The 2014 season for Minnesota Vikings' wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was nothing short of a complete disappointment. After closing the 2013 season by scoring touchdowns in five consecutive games and having a huge performance in the 2014 season opener against the St. Louis Rams, it appeared that the second-year player out of Tennessee was poised to meet. . .and, possibly, even exceed. . .the huge expectations that had been placed on him this off-season.
However, that quickly fell apart for Patterson. He had only three games all season where he exceeded 50 receiving yards, and found the end zone only twice all season. After rushing for 102 yards on three carries against the Rams, he had just seven carries for fifteen yards the rest of the season. He wasn't even much of a threat on kick returns, where he had made his mark in 2013. He appeared disinterested at times, and things came to a head on Sunday when he nearly cost the Vikings the game by deflecting a pass into the hands of Chicago Bears' cornerback Kyle Fuller that was originally called a touchdown.
But even after a season that saw a refugee from the Cleveland Browns' practice squad (Charles Johnson) and an undrafted free agent from MSU-Mankato (Adam Thielen) pass him in the eyes of the coaching staff, it doesn't sound like Mike Zimmer is giving up on him.
Later, when asked again about Patterson, Zimmer said: "I've got a plan for this offseason for him and hopefully it works, but that's going to be up to Cordarrelle. I'll leave it at that."
See, this is one of the things that makes fans love Mike Zimmer. He's not about to coddle anybody, even someone as high-profile. . .or, at least, formerly as high-profile. . .as Patterson. He can tell Patterson what he needs to do until he turns blue in the face, but the onus is clearly on Patterson to do it.
And it appears that Patterson has at least one person that is pretty interested in helping him to get there in his teammate, veteran receiver Greg Jennings.
"As long as I'm here, he will not fail," said Jennings, who plans to work with the wide receiver during the offseason.
. . .
"I want him to see himself on film because he does a lot of things great, but there's some things that he has to tweak in his game to allow him to be the player he has expectations of being," Jennings said. "That's a big part of this game, being able to mentally overcome a season like this. It's going to be a challenge. We're going to see if he has the resolve. I believe he does, but it's up to him to show the resolve and to bounce back."
Back when I did my holiday wish list for members of the Vikings, I said I wanted Cordarrelle Patterson to find his way to Cris Carter's receivers camp that he holds every summer with guys like Larry Fitzgerald. I'd still like to see that happen, but having Jennings work with him all off-season would certainly be helpful, too.
Cordarrelle Patterson had a lost season in 2014, to put it politely. It appears that the Minnesota Vikings are going to do everything possible to see to it that he doesn't become a lost cause.