“I won’t say they’re completely different guys,” Priefer said. “Percy obviously is smaller, but he’s so strong and ran so hard. I don’t know what their ultimate long-range speed is, but they’re probably close. But I think Cordarrelle has such great vision. It’s really hard to find a guy who has his vision.”
Breaking the tackle
Ideally, the only unblocked Packer would have been the kicker. But when the double-team on the right got caught up in traffic on its first blocking assignment, it allowed Micah Hyde, one of Green Bay’s best special teams players, to slice in unblocked from the right. But the 6-foot, 197-pounder bounced off Patterson at the Vikings 23-yard line. Patterson never even flinched.
“I’m a big guy,” Patterson said with a laugh. “I like that contact, bro.”
Priefer can vouch for that.
“To be a great returner, you have to have courage, you have to have vision, strength and speed,” Priefer said. “And courage might be No. 1.”
After Hyde bounced off Patterson, two more Packers were still in position at the 27-yard line. But Patterson started to pull away, first going to his right. Gerhart got in front of the kicker as Patterson broke back to his left.
“Then just don’t get tackled by the kicker,” Patterson said. “That’s embarrassing.”
As the return unfolds, all 10 blockers are doing something well. But Webb can’t be seen anywhere. Where are you, Joe?
“I took my man [Jarrett Bush] clear off the screen over there,” said Webb, pointing to the left. “Ran him past the play.”
Webb does, however, show up on the film as Patterson reaches the Packers 25-yard line. He is trailing the play when he turns and waves at Bush.
“He’s one of their better special teams players,” Webb said. “Coach Priefer told me to get No. 24 blocked up. So I did.”
For 13 exhilarating seconds, 10 guys executed their blocking assignments and one returner was big enough to run through a tackle and fast enough to outrun the rest of them.
“You don’t have to be crazy to play special teams,” Blanton said. “You just have to be a high-motor guy because for one play, you have to give it everything you got. Special-teams plays are some of the toughest plays in football. Even though it’s only one snap, it takes a lot of energy out of you.”
Especially when it covers 109 yards of NFL history.