his hands with a little space. You can not deny his ability in that situation.

  14. I feel bad for Spielman. He keeps making these absolutely boneheaded trades on draft day and then sits there with this smug look on his face…”Ha, I sure outsmarted all of those GM’s with winning records, ha!”

    The truth is, part of his job is to sell hope to the fans, and making splash moves excites the apathetic fanbase in Minnesota far more than trading down for solid value. You have to look at the customers you are selling to. As is pointed out every year in Deadspin, “the average Edina housewife actually thinks she is too good for the Vikings.”

    Just for comparison’s sake, the Packers drafted Eddie Lacy, David Bahktiari, JC Tretter, Johnathan Franklin and Micah Hyde in the rounds Rick traded away. None of these picks would excite the average Viking fan, because 90% of the “fans” don’t care unless it involved a move that made headlines.

  15. The Vikings are notoriously horrible at developing their own talent. That’s why they grab Packer cast offs at an alarming rate. They should have passed on Flash, let another team try to develop him, and then make a move to get him. That’s been their business model for years.

  16. Honestly, I think the Vikings need to teach him how to block and put him in as RB on third downs. Let him block and then sneak out to be a dump off in the middle. I also wonder why they don’t bubble screen to him, unless they’re saving it?

  17. Another lesson for a GM to not trade with the Patriots.
    —————-
    Personally, I love when the Packers trade with the Patriots. They traded down with them and got Greg Jennings while they took Chad Jackson and then traded picks with them again and got Clay Matthews.

    Doesn’t get much better than that. Bring on more trades. They do a lot of trading with the Patriots and have made out well on those players as well. Maybe bad GM’s shouldn’t trade with the Patriots.

  18. This appears to be player fluffing just like Spielman pulled with Percy prior to his trade. The issue with Corduroy is simply lousy route-running, made worse when he focused solely upon conditioning in the off-season rather than work with a WR and WR coach on route-running as the Viking coaches preferred.

    Every team has draft busts, and this appears to be one. The Vikings have busted before and will do so again. For those gloating cheesers above, in the last 10 years alone, please refer to your team’s picks in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  19. After the 2013 season, the trade for Patterson looked like a good one for the Vikings. Now, it looks pretty lame.

    After a disappointing 2014 season, Zimmer publicly said that “it was up to Cordarelle”. Patterson was given a directive and an opportunity in the off-season to meet with a HOF receiver, and to work on his route-running skills. Instead of following through on that, he blew it off to work only on conditioning, and now we are all seeing the results of that stupid decision of his.

    It is obvious that Zimmer doesn’t like him, and just as obvious that Teddy Bridgewater is not comfortable throwing him the ball. With the emergence of Stefon Diggs last week, Patterson now finds himself at the bottom of the depth chart at WR.

    So, yes, Spielman is trying to save face here. Here’s the problem: Earlier this week, Spielman traded away their starting MLB (Gerald Hodges) and eventual replacement for Chad Greenway for a sixth round draft pick and a rookie free agent center. What does he expect to get for Patterson?

    Here’s a hint, Rick: Next time, before trading away four draft picks to move back into the first round, make sure the guy you’re picking has a solid work ethic; otherwise, you’ll end up regretting it. While I like most of Spielman’s work since 2012, this is a miss that could have been avoided with a little more background work.

  20. The problem might actually be in the development stage.
    Perhaps Patterson would get more out of his career with a change of scenery, with a team that’s experienced at getting more out of their players.

    Similar to Letroy Guion being misused in Minnesota as a 4-3 DE, he has excelled and has been an on the field disruptive force as a DT/DE in Green Bay’s 3-4.

    On a side note: The Green Bay Packers now have more wins than every single team in our division combined.
    I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.

  21. v2787 says:
    Oct 9, 2015 10:27 AM
    Why don’t they stop pretending that Patterson is an NFL-caliber receiver and just let him be what he really is: an excellent kick returner? Chicago tried making Devin Hester, the best kick returner in NFL history, into a receiver. It didn’t work. That tactic won’t work with Patterson, either. He simply doesn’t have the ability to be a receiver. If he did, he’d be playing the position regularly and catching passes. Just let him return kicks, because that’s what he does best.
    …………………………………………………………………..

    Because rule changes have neutered the kick return rendering dedicated kick returners basically worthless.

    Patterson can’t run routes and has no ability as a wide receiver. It was a horrible, brutal pick by Spielman when he could have had Deandre Hopkins at pick 23 without making a ridiculous trade for a project KR/WR.

  22. @purpleguy-

    You have to be kidding. There is a Pro-Bowl caliber player in every single one of those drafts that you mentioned of the Packers. Because you don’t hit on your first rounder does not mean the entire draft was a bust. Well, unless you’re Spielman and you trade your entire draft away for Cordarelle Patterson. Or draft Christian Ponder #12 overall. Or…well, you get the point.

  23. Doesn’t really matter because spielman found Diggs who is essentially everything and more of what Patterson was hyped to be.

  24. I could make some snarky comment about the Vikes trading up to draft a kick returner in the 1st round but that would be too easy.

    Bust. That’s all that needs to be said. No way around it.

  25. Some trades work, some don’t. You have to judge GMs based on their body of work. The Seahawks didn’t get much value when the traded a 1st rounder to MN for Harvin but no one should be criticizing Schneider because he’s had so many other moves work out. You have to judge Spielman in the aggregate, too. Spielman whiffed on Ponder but hit on Bridgewater. He traded up for Harrison Smith and that was a great move. The Patterson trade was not so good. So the jury is still out on Rick. But keep in mind, this article is jabbing Spielman for missing on Patterson because a 6th round rookie WR is playing like a first or second rounder. Diggs was drafted by Spielman.

  26. This man isn’t a receiver. In fact, they need to slap a 20 number on him and use him much in the role of what Dexter McCluster played when he was in KC. He can run routes, but he can hit holes, and is special with the ball in his hands. This way you can get him, Peterson, Wallace, Johnson, and potentially Wright or Diggs in all in the same play. Overload the offense with speed and make them pick their poison. They continue to try and make him what he’s not, he’s not a receiver, I think he’s a running back. Plus I think testing him on the trade market asa running back could be much better than a 6th or 7th rounder.

  27. v2787 says:
    Oct 9, 2015 10:27 AM

    Why don’t they stop pretending that Patterson is an NFL-caliber receiver and just let him be what he really is: an excellent kick returner?
    _______

    That’s exactly what they’re doing this year. How’s that working out for them? Their average starting field position when Patterson runs one out is the 19.5 yard line. He ain’t that good of a returner anymore and he isn’t worth being active on game day.

  28. I’m a strong advocate for giving a guy time to develop before making a judgment on his ultimate value. Let a guy learn the position and grow into it, especially when he comes into the league as a developmental guy. That said, Patterson has demonstrated this year that he doesn’t get it and I don’t see when he will ever get it. I wouldn’t cut him but I would take what I could get in a trade.

  29. Every team has draft busts, and this appears to be one. The Vikings have busted before and will do so again. For those gloating cheesers above, in the last 10 years alone, please refer to your team’s picks in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    ==================================

    Glady my friend.

    2007 – 3rd round James Jones. 6th round Desmond Bishop. 6th round Mason Crosby
    2009 – 1st round BJ Raji. 1st round Clay Matthews. 4th round TJ Lang
    2011 – 2nd round Randall Cobb. 4th round Davon House.
    2012 – 1st round Nick Perry. 3rd round Casey Hayward. 4th round – Mike Daniels
    2013 – 2nd round Eddie Lacy. 4th round David Bakhtiari. 4th round JC Tretter. 5th round Micah Hyde. 7th round Sam Barrington

    Looks like some pretty good drafts to me. Any questions?

  30. Fwippel, your post was solid and well thought out, except for: “With the emergence of Stefon Diggs last week, Patterson now finds himself at the bottom of the depth chart at WR.”

    Diggs had a nice game. One. That doesn’t really scream “emergence.”

    Last year it was Charles Johnson that had a couple of nice games and the Minnesota faithful screamed all off season about this “new number one receiver” and how stupid the rest of the league is.

    Before that, it was Patterson’s “emergence” that set all of Minnesota atwitter as they screamed about the “new number one receiver” and how stupid the rest of the league is.

    There was also Greg Jennings.

    And of course there was Percy Harvin.

    And I think that’s enough to make my point; and the point is, Diggs may turn out okay, but if you guys build him up to be the next Jerry Rice in your heads, you will likely end up disappointed and turn to hating the guy without cause.

  31. He would excel with the Raiders playing a Percy Harvin type role the same way Musgrave used him his rookie year. That’s his best fit.

  32. ruvelligwebuike says:
    Oct 9, 2015 11:20 AM

    I feel bad for Spielman. He keeps making these absolutely boneheaded trades on draft day and then sits there with this smug look on his face…”Ha, I sure outsmarted all of those GM’s with winning records, ha!”
    _________

    You mean boneheaded trades like this:

    – Traded the 3rd overall pick to the Browns for the 4th overall pick and picks in the 4th, 5th, and 7th rounds, then drafted the player he wanted anyway.

    – Traded up to draft Harrison Smith, one of the best safeties in the NFL.

    – Traded the 8th overall pick to the Browns for the 9th overall pick and a 5th round pick, then drafted the player he wanted anyway.

    – Traded up to draft Teddy Bridgewater.

  33. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    Oct 9, 2015 12:29 PM

    Fwippel, your post was solid and well thought out, except for: “With the emergence of Stefon Diggs last week, Patterson now finds himself at the bottom of the depth chart at WR.”

    Diggs had a nice game. One. That doesn’t really scream “emergence.”
    …… Diggs may turn out okay, but if you guys build him up to be the next Jerry Rice in your heads, you will likely end up disappointed and turn to hating the guy without cause.

    =====================================

    My point wasn’t that Diggs is the next superstar, or even that he’s broken the starting lineup. My point is that Diggs proved far more in one game than Patterson has in four games, and there’s no reason for the Vikings to keep waiting for Patterson to produce if Diggs can do what Patterson can’t.

  34. tritz32–Actually Spielman and Thompson have the same success rate drafting Pro Bowl players–about 10% of their picks made the Pro Bowl. Of course TT has more players in total but that’s because he’s been a GM a lot longer than Spielman.

  35. tokyosandblaster says:
    Oct 9, 2015 10:04 AM

    This, ladies and ladies, is your Vikings GM.

    bridgeh2o says:

    Spielman has drafted the likes of Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes,Anthony Barr, Bridgewater, and Kendricks to name a few.

    He also found great value in Jerrick McKinnon and Trae Wayans will be our shutdown corner by next year.

    Your guy had Erin Rodgers fall to him over 10 years ago. The likes of Harrel, Brohm, Flynn,and more litter the gbay graveyard of draft picks.

    Spielman over-reached on Ponder, who actually bet Rodgers in 2012 to make it to the playoffs on the last game of the year.

    Spielman has done a great job with his current nucleus of talent.

    Meanwhile, when Rodgers goes down, the gbay ship sinks like no other!!!!! They were 1-5-1 in 2013 when Rodgers had a boo boo.

    No team sinks faster than gbay without their starting qb. That shows what true depth a GM has for his team.

    With that, old TT has sailed on Rodgers coattails, and it is VERY obvious due to the pathetic results when Rodgers goes down……it is abysmal.

    Thanks for playing the game……..

  36. Excluding this year because it’s too early to judge, Spielman has drafted 10 players in the first round since 2007. Six of them were pick 22 or later. Two of them have been busts. The rest have been Pro Bowl or ascending to Pro Bowl-caliber players.

    Since 2007, Ted Thompson has drafted eight players in the first round. Six of them were pick 21 or later. Clay Matthews is a perennial Pro Bowler, B.J. Raji made one Pro Bowl, Brian Bulaga seems like he was turning into a good player before he got hurt, and the rest were busts.

  37. Diggs played 1 game and is being touted as something special after 1 single game by the homers …. who knows if Denver even bothered using any type of coverage on the guy

  38. My point wasn’t that Diggs is the next superstar, or even that he’s broken the starting lineup. My point is that Diggs proved far more in one game than Patterson has in four games, and there’s no reason for the Vikings to keep waiting for Patterson to produce if Diggs can do what Patterson can’t.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Good point. My mistake. I’m just used to seeing all the craziness that gets posted here and elsewhere.

  39. Since 2007, Ted Thompson has drafted eight players in the first round. Six of them were pick 21 or later. Clay Matthews is a perennial Pro Bowler, B.J. Raji made one Pro Bowl, Brian Bulaga seems like he was turning into a good player before he got hurt, and the rest were busts.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    And yet, the Packers have owned the division and REALLY owned your Vikings for the past several years, won a Super Bowl, and may get another one soon.

  40. stiffarm13 says:
    Oct 9, 2015 12:49 PM

    Diggs played 1 game and is being touted as something special after 1 single game by the homers …. who knows if Denver even bothered using any type of coverage on the guy
    _________

    Ummm…the people who watched the game know that Denver was trying to cover Diggs with Pro Bowl defensive backs and he was getting open because of great route running.

    He’s still a #4 or #5 receiver at this point, but I could see him making a lot of positive contributions this year. And to think the Packers reached for Ty Montgomery two rounds earlier.

  41. bridgeh2o says:
    Oct 9, 2015 12:46 PM
    Meanwhile, when Rodgers goes down, the gbay ship sinks like no other!!!!! They were 1-5-1 in 2013 when Rodgers had a boo boo
    ////////////////////////////////

    I see it as 3-4 while Rodgers was out. They beat Atlanta and Dallas and had a come-from-behind tie against the Vikings, which was the same as a win. That tie provided the tie-breaking difference with the Bears, enabling the Packers to win a third division title in a row (now four.) Just as good as a win.

  42. What’s disappointing to me is that I believe he had about 44 receptions starting a portion of his rookie year.
    Paterson seems to have regressed. I think his rookie year went to his head. Didn’t he name himself “The Flash”?
    When Zim tried to help him by lining him up with a personal coach he blew it off. He needs to wake up, quit doing all the public media appearances and study his craft.

  43. In Teddy We Trust says:

    You mean boneheaded trades like this:

    – Traded the 3rd overall pick to the Browns for the 4th overall pick and picks in the 4th, 5th, and 7th rounds, then drafted the player he wanted anyway.
    – Traded up to draft Harrison Smith, one of the best safeties in the NFL.
    – Traded the 8th overall pick to the Browns for the 9th overall pick and a 5th round pick, then drafted the player he wanted anyway.
    – Traded up to draft Teddy Bridgewater.
    ___________________

    So he traded with the Browns to get Kalil… what has Kalil done in the last season, he was so awful he through a fit towards some fans last year leaving a game. He started out good, but he isn’t where he should be for a top 5 pick.

    Harrison Smith is a good safety kudos for that.

    Trading up to get Theodore is suppose to impress people? He has marginal deep ball arm strength and worse accuracy… not to mention a .500 record in games he started. Not to mentio when its crunch time he loses awareness of 1st down markers and time remaining.

    He also got guys he wanted like Patterson, just cause you want the guy doesn’t make the draft good…

    You can sit around and point at any team and say oh GM ____ whiffed on player ______ for all the 32 teams, drafting is alot like shooting pool. EVERYBODY misses… its just that some miss more than others.

  44. The Vikings and their fans have every right to be so prideful about Patterson’s NFL exploits. After all, the team has finally reached the magical .500 mark – the pinnacle of achievement in MN.

  45. Thompson doesn’t wasted 1st round draft picks on WR’s. And he certainly wouldn’t give up a second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round draft pick for one.

    ——————————————————————-

    No he wastes 1st round picks on terrible dlineman like Datone Jones and Graham Harrell instead.

  46. This guy is a bust and everyone knows it. But what makes it worse is that the GM traded up, effectively throwing two draft picks out the window. Still, he’s better than Troy Williamson when it comes to WR. Biggest difference is that they passed by A-Rod to get Williamson so I don’t know which is the bigger draft day blunder.

  47. pillowporkers says:
    Oct 9, 2015 8:16 PM
    Thompson doesn’t wasted 1st round draft picks on WR’s. And he certainly wouldn’t give up a second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round draft pick for one.

    ——————————————————————-

    No he wastes 1st round picks on terrible dlineman like Datone Jones and Graham Harrell instead.
    ______________

    I would rather have the GM waste a single 1st on Jones or Harrell than trade away mutliple picks to have a chance to acquire Patterson. They gave up FAR too much for him.

    The BIGGEST difference in drafting though… is TT gets 2 QUALITY starters out of mosts classes. With one for deveolping…. whethers its AN OL and RB with a DB that needs grooming. .. and Grooming is good because thats how you take advantage of coaching, depth and competition.

    Sometimes you draft a Center late like Linsley to compete with Tretter.. and then all of a sudden. there is no competetion to be had because you have a solid young Center. There are plenty of great athletes in every draft.

    When you get Antsy and trade back into the first “because you smell a star” you lose a lot of Depth The Vikings have 6 players on Defense since 06 that were selected in the 1st round. They also drafted 5 Offensive players in the 1st since 07 and half of them aren’t productive or even on a the Vikings Roster.All they hae to show for it is a .500 record at the moment..

    What happens when a team forces them to go heavy DB in a pass defense of heavy DL in a goal situation….or injuries start stacking up because Minny has an early bye week?

  48. I’m the biggest Vikings fan there is and I’m sick of hearing about this guy. Stefon Diggs made him look like an idiot last week.

    He just doesn’t care. You can tell when he’s on the sideline with that stupid smile. He could care less whether he’s playing or not. He just like the cameras on him, and that is all.

    Trade him away now before any more time is wasted. I’d be perfectly content with a similar Hodges trade. A O-lineman and a late round pick.

  49. the kid can be a legitimate player. rookie season Musgrave ran things to utilize his abilities, with credible results. he may not “fit” with this regime but to think his NFL days are done is foolish. don’t believe me, look at Harvin’s stats when Musgrave was his coordinator. CP’s time in Minny may be over but he still has NFL value.

  50. Vikings are routinely rated by the experts (using value and pick # beighting) at the top of Draft evaluations. They were #1 by a wide margin after the last draft. Packers were in the mid 20’s.

    If you want to mock us for not having a Superbowl, fine, but don’t be daft. The Vikings are one of the most home-grown teams in the league. Spielman made one bad call on Patterson (as most analysts who projected him as a 1st or 2nd roundtalent did), so what? Every team misses. Not every team routinely hits home runs and Spielman has hit 2-3 draft home runs routinely.

    The last 4 years Spielman has snagged 7 first round picks…that’s 3 more than most teams!
    6 of those 7 are starting. Harrison Smith, Kalil, Shariff Floyd, Xavier Rhodes, Anthony Barr, and Teddy B.

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