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.


Patterson enjoying battles against Rhodes, Munnerlyn

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion under Vikings Updated: June 18, 2014 - 11:28 AM

The sounds of OTAs and mandatory minicamp have been constant for the Vikings this offseason

On one layer, there’s the coaching staff yelling at the players with the voices of head coach Mike Zimmer, offensive coordinator Norv Turner and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray rising above the rest.

Another layer includes the natural sounds of practice. The quarterback breaking the huddle and making his pre-read adjustments; the defense countering with their own verbage before the snap.

Then there’s wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and just about any cornerback lined up against him. Patterson has been very competitive during one-on-one and team sessions so far this offseason, especially when cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Captain Munnerlyn are covering him.

During 11-on-11 on Tuesday, Patterson made a tough grab with Rhodes playing the route well in coverage. On his way back to huddle, Patterson made sure to cross paths with Rhodes to give him a little tap of respect. Patterson and Rhodes were two of the Vikings' three first round selections in the 2013 NFL Draft and cornerstone pieces for the Vikings future on both sides of the ball.

“Me and Xavier, we’re always going into it man,” Patterson said. “It’s a brotherhood, me and him, that’s been built since we got here. Everyday we’re competing. Sometimes I get him, sometimes he get me. It’s fun to us to help each other out.”

His competition with Munnerlyn is a little more fierce though. “I’m up on him right now 2-0, because I beat him in one-on-one twice and he hasn’t got me yet,” Patterson said.

“We’re going to keep that to us right now. We ain’t going to tell him because he’s going to have something to say, and I don’t want to hear his mouth.”

Munnerlyn and Patterson are always going at it in practice. Patterson said that Munnerlyn is quick to bring up last season when the Panthers, Munnerlyn’s former team, defeated the Vikings 35-10.

“That’s Captain, that’s the kind of guy he is,” Patterson said. “He likes to talk, but we need that on our defense.”

Surely, you’ll get a chance to see this in person during training camp. These little battles may not be noticeable with all the barking and screaming during practice, but it’s definitely entertaining to watch.

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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 NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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