Cordarrelle Patterson is publicly preaching patience with his playing time, even if Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is essentially saying enough is enough with Patterson's lack of playing time.
Patterson, one of three first-round draft choices for the Vikings this year, has played only 11 snaps on offense in the first two games. After playing five in the opener, Vikings coaches said that would increase. It did. By one. He got six snaps Sunday in Chicago.
Frazier made it clear Patterson's snaps would increase much more in Week 3.
"We're going to get that rectified. He definitely deserves to be on the field more," Frazier said Monday. "He's shown that in the few snaps he's gotten in these first two ball games. Hopefully, everything being equal, that should not be a part of the conversation next week. We want to get him on the field. He's one of our explosive players for sure. We see what he does when he gets the ball in his hands. We've got to find a way to get him on the field."
Patterson is taking a reserved approach to the situation. He knows what he can do and admits he can be better. But, he says, he isn't lobbying the coaches.
"If they feel I need to be out there, then I'll get out there. I don't beg for reps," he said. "I'm out here getting better. I've got great guys in front of me. I'm doing a heck of a job getting better and helping them get me to step up to be a better person than I am.
"The only thing I can do is listen to what the coach says. If they give me more reps, then they give me more reps. I've got great guys in front of me in Jerome Simpson, Greg Jennings. They're doing a heck of a job."
While Jennings and Simpson have been getting the majority of time among the receivers – being targeted a combined 26 times for 17 catches and 306 yards – Patterson has seen the ball thrown his way only three times, catching them all for a combined 24 yards.
"Patience is key to success," Patterson said. "In Tennessee, I wanted to go right away and jump out of the jump plane. Things happened at Tennessee and I got the opportunity, and when I got the opportunity I made the most of it."
At Tennessee, Patterson was used as a jack of most playmaking trades. In his only season with the Volunteers, he caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns, rushed 25 times for 308 yards and three touchdowns, returned four punts for 101 yards and a touchdown, and returned 24 kickoffs for 671 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a pass, which, somehow, didn't score a touchdown.
The Vikings, so far, have kept him offensively at receiver, although they used him for some end-around rushes during the preseason. He has the sustained speed to get separation deep and the elusiveness to find room taking bubble screens.
"I'm a big guy. I'm patient. I get a bubble screen and I like to just wait on my blocks. I've got a big offensive lineman coming to block. Some of the guys, they're impatient. They like to get it and just go with it. I'm big. I rely on my offensive linemen, on the blockers I've got to help me out," Patterson said, but he cautioned that he's not Percy Harvin.
"Percy was here and he's gone. I don't look at no old players and see what I can do to help with what he did. He's gone and now I'm here. I'm just helping and hoping I can contribute to the team."
Of course, the Vikings have also used him as their primary kickoff returner and he already tied Harvin's franchise record with a 105-yard return for a touchdown.
Patterson said there is "no ceiling" on his abilities, but he isn't going to publicly make an issue of his playing right now, even if the coaches know he needs to be on the field more.
"I just like the ball in my hands. I don't complain about it," he said. "If it's a kickoff return or a quick little screen, whenever I get it, I made the best out of it."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Cordarrelle Patterson: ‘I don't beg for reps'
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