Patriots coach Bill Belichick loves to find unique ways to utilize a player’s talents, from playing wide receiver Troy Brown on defense, to lining up linebacker Mike Vrabel as a goal-line tight end.
Belichick’s latest innovation is turning Cordarrelle Patterson into a running back.
Everyone has always known that the explosive Patterson can make plays with the ball in his hands, but he’s rarely been handed the ball directly. He’s in his sixth NFL season, and until this year he had never carried the ball more than three times in any game. In the past, he was a wide receiver or kickoff returner.
This year, however, the Patriots have had some injuries at running back, and so Belichick put Patterson in the backfield. The results have been solid: Patterson carried 10 times for 38 yards last week, and 11 times for 61 yards this week.
With first-round rookie running back Sony Michel expected back for the Patriots’ next game, Patterson may get fewer carries. Or maybe not. Belichick has found something Patterson can do, and he might have him keep doing it.