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Continued: Frazier pleased with play of Vikings youngsters

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 26, 2013 - 11:47 AM

“I don’t think the light bulb all of a sudden went on,” Frazier said. “I just think he’s been growing all along. The situation with Jerome [drunken-driving charges] thrust him into a different role. And we were doing this all along, just increasing what we were doing with him. Now he’s a starter, and he’s really embraced that opportunity. And we’re continuing to try and find ways to get him the ball.”

They threw him several deep passes Sunday — he dropped two, the second on a tipped ball in the end zone in overtime. More important, coaches are using Patterson in different spots now rather than keeping him strictly at one receiver position.

“He wasn’t getting that many snaps early on and when he was, people were like, ‘84 is in the game,’ ” Frazier said. “We said, ‘Oh boy, this is not good.’ So as time as gone on we’ve moved him around to different spots. But the intent is to get him the ball in space as often as we can and see if he can make plays.”

The case for Rhodes

Rhodes broke up a pass in the end zone in the first quarter. He had pass breakups on back-to-back plays in the second quarter. His four total pass breakups increased his team lead to 15.

“We put him in a lot of man coverage,” Frazier said. “We felt like that was the best approach against their offense and he stood up. Because we put him in man, they tried to attack him with him being a rookie, which other people do as well, but he played with a lot of confidence and played well.”

Rhodes must pass NFL concussion protocol this week to be eligible to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears. When he returns, Frazier said he would like to allow Rhodes to play more man coverage the final part of the season.

Rhodes is more comfortable playing man-to-man than zone because he can use his size (6-1, 210 pounds) and strength to be physical with receivers at the line.

“That’s what he does best, rolling up in press coverage,” Frazier said.

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