At this time last year, Cordarrelle Patterson was a talented but raw football player who had just been drafted in the first round by the Vikings. The wide receiver/kick returner had an electric rookie season, finishing with nine touchdowns and giving fans optimism that bigger days are ahead. In one year, Patterson also has adapted well to his new surroundings and become a fan of the Minnesota Wild. He spoke to the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand on a number of subjects, including his recent love of hockey.
Q How and when did you become such a big hockey fan?
A Our PR guy took me to my first hockey game during the season. … Then I went to a playoff game, and it was one of the greatest feelings I’ve [had]. The environment with the fans and the crowd, everybody. They were just into it so much, and I got into it.
Q I saw you tweeting [during Game 7 against Colorado]. You were into it as much as anyone else.
A I was on my feet. I couldn’t sit down. I went in the kitchen and I came back and [Colorado] scored. I felt like I was bad luck for them. I had to sit back down and watch them get that win in overtime.
Q Are you going to watch this next series against Chicago?
A Of course! I can’t miss it. Why would I miss that? … I feel like I bring good luck to those guys, even though it ain’t me — it’s all their hard work and what they’re doing. But I’m there. I’m supporting them.
Q What was the minicamp like this past week just in terms of absorbing the offense and things like that?
A It’s been great. It was a great offseason workout for us. Being back with all these guys, seeing their faces … learning the offense and getting a head start on the rookies like they did on us last year, and just bringing it.
Q It was around this time last year that you were drafted. What do you remember about the process that’s coming up now for a lot of these younger guys?
A It’s something I never want to go through again in my life, going through that draft process. The things they show on TV are different. They don’t show the behind-the-scenes thing. Waking up at 6, take a drug test, keeping us up all night until 11 or 12, then getting us up early. Then we have to go lift and show off our strength. Then we have to go run, jump and catch balls. … I don’t want to do it again, and I don’t have anything else to say about that.
Q The Vikings are going to be on the clock at No. 8 coming up. I know it’s not your job, but what do you think is going to happen in this draft?
A Man, I really don’t know. My eyes will be on the TV. I know Rick [Spielman] … will have a great plan of who they’re going to get. They probably already know. Whoever we get, I just want them to come in and work hard. He’s going to be a rookie, but we’re going to draft him in the first round. … We want him to come in and be a part of this team.