Photo: Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - All Training Camp long we've been told that Cordarrelle Patterson's game does not translate to the practice field but has to be seen in an actual live-game scenario. Friday night at Mall of America Field, Vikings fans were privy to the first on-field flashes from Patterson who appears to be nothing short of a dynamic player.
It didn't take long for Patterson to get noticed as the Vikings won the opening toss and elected to receive the initial kickoff. Catching the ball five yards deep in the endzone, Patterson elected to take it out and burst through the hole just as it opened through the middle of the field. It wasn't until the 45-yardline when Patterson received first contact from a Texans player who just so happened to be kicker Randy Bullock who did just enough to trip Patterson up and prevent the talented rookie from taking that first kick to the house.
"I thought I had it to the house man," Patterson said after the game. "I had great blockers and the thing opened up big, I didn't even expect it to open up like that."
After Christian Ponder and the Vikings first-team offense lasted only two plays on the first drive, Matt Cassel, Cordarrelle Patterson and the rest of the Vikings second-string offense took to the field where they remained for the extent of the first two quarters.
Bill Musgrave led the Vikings offense to 22 passing plays and only 9 run plays with Patterson on the field and the rookie continued to shine. Finishing the half with 4 receptions for 54 yards, Patterson continued to show his ability to make players miss as the first-half continued.
"He made some good plays for us," head coach Leslie Frazier said after the game. "He showed some ability to break a couple of tackles there. Very encouraging, something that we can definitely build on. We'll look at the tape and just try to keep helping him come along. That was a good start for him."
The Vikings have high hopes for Patterson who will likely start the regular season as a backup wide receiver and the starting kick returner. Preseason will continue to be a big test and a good indicator for Cordarrelle who was touted as a "raw" route runner coming out of only one year in the SEC at Tennessee.
As the season (and the preseason) progresses, look for Patterson's role in the offense to expand. He scored touchdowns five different ways in college and Bill Musgrave will look to attack opposing defenses with Patterson out of the backfield, in the slot, lined up wide and in motion.
The ceiling is high for guys like Patterson, but so are the distractions. We'll have to sit back and watch as he continues to develop into the NFL player that he is going to be each and every week.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN