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.


Return game requires patience from Patterson

Posted by: Chip Scoggins under Vikings offense, Vikings players, Vikings rookies Updated: September 12, 2013 - 7:38 AM

Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson saw his first five kickoff return attempts result in touchbacks in his NFL debut Sunday.

New NFL rules have essentially taken kickoff returns out of the game. The league has adjusted the rules on kickoffs in recent years in an attempt to make the game safer by reducing the number of violent collisions on returns.

The number of touchbacks has increased dramatically, making it more difficult for returners to make an impact.

"It’s kind of frustrating, but when I do touch the ball I try and make the most out of it," Patterson said. "When they kick it over my head, I wish they would kick it to me. There are some great kickers and there’s going to be a lot that go over my head so I’ve got to live with it."

Patterson finally got his opportunity when caught one kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone and returned it 30 yards.

Asked if he brought that one out because he was losing his patience, Patterson said, "My coach [Mike Priefer] feels comfortable with me, whether I catch it eight or nine yards deep, he told me just bring it out," Patterson said. "He expects me to do good things."

As a receiver, Patterson played only five snaps and caught one pass for 10 yards, but he's not complaining.

"It really doesn’t matter how many snaps I get," he said. "I make the most of the ones I get."

Patterson also said he doesn't ask Christian Ponder to look for him on certain routes in the huddle or on the sideline.

"Christian just has to feel comfortable with me," he said. "I really don’t say much to Christian. He’s the starting quarterback. I’m a backup. I really don’t try and talk as much. I just listen to what they say and try and do what they say."

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