Zimmer’s mentor for Patterson isn’t Carter

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer reached out to a mentor for Cordarrelle Patterson, but it’s not former Viking Cris Carter.

Scratch Cris Carter off the list of potential mentors for Cordarrelle Patterson that head coach Mike Zimmer contacted this week.

Zimmer said on Tuesday he had a person in mind to work with Patterson this offseason to improve as a receiver.

“I talked to someone (Tuesday) about Cordarrelle, about working with Cordarrelle, about getting those two guys together,” Zimmer said. “He’s somebody that I trust, somebody that I think would be a great influence for him, and I’m not going to talk about who it is, but that’s part of the thing that I said last week about I have a plan for him.”

Carter, the Hall of Fame receiver that played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1990-2001, has been a mentor to several NFL receivers over the years, but he told Viking Update he wasn’t the person that Zimmer contacted.

Patterson said he planned on getting together with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, and Bridgewater, too, said he hoped to have his receivers with him in Miami for a week or two this offseason to “hang out” and build camaraderie.

“I’ll get with our quarterback. Wherever Teddy goes, I feel like I’m going to go work with him for a couple weeks,” Patterson said. “Just try to get on the same page with each other and take full advantage of the offseason. This is Teddy’s first year. This is my second year. So Year Three for me and Year Two for Teddy. We just have to get on the same page.”

The Vikings aren’t allowed to coach players during the first part of the offseason, according to the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and have to wait until the offseason conditioning program and organized team activities start, typically in April or May.

“That’s partly why it’s up to him,” Zimmer said of Patterson finding the right tutor before team activities start up. “But I think this will be good for him and hopefully he’ll follow through and get to where he needs to get to.”

Zimmer continues to say he is in Patterson’s corner, but the second-year receiver’s playing time was dramatically reduced in the second half of the season after Zimmer and Norv Turner said he needed to be more consistent with his routes and reads.

“Everything’s hard, man. You’ve got to learn the offense,” Patterson said. “They’re throwing new plays at you each week – 100 plays, 200 plays, something like that. So each week I feel like it’s always hard being a receiver.”

Carter was known as one of the best route-runners in the game, but there have also been indications that Zimmer’s choice of a Patterson offseason mentor would involve someone that has experience with Turner’s offensive system.

“I just want to work with Matt (Cassel) and Teddy and whoever in the offseason,” Patterson said. “Just pick those boys’ brain and talk to Coach Turner and Zimmer and see how he wants things done in this offense and just take full advantage of this four months or whatever and just take advantage and just try to learn the offense more than I already know.”

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