Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) runs with the ball to score a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Cordarrelle Patterson a focal point for Norv Turner

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was used sparingly at the beginning of the season, but he looked like a high-end playmaker in the Percy Harvin mold with the ball in his hands. Already one of the most explosive receivers in the game, Patterson was able to haul in 45 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns, and he and Greg Jennings could form a formidable 1-2 punch for whoever starts at QB for the Vikings (as always, I’m pining hard for Teddy Bridgewater, but at least Matt Cassel and Jennings showed a good connection last year).

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner was criticized frequently as the San Diego Chargers head coach, but there’s no question that he can do great things for an offense. Kyle Rudolph figures to benefit greatly from the TE-friendly play-caller, Adrian Peterson looks poised to make a splash in the passing game, and it sounds like Patterson will also benefit greatly from Turner, who will do a much better job of getting the Tennessee product the ball in favorable positions (he’s a pretty darn creative OC).

According to ESPN NFL Nation’s Ben Goessling, Turner “seems interested” in trying to get Patterson the ball as much as possible, and Goessling notes that Rick Spielman stated during the combine that his new coordinator had already designed several plays for the second-year wideout at that point in time. Patterson made a big impact as a returner, but he will have to continue to learn more about the nuances of the position, particularly route-running. His football IQ was of concern coming out of college, and consistently winning as a traditional wide receiver takes that sort of route-running prowess. Patterson has excellent tools and can be a true No. 1 wide receiver, but he can still succeed as a playmaker, especially after the catch, if he hasn’t learned enough yet.

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Tags: Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings Norv Turner

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