Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson could give Vikings depth at receiver

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As the Vikings hope to get more out of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in his third NFL season, it would help if he had more help from his wideouts. Bridgewater may be getting it, based on the recently-concluded offseason program.

In a 10-takeaway item from the team’s offseason program, Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune suggests that real contributions could be coming from the two players who have been forgotten amid the presence of 2016 first-rounder Laquon Treadwell and 2015 fifth-rounder Stefon Diggs: Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson (pictured).

Writes Vensel of Johnson, who was a pleasant surprise in 2014 but largely MIA last year: “The wide receiver who popped out most during spring workouts was Charles Johnson, who got the bulk of the first-team reps at split end.” While Vensel believes that Johnson, who played No. 1 split end for most of the offseason, eventually will yield to Treadwell, the development speaks well to the depth at the position.

After catching 31 passes for 475 yards in 2014, Johnson had only nine catches for 127 a year ago. Of course, that’s still better than Patterson, a 2013 first-rounder whose contributions at receiver have plummeted from 45-469 as a rookie to 2-10 in his third year, which for many receivers is the breakout-or-bust year.

Patterson enters a contract year, since the team didn’t pick up the option on his rookie deal. But there are signs that maybe the light is  finally going to flip to the “on” position for Patterson. Vensel calls coach Mike Zimmer’s remark that he hasn’t seen many mental errors from Patterson as “probably the most noteworthy” remark of the offseason, given that Zimmer has been blunt about Patterson (and pretty much everyone else).

Vensel also suggests that the Vikings are looking for creative ways to get the ball into Patterson’s hands on offense, given his significant kick-return skills — skills that could be marginalized if the Vikings decide to not give him the green light for kickoffs that go into the end zone this year, opting instead for taking the ball at the 25.

If they can get real production from Johnson and Patterson to go with Treadwell and Diggs and Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph, the Vikings could have a much improved offense as they try to return to the playoffs and make some noise when they get there.

46 responses to “Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson could give Vikings depth at receiver

  1. i hope CP84 can keep stepping it up cause he can be explosive

    johnson is decent and mobo is a year or 2 away

    treadwell will have to step it up but i have faith

    diggs is a beast and couldve been alot better last year but he got double teamed and pressed out alot at the end of the season

    i think “Teddy Two Gloves academy” was a great idea from the guys and i hope they can all step it up and push it father this season if we can do that with AP in back and out solid Defense… Ohhhh Boy we could have a spectacular year “even with a 1st place schedule
    SKOL!!!!

  2. A few things that should be mentioned now:

    Teddy’s hands are 1/8th inch smaller than Rodgers’.

    Teddy wears gloves. Apparently that’s a big deal?

    The overwhelming majority of deep balls teddy threw last year were overthrown.

    The packers are still the favorite by many outlets to take the division this year. They were also favored to win it last year…

    As of right now, Patterson is widely considered a bust, but he remains the best kickoff returner in the league. That’s more than can be said for many other first round busts. Most Vikings fans have tempered expectations, so any production from him on offense will be considered a bonus.

    Blair Walsh missed an extremely easy field goal in the post season last year to lose to the reigning NFC champs. This was the only difference as to where the Vikings and packers placed last year.

    The Vikings are the reigning NFCN champions.

  3. corduroy has to do something soon but don’t count on it. still upset that johnson was released in green bay.

  4. “Could” being the operative word. Patterson has crazy speed as long as its running in a straight line and the problem there is the longer he runs, the lesser the chance that Bridgewater can throw that far. Charles Johnson is just one of many ex Packers that the Vikings picked up, hoping against hope that the success of GB can be duplicated in purple. It doesn’t quite work that way but after awhile, Spielman can’t help himself, the Packers are living rent-free in his head too.

  5. Another article that skirts the truth as to why the pass game has been struggling in Minny, gee, what else is new. Everything we’ve had to read this offseason, has focused on how Teddy needs to step up, or how poorly CP84 has played,etc,etc. What the writers have not commented on, and the only-real reason behind the issues, is the horrid play calling of one Norv Turner. He has been a bad OC, one who has a collective group of wr’s, te’s to throw to, and the league’s premier back to force defenses into 8-9 man fronts to stop him, that 90% of other qb’s would salivate to have. It is the ideal situation for any OC who actually know how to utilize the weapons with the pass. This team has yet to play a defense that is capable of stopping the forward pass, as long as the guys getting paid to catch the ball ACTUALLY get it thrown to them. In 2014-2015, the CP haters couldn’t come up with enough reasons as to why he was used very little. Then, last year, Somehow Wallace & Johnson became virtually invisible in the pass game….the common link? The scheme itself. Blame the qb for not taking more command of the offense, without giving him the authority to throw when HE feels it’s best to. Continue to run the ball on the vast majority of 1st & 2nd downs when the defense is fully aware you will be….Norv didn’t disappoint there. Oh, and when you get into the 3rd and longs, like many times in the playoff loss….then, “allow” Teddy to work his magic in the pass game, when the defense shifts to the overloaded dime packages based on stopping the pass. The OC thinks ass backwards, and the production last year of all 3 wr’s mentioned suffered because of it. Please Zimmer: Let Norv drift off to the retirement home of outdated nfl coaches, and put Shurmer in charge of the offense. We already have equal or better than talent than the Raiders and Seahawks do, where their OC’s actually know how to scheme it’s playmakers into the playbook. So, either insert Shurmer as the guy, or allow Teddy the freedom to throw/run when he feels it’s right to do so. I’d bet the farm that he would continue to run,run,pass all game long like Norv has had him do, you don’t win games playing that way in this era.

  6. Patterson is a lost cause. Rudolph can’t stay on the field. Johnson has had 4 halfway decent games in 3 years. Treadwell can’t run. Diggs can’t play anywhere but the slot. The OL is old and overpaid. The RB is over 30 with a lot of miles on his wheels. Oh, and the QB is a game manager at best.

    Yeah. What could go wrong? (rolls eyes).

    The Vikings offense has stunk since the days of Moss and Culpepper, and that’s not changing this year.

    >

  7. and our fecal performing sisters to the east are drafting point guards and juggling instead of practicing! some teams are happy to get participation ribbons , good for the Packers I guess!

  8. Rudolph has to step up…never had more than 500 yds in a season.

    Only way you can not have it come down to fluke missed FGs is get yards and score points. Vikes D isn’t to Broncos level, so O has to show something if they want to get to elite level.

  9. Whatjusthapped….another in the long list of inane takes from you. What success is CJ going to replicate from his time in GB? He was cut and signed to the Browns PS, which is where the Vikes got him from. His only success has been with Minnesota, last year he had 2 broken ribs. Year prior, he did fairly well. Dont let a silly thing like facts get in your way though.

  10. ariani1985 says:
    Jun 20, 2016 9:08 AM

    some teams are happy to get participation ribbons , good for the Packers I guess!
    ———————————-
    Classic comment from the fan base that values Division winner banners over actual championships!!!!

  11. ariani1985 says:
    Jun 20, 2016 9:08 AM
    and our fecal performing sisters to the east are drafting point guards and juggling instead of practicing! some teams are happy to get participation ribbons , good for the Packers I guess!
    ///////////////////////////////////////

    “When debate is lost, slander is the tool of the loser.”

    Still true.

  12. I’ll come back later, after the Packers fans have had their fun.

    Btw though, laughable to say Vikings might be more talented than the Seahawks. Laughable, if it were said as a joke. The earnestness of the comment just makes it sad though

  13. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jun 20, 2016 10:34 AM

    Seriously, is this an example of the “depth” vike fans have been telling us about?
    _______

    I suppose your idea of “depth” is Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis?

  14. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jun 20, 2016 10:34 AM
    Seriously, is this an example of the “depth” vike fans have been telling us about?
    ____________________

    As a matter of fact, yes! It is the same depth that marched into Lambeau last year and punked your Packers for what your QB dubbed “all the marbles”, thanks for asking. And it’s young depth that is primed to get better.

  15. I think you can bank on Patterson and Johnson becoming elite players this year and really contributing to a long playoff run for the Vikes,…..said NO ONE EVER. Patterson is a ST and that is all. Don’t hold your breath on Johnson. The rook will top both their numbers assuming TB takes a few steps forward as a QB.

  16. beer4guy says:
    Jun 20, 2016 11:05 AM
    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jun 20, 2016 10:34 AM
    Seriously, is this an example of the “depth” vike fans have been telling us about?
    ____________________

    As a matter of fact, yes! It is the same depth that marched into Lambeau last year and punked your Packers for what your QB dubbed “all the marbles”, thanks for asking. And it’s young depth that is primed to get better.

    ——–

    You gotta love Vike fans. CP is primed to get better?

    2013: 45 rec, 469 yards, 4 TDs
    2014: 33 rec, 384 yards, 1 TDs
    2015: 2 rec, 10 yards, 0 TDs

    Yup, sure looks like he’s trending up!

  17. It is just so pathetic to see some of the same packer fans here, 7 years later, typing the same exact things as they did in 2009.

    What is wrong with you people?

  18. Hope the Packer trolls, enjoy crow…they’ll be eating a lot of it in 2016…all the way to February of 2017. They’re lack of real NFL knowledge is astounding.

  19. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jun 20, 2016 11:39 AM
    beer4guy says:
    Jun 20, 2016 11:05 AM
    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Jun 20, 2016 10:34 AM
    Seriously, is this an example of the “depth” vike fans have been telling us about?
    ____________________

    As a matter of fact, yes! It is the same depth that marched into Lambeau last year and punked your Packers for what your QB dubbed “all the marbles”, thanks for asking. And it’s young depth that is primed to get better.

    ——–

    You gotta love Vike fans. CP is primed to get better?

    2013: 45 rec, 469 yards, 4 TDs
    2014: 33 rec, 384 yards, 1 TDs
    2015: 2 rec, 10 yards, 0 TDs

    Yup, sure looks like he’s trending up!
    ___________________________
    I was referring to the depth of the entire team. But, yes, there is better depth at the WR position this year as well. CP has to get better, or else he won’t make the team.

  20. Any Viking fan will tell you the offensive struggles last year were mostly due to the lack of pass protection and run blocking from the OL. The OL was in shambles last year with 3 new starters and 4 guys playing new positions. Teddy ran for his life last year and rarely had time to get through his progression. With the OL rebuilt and starting depth 2 deep at every position, this year should be different. Was Teddy faultless, no, but all Vikings fans expect Teddy to play more like the 2nd half of his rookie year and less like last year.

    Marry that with better run blocking for AP and defense that is top 5 and getting better, and it should be surprising if the Vikings don’t go far in the playoffs this year and many to come.

  21. Are people criticizing the Vikings because they don’t think their fifth and sixth wide receivers are very good? I guess I won’t lose too much sleep over that.

  22. the success of our team isn’t based upon the production of the receivers corps, unlike some bottom feeder teams

  23. filthymcnasty3 says:
    Jun 20, 2016 10:31 AM
    This is the exact same offense that hung up a grand total of 0 points in their 1 and done elimination game.

    ——————————

    And the basically the same team that was able to put up enough points to beat the Packers, in the vast wasteland (or is it vast waistland?) of Wisconsin, when the division was on the line. If the Vikings are that bad, the Packers must be HORRIBLE.

  24. Health will likely be an issue with respect to their playing time — it seems WRs never make it through a full season healthy. The problem is that Johnson and Treadwell’s skill sets are similar, making it a one or the other scenario, and Cordoroy is, well, Cordoroy.

    Pack fans criticize Viking WR depth, but after Nelson and Cobb (with his butterfingers), they’ve got a bunch of guys that either can’t run routes, stay healthy, or who are only good at catching Hail Mary’s. Not even Rodgers could make those guys look good last year. Thus, it ain’t exactly WR-deep out east either.

  25. “The problem is that Johnson and Treadwell’s skill sets are similar”

    Treadwell is really slow and Johnson is really fast. Other than that, you might be correct. smh

  26. Vikings’ fans keep trying to pass of Teddy Bridgewater’s limitations on the offensive line. Jay Cutler has had line problems for the last several years, and has managed to throw 28 and 21 TD passes over the last year. Tom Brady had one of the worst lines in the league last year, with injuries and changes occurring constantly, as well as losing his best receiver for half of the year, and led the league in TD passes.

    Pro Football Focus had the Vikings at 16th in pass blocking. Teams that were ranked substantially lower (20-32) included New England, Chicago, NYJ, Tennessee, San Diego, Arizona, Kansas City, Detroit, Seattle, and Miami. Check out some of the QB’s from those teams and see how they compare to Bridgewater.

    The idea that the Vikings have a poor O-line for the run is preposterous. PFF has them ranked 7th, other sites even higher.

  27. Next year we will see the same story only it will be how excited the vikings are over their “new” WR’s.

    Next year will be the vikings year also, just like the last 45 or so.

    Some people have little to no memory.

  28. It would be nice to see this happen. I believe Charles Johnson was a victim of the “let’s play Mike Wallace because we can’t afford to have him sit on the bench while paying him $11 million” circumstance. He was more productive in 2014 than Wallace was in 2015, and I expect he’ll return to form if he stays healthy.

    It’s nice to hear positives about Patterson. The guy has game-breaking talent with the ball in his hands, and Norv Turner needs to get him more involved in the offense.

  29. zerotrophiessince1961 says:
    Jun 20, 2016 8:56 AM

    Patterson is a lost cause. Rudolph can’t stay on the field. Johnson has had 4 halfway decent games in 3 years. Treadwell can’t run. Diggs can’t play anywhere but the slot. The OL is old and overpaid. The RB is over 30 with a lot of miles on his wheels. Oh, and the QB is a game manager at best.

    Yeah. What could go wrong? (rolls eyes).

    The Vikings offense has stunk since the days of Moss and Culpepper, and that’s not changing this year.

    bridgeh2o says:

    And if YOU believe everything that YOU just said, your team-the packers-must really stink.

    Why?

    Despite all the above you spew, we beat you AT LAMBEAU for the division with Rodgers as your qb.

    Go figure, you guys must suck something awful!!!!!
    Trading barbs with a packer fan isn’t really fair.

    Intellectually speaking, they are at an EXTREME disadvantage due to their 5th grade reasoning/comprehension ability.

  30. bridgeh2o says:
    Jun 21, 2016 1:31 PM
    Intellectually speaking, they are at an EXTREME disadvantage due to their 5th grade reasoning/comprehension ability.
    ////////////////////////////

    You must’ve just got into town. Your opinion is in direct contrast to a vote of active NFL players few years ago that found Packer fans the most knowledgeable of any fanbase in the NFL.

    What do you think of those apples?

    Eat and enjoy.

  31. To the trolls commenting on Treadwll’s being slow. He has the same speed as Jerry Rice and others that have done just fine. They way Fabio jogs after WR’s it shouldn’t be a problem for him to run away and score.

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