Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Will Cordarrelle Patterson be the next Josh Gordon?

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings Updated: April 21, 2014 - 12:16 PM

The first thing that new Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner did after taking the job, according to general manager Rick Spielman, was “put in 10 plays for” second-year wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson as he “was putting the X’s and O’s part of it together.”

But it will be interesting to see just how much Turner’s X’s and O’s will differ from when Bill Musgrave was scribbling the plays on a whiteboard. It’s convenient to say that Patterson will become the next Josh Gordon, but Patterson and Gordon were used much differently in 2013.

Despite a shaky quarterback situation that was not dissimilar to the one here, Gordon in his second NFL season exploded with 87 catches for a NFL-best 1,646 yards -- in 14 games, no less -- and nine touchdowns with Turner calling the plays for the Cleveland Browns. Only seven wide-outs were targeted more often.

Meanwhile, Patterson, who impressed in limited reps as a rookie, was targeted 72 times, according to Pro Football Focus, and caught 45 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns.

Nearly two-thirds of Patterson’s targets came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and a whopping 22 of them came on passes behind the line. Patterson caught 19 of those for 248 yards and a touchdown. He had 16 catches for 102 yards on 24 targets that were less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Only one of his touchdowns was caught beyond 10 yards.

Quarterback play was perhaps as big of a factor as offensive scheme. Christian Ponder had enough arm strength to make deep throws but not often the poise and the clean pocket needed to complete them, and Matt Cassel doesn’t exactly have a cannon either.

Regardless, good things happened when the Vikings got Patterson the ball as quickly as possible and let him do his thing, as I witnessed firsthand while covering the Ravens last December.

Patterson broke 10 tackles as a receiver, according to Pro Football Focus, with 286 yards after the catch. His 6.4 YAC average ranked seventh in the NFL. Gordon, by the way, was sixth.

But Gordon did most of his damage downfield in Norv Turner’s vertical passing attack. More than 55 percent of his targets came when he was 10 yards or more past the line of scrimmage, and only Torrey Smith and A.J. Green were targeted beyond 20 yards more often. With just two targets behind the line of scrimmage, Gordon was rarely utilized in the screen game.

So while both receivers liked up at the “X” receiver or “split end” position -- here’s a helpful guide on the different receiver positions -- in their respective offenses, they played much different roles (well, once Patterson started to be utilized in Musgrave’s offense, that is).

Patterson has the size and speeded needed to thrive in a vertical passing attack, so it’s going to be fun to watch him attempt to develop into an all-around receiver like Gordon. It will be also interesting to see how often Turner tries to take advantage of what Patterson already can do.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 74 4th Qtr 9:17
Toronto 80
Memphis 60 3rd Qtr 7:52
San Antonio 45
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 2 3rd Prd 13:53
Minnesota 1
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
NC A&T 55 FINAL
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
TX A&M-CC 69 2nd Half 0:25
Denver 79
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 1st OT 2:30
Houston 45
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 50 1st OT 4:45
Old Dominion 50
TX-Pan American 65 2nd Half 2:45
Saint Louis 68
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 2nd Half 0:42
Nebraska Omaha 88
Winthrop 32 2nd Half
Auburn 40
New Mexico St 24 2nd Half
Baylor 32
San Diego St 20 2nd Half
Cincinnati 22
Eastern Mich 19 2nd Half
Michigan State 34
Loyola Marymount 37 2nd Half 17:48
Stanford 32
Incarnate Word 39 2nd Half
Grand Canyon 50
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
UNLV 84
NC A&T 70 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 34 2nd Half 15:30
Eastern Washington 40
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT