Bill Belichick’s latest innovation: Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back

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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.

82 responses to “Bill Belichick’s latest innovation: Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back

  1. It may be a smart idea for the Pats, but I don’t know if I would call it an “innovation”. The Vikings lined him up there and used him that way, although I never thought they did it often enough. And, the Packers converted Montgomery from WR to TB, so it isn’t some crazy innovation to do that.

  2. Aaron Hernandez had a lot of carries for a TE. BB is pretty much using the same formula with Patterson. Move him around in an attempt to create a mismatch. That does NOT mean that Patterson will kill anyone for spilling a drink on his shoes.

    I’ve seen this before. Unconventional but productive.

  3. I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds.

    With the holes the Packers defense was leaving open you could have replaced my name with Patteron’s for this article. Let’s see if he has that kind of success against teams with a defense worthy of the greatest QB ever rather than whatever the Packers have been trotting out since Woodson left.

  4. One of my great puzzles when he was with the Vikings is why they never did this. Go back to the Ravens game his rookie year and you’ll see what I mean.

  5. No genius title for Belichick here, the Vikes knew he could run the ball as they lined him up in the backfield a number of times. They also had AP to carry the load. Glad CP is doing well, Belichick reportedly said after signing him that “now we’ll turn you into a real receiver. ” Don’t think so. Anyway, wish the Vikes still had him, good luck to him in New England, always exciting to watch.

  6. He does need to tuck that shirt in. He got pulled from his shirt more than anything Sunday night. That undershirt is preventing him from missed tackles.

    See photo. That’s what reminded me.

  7. It’s great that he does it but it would be more innovative if he didn’t do it when he has limited options.

  8. His rookie year, the Vikings started giving him the ball in the backfield toward the end of the season and he was unstoppable. The first game of his second year, he had three carries for 102 yards with a 67-yard touchdown. The rest of the season, he never got a handoff more than once in a game and his longest run was 10 yards. I think he was a gimmick that got figured out. I’m glad he’s having some success now but he’s not going to be a great full-time running back.

  9. amurdora says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:30 am
    I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds.
    ————————————————————————-

    I think you left a couple of zeros on those times.

  10. The Raiders used Patterson on selected running plays in 2017 with great success – his YPA was much higher than the cancerous slug Lynch. But of course Gruden the “coaching legend” decided to get rid of Patterson and gave him to the Pats for next to nothing. Yet another way in which Gruden systematically decimated a once-promising Raiders team, and Belichick’s Pats were the beneficiaries in this particular case.

  11. My admiration for Belichick’s coaching ability is not in his genius but rather his influence. He makes good players want to be great, which is all that you can ask for from a coach.

  12. To be fair, after the Bills game nobody was too excited about Patterson playing at RB. Lets see if he continues to be successful when given the opportunities.

  13. pfffffffffffft says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Belichick reportedly said after signing him that “now we’ll turn you into a real receiver. ” Don’t think so.
    ————————————————————————————-
    So you make up a fake quote and then refute it?

    What Belichick actually said to Patterson after signing him was “We’ll make you the player you should be.” And that is exactly what he has done.

  14. amurdora says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:30 am
    I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds.
    ————————————————————————-

    I think you left a couple of zeros on those times.

    ————————–

    Don’t ruin my dreams.

  15. Belichick’s one of the smartest coaches in the history of the game, but not sure he gets the credit on this — pretty sure Patterson’s lined up at RB before he came to the Pats.

    Also, might want to give it a couple games before annointing this as some great personnel move. Performance against GB was alright, but not sure anyone’s convinced by 3.8 YPC against the staunch juggernaut that is the Buffalo Bills defense unless the Pats oline/blocking is bad.

  16. Innovation or self preservation? What once was a deep backfield in August has quickly become very lean and White is not an every down back for the entire game. Rather than move someone out to bring in some guy currently pounding the pavement, he used what he had left. I’m not convinced CP is a sustainable option but it is a nice change of pace. Dude can move and he gives 100% effort on those runs. Wish he could catch better because once he has the ball he is a threat to score every time.

  17. One of the guys I hoped the Raiders would have kept. I’ve always liked his skill set dating back to his days in the SEC (Tenn). Patterson is of the type who could even be a late bloomer as a receiver, ala Ted Ginn Jr.

  18. Coach Belichick said they would make him into the player he should be and they are hes making plays allover at wr,rb,kr bill has a new Swiss army knife !

  19. Raiders had Cordelle Patterson at RB first. He was a Gun-Runner for the Raiders. That’s not a Belichick innovation. That’s a Todd Downing/Raider innovation.

  20. Good thing they aren’t playing the Ravens, John Harbaugh would claim his team was not given enough time to establish which players were ELIGIBLE and which were INELIGIBLE receivers. DECEPTION and TRICKERY Tisk Tisk

    So what! he is a WR RECORDING carries as a RB and he may not realize trying to run through tight holes in the line that it’s easy to tackle him by his shirt because he’s inexperienced at the position. He definitely should TUCK in his shirt or be dragged down by it leaving him short of the goal line and left totally DEFLATED.

  21. amurdora says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds.

    ——————————————————————

    Not buying this. More like 5’3 315lbs and has never run anything other than a 4 yard sprint to the refrigerator to grab a wheel of cheese.

  22. amurdora says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds
    ——————————————————————–
    I’m of similar stature but it’s 5 seconds to get off the blocks, pull hammy at 10 yds, pull groin while hopping due to said hammy at which point I lose balance and firmly plant face into ground. Pull other hammy getting up.

  23. I honestly could care less who did it first….. I’m just glad Bill is getting him more involved in the offense…. the kid is EXPLOSIVE when he gets the ball in his hands (usually in space) & has the potential to rip off some big plays….
    Cordarrelle is an offensive weapon that needs to be utilized more & I hope that they keep Sony off the field thru the bye week & let him rest & rehab himself to be as close to 100% as possible…. I hope they do the same with Gronk as well….
    Titans looked pretty dang good last night…. but I believe the Pats offense is just too good for them to keep up with….
    Stack the box with a spy on Mariota & make them one dimensional…. Lewis is STILL an awesome RB so that’s why I say stop the run & seal the edges…..
    Go Pats!!!!

  24. Ty Montgomery was as a WR that switched to RB. (I’m sure there are others as well) No hate toward Belichick, because I happen to think he’s a fantastic coach, but the writer of this article must think he also invented the college QB to NFL WR position.
    But, in regard to Belichick, I wish the Steelers were in a position to get him back in the day. With the talent that has come thru Pittsburgh, and with him at the helm, the Steelers would probably be sitting there with more than 2 Super Bowls since 2000.

  25. That’s why Belicheat rarely pays market value to any player including Brady and Gronk. It’s the system and coaching and Belicheat knows any player is replaceable including Brady.

  26. Are we supposed to be impressed?

    I’d be impressed if Belichick’s defense actually ranked better than average for the first time in over a decade.

    I’d also be impressed if Belichick didn’t actually need to put a WR into action as a RB.

    Otherwise, what, 10 carries for 38 yards vs. the Bills? Yes, very impressive, … for NE.

    And 11 for 61 with a long-run of 17, 10 for 44 otherwise, is supposed to impress?

    What’s missing? How Belichick holds his fork at dinner contributes to winning?

  27. Train kept a rolling all night long

    Pats are the greatest. Its not so much turning a WR into a RB its more like finding players skills and accentuating them. Putting them in a position to succeed. All the while strengthening the teams position. Too many coaches force square pegs in round holes, its there system……

  28. This is why NE is consistently ahead of the class in the NFL, they are always one step ahead and execute things that other coaches wouldn’t necessarily give a second thought. Luckily for them it works out in their favor.

  29. I love all the hate for BB when they say this is innovative and you clowns jump in saying that CP has lined up in the backfield before blah blah blah – it’s innovative that BB is using him MORE as a RB than a 1 trick pony getting a carry or 2 a game. He’s never had more than 3 carries in a game in his career and has 10 and 11 in the last 2 – there’s the innovation.

    Oh, and if Quinn decided to move Julio Jones to the backfield and let him run the ball 10 times a game, would you think that’s being innovative or not? Hypocrites.

  30. but not sure anyone’s convinced by 3.8 YPC

    I think most teams would be happy with 3.8 from an emergency running back no matter who the opponent.

  31. Next man up. Do your job. Get it done.
    Football is a very simple game when you break it down.

  32. His “innovation”comes from utilizing the players he has on his roster and putting them in positions to succeed.He doesn’t panic by trading/signing a player that does not know the playbook and then expect him to help.Alot of teams would have signed a RB or TE for that matter because they “needed” the depth and would have had to make a corresponding move to make room for them….thank you ravens for cutting mcClellan….BB may not “invent” things he just makes your invention better.

  33. BB is a HOF coach no doubt, but now he gets praise and credit for crap that isn’t remotely innovative — both the Vikes and Raiders used Cordoroy out of the backfield. Nonetheless, Cordoroy is a good guy and I wish him and the Pats all the best until they play the Vikes.

  34. As a Pats fan I have to admit that in this case this article seems to be giving a little more credit than is due. Having said that if it continues and the success of the team can be attributed to his play than one would have to give him a little more cred just because of the success.

  35. I have no love for the Pats but whenever I watch them I’m always in awe of how well coached they are. Look at their talent level. Outside of Brady and that part-timer Gronk, there are almost no Pro Bowlers and certainly no Hall of Famers. Heck, talent-wise, the Patriots are the AFC’s version of the Packers.

    But the coaching they receive is amazing. They believe they’re going to win as soon as they step on the field. Players are used to their best abilities.

    Why oh why can’t my Bucs get a coach like Belichick? Other than at QB (admittedly, the most important position) Tampa Bay has more talent up and down the roster than New England. But the Pats are 7-2 or whatever and the Bucs are sitting at 3-5.

    Sigh.

  36. terripet says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:39 am
    He can’t catch he’s a disaster waiting to happen

    So are you.

  37. the ty montegomery experiment didn’t quite work out in gb. Failure at the least. So, it really doesn’t count as a wide-out to running back transition. Neither did ty’s transition as kr/pr.

  38. littlepet says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:39 am
    He can’t catch he’s a disaster waiting to happen
    ————————————————

    Normally most of us read littlepet posts to enjoy the twisted anguish of her patsanoia but perhaps this one merits a moments thought. After all if there’s one thing a dolts fan knows it’s disaster, be it waiting to happen or already self inflicted. Okay…the moment is up

  39. Belichick gets far too little credit for having the guts to think/act independently rather than too much credit.

    All this recent baloney about analytics and copying pederson’s trend to go for it on 4th down. Belichick was doing that for years – and being ripped for it by Peter king et al.! Ernie and bill were using analytics bedore it was called analytics.

  40. Sure, it is true that other teams have used Patterson as a RB, and other teams have used other WRs as RBs.

    But it is safe to safe that most other teams would have picked up an actual RB in the meantime, especially with Gillislee who knows the Pats system on the market and available.

  41. wallcrasher3 says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:28 am
    “Innovation”? Turning a guy who is fast into a running back….amazing.

    109 182 Rate This

    ———————-
    why didn’t minny or oakland do it?

    your jealousy is a delight

  42. Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says:
    November 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm
    I have no love for the Pats but whenever I watch them I’m always in awe of how well coached they are. Look at their talent level. Outside of Brady and that part-timer Gronk, there are almost no Pro Bowlers and certainly no Hall of Famers. Heck, talent-wise, the Patriots are the AFC’s version of the Packers.

    But the coaching they receive is amazing. They believe they’re going to win as soon as they step on the field. Players are used to their best abilities.

    Why oh why can’t my Bucs get a coach like Belichick? Other than at QB (admittedly, the most important position) Tampa Bay has more talent up and down the roster than New England. But the Pats are 7-2 or whatever and the Bucs are sitting at 3-5.

    Sigh.

    5 0 Rate This

    —————

    they have 1st and 2nd rders everywhere

    it is how he coaches and who he acquires

    trey flowers plays like a 1st rder

    greatest gm and coach in sports history

  43. I’m not sure BB or any Patriots’ fan ever called this an “innovation” but it has certainly been a good use of CP’s talents. Kind of make you wonder….why didn’t the genius Jon Gruden think of this?

  44. vavikingfan says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:31 am

    One of my great puzzles, when he was with the Vikings, is why they never did this. Go back to the Ravens game his rookie year and you’ll see what I mean.
    ————–

    They did do this and had other formations to use Patterson as a runner. He was very raw though and not very serious about learning. He was put in the doghouse after numerous false starts and lining up in the wrong spot penalties.

  45. wallcrasher3 says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:28 am

    “Innovation”? Turning a guy who is fast into a running back….amazing.

    Your coach would trade for some washed-up loser

  46. amurdora says:
    November 6, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I’m a 6’8 280 pound man. My 40 is somewhere between 5 and 6 seconds.

    The Packers could sure use you!

  47. This guy is right there with lombardi: get rid of dead wood quickly, make use of the talent you have. Be creative and change things to fit your team, dont just do the same thing over and over and expect a diff result each time.
    Patterson is a hell of a running back. Better running back then receiver and BellyCheck figured that out.
    If him and Tom win another SB this year, then GOAT to both. No question here.

  48. When CP was acquired by NE Belichick said they were going to use him all over the field – KR, WR and in the backfield.

    This was already in the works this spring

  49. You act like Bill wrote this article. He could give a crap what anyone thinks. He saw a use for this guy in free agency and picked him up. We needed a kick returner/receiver. And now we need someone to run the ball and here he is. Bill just knows how to get the most out of anyone he brings in. On top of it Cordarelle seems like a pretty nice guy.

  50. The raiders used him out of the backfield last year. They didn’t use him as much as the patriots have, but he has taken carries out of the backfield before. Belichick is a great coach/innovator, but I can’t give him credit for coming up with this entirely in his own.

  51. The 2 games he played at RB his avg was higher than mccoys impressive 12-13 yds and jones 5.4 avg and he didn’t fumble.They are starting RBs that have never ever played WR.BBs genius innovation is what other teams fear.His best innovation was when he came up with OL kick returner and big dan ran it in for a TD.PURE GENIUS…..sorry your team has not been as great as the PATRIOTS this century…I really am not.

  52. Not knocking the Patriots or BB but the Vikings have already done this. Press is making too much of this move because of the head coach’s reputation.

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