Tuesday, September 27, 2016

cordarrelle patterson

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Vikings' Depth Chart Begins to Take Shape
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Training Camp for the Minnesota Vikings hasn’t been all that exciting this year. Save for a few one-handed catches from Stefon Diggs and some specular deep shots from Teddy Bridgewater, much remains the same in Mankato. Roster turnover isn’t an issue for the team, free agent acquisitions are performing as advertised, and trust in the organization is at an all-time high.

There’s plenty to be certain about in Minnesota; the strength of the defense, Adrian Peterson’s rushing ability, and Blair Walsh’s renewed confidence. Uncertainty, in a sense, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Vikings have so much young talent that difficult depth chart decisions won’t make or break the team’s season.

In Minnesota, the front office isn’t asking, “Who’s our quarterback;” they’re debating the hierarchy of a loaded roster. And no matter the final decision, the result will be a 53-man roster with more potential than any Vikings team since 2009.

This morning during walkthroughs, head coach Mike Zimmer gave the media a sneak preview of the team’s ‘Cincinnati’ depth chart. It’s the first unofficial roster of the 2016 preseason and reveals exactly where the Vikings stand after two weeks in Mankato.

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Day 7 Walk-Thru
Image courtesy of Chris Price

Hello again live-blogging community! I’m jumping back into the mix or the first time since free agency, and I’m looking forward to another exciting day of Minnesota Vikings football.

Adam Patrick’s been rocking these posts for the past week, but he’s getting much-deserved rest today. Follow along as we bring you all of the latest updates from Mankato, including reports from our very own Brent LaBathe and Andy Carlson.

Opportunity Awaits Vikings Receivers
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Following a productive, refocused offseason, Cordarrelle Patterson was supposed to be the “next man up” for the Vikings. A threat on every kickoff return, Patterson’s yet to prove he can find that same success as a wide receiver in Minnesota. He had his chance to do just that on the first day of training camp, only to watch his progress come to a screeching halt.

Patterson hauled in a spectacular 45-yard bomb from Teddy Bridgewater during the team’s first set of 11-on-11 drills, showing off the speed and athletic ability that made him such a high draft pick. But the elation was short-lived, as Patterson crumpled to the ground in pain, screaming for all in the stands to hear. His day — and the optimism that preceded it — was suddenly cut short.

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Image courtesy of Chris Price

Over the course of the last few weeks, Austin Belisle and myself have asked you to make predictions about how the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 training camp will play out. Meanwhile, Adam Patrick compiled consensus rankings of the “Top 30” most important Vikings players of 2016, with help from 14 knowledgable Vikings writers. Below is the genesis of all that work.

We’ve used your votes, combined with the rankings, to try and assemble one of the most collaborative roster predictions you’ll be able to find anywhere.

Of course, a few questions remain despite the compilation of input, so Austin and I did our best to fill in the blanks. That leads us to our final installment of “10 Camp Questions” in which the tenth question for you, the readers of Vikings Territory, are invited to answer.

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Play it again, Cordarrelle
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Cordarrelle Patterson can hardly hear the beautiful music he made in 2013. Returning kickoffs and riding the bench makes it difficult for Patterson to remember the melody; spins, jukes, and improbable catches compose what was the fourth-year pro’s lone symphony.

Drowned out by his own inability to master the playbook and his coach’s refusal to take a chance, Patterson is doing all he can to overcome the outside noise. Workouts in Los Angeles, throwing sessions with Teddy Bridgewater, and a renewed focus on football give hope that Patterson can ‘play it again’ in 2016. General manager Rick Spielman believes he’s ready to shine.

“Where Cordarrelle has made tremendous strides this year is on his route running ability and becoming a better receiver,” he said, per Vikings.com. “He is very tuned in and very focused trying to prove to everybody, including himself, that he’s going to be not just a great athlete with the football in his hands, but a true receiver in the NFL.”

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