To date, the answer appears to be no, at least not yet. The Minnesota Vikings’ 2013 first-round pick lost his starting job last year to Charles Johnson, who wasn’t even on the team’s roster for the first two games of the season.
Coaches wanted Patterson to focus on his consistency and precision in route-running, and they say he has made progress. But Patterson said he doesn’t pay attention to the criticism.
“I really don’t take any criticism,” Patterson said. “People are going to say what they want to say. That’s just what people do. You’ve got to just learn from your mistakes. Everything will never go good for you, but you’ve to learn how to bounce back and overcome adversity and just get ready for this season to come.”
There was plenty of it last year, internally and externally. After a solid rookie season that showcased Patterson’s explosiveness and potential, he was considered a “breakout” candidate last offseason, but after losing his starting job to Johnson, Patterson played in just 27 offensive snaps in the final five games combined.
Patterson exited training camp Thursday saying he learned from Mike Wallace and Johnson, but how will that translate with playing time?
That remains to be seen, but when Johnson was used sparingly in the last couple of practices in Mankato, it was Adam Thielen getting more time with the first-team offense than Patterson.
It would appear that Patterson has gone from a 2014 breakout candidate to a 2015 make-or-break candidate.