Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was one of the bigger disappointments of the 2014 Minnesota Vikings' season. He was expected to explode following a strong finish to 2013, and instead did more of a fizzle after a big game in the season opener. Head coach Mike Zimmer made it clear that Patterson was going to work significantly harder if he wanted to have a bigger role on the team in 2015.
The early returns, according to a story from Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, appear to be promising.
Patterson has enlisted the services of a man named Frank Matrisciano. . .or, as he's more widely known, "Hell's Trainer." (The nickname gives me visions of Gordon Ramsay, but I'm not about to argue with the guy about it.) Matrisciano worked last offseason with another prominent Minnesota athlete, Timberwolves' forward Shabazz Muhammad, and Muhammad went on to have a stellar sophomore campaign after a pretty disappointing rookie year. According to Vensel's article, he's also worked with NBA stars Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph.
The accounts of the workouts will probably make you tired just reading them, but I think it's sufficient to say that if Patterson doesn't bounce back this coming season, it certainly won't be because he wasn't in shape. Patterson's first workout with Matrisciano lasted a grand total of fourteen minutes, but he's now up to 50-minute sessions. But he's apparently incorporating all sorts of different types of training in these workouts, and he feels that it's really paid off for him.
With as little as he wound up contributing to the Vikings' cause in 2014, a bounce-back season from Patterson in 2015 would be huge for the team as a whole, as well as for the development of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Perhaps Patterson's down year in 2014 came as a result of him reading a few too many of his own press clippings and the fact that everything may have come to him a little too easily at the end of 2013. Thus far, it definitely sounds like he's putting in the work to regain his 2013 form.