The Vikings despatched 4 draft picks to the Patriots to maneuver into the twenty ninth spot to draft Patterson within the first spherical of the 2013 NFL draft. He was seen as a substitute for Percy Harvin, a game-changing receiver with return potential.
Patterson flashed in 4 seasons with the Vikings, however didn’t flourish by the turmoil.
He performed for 2 head coaches, three offensive coordinators and 6 beginning quarterbacks. Underneath offensive coordinator Norv Turner, Patterson reportedly lacked element in his route operating. His play improved below offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, however not sufficient to persuade the Vikings to choose up his fifth-year possibility.
Patterson signed a two-year take care of the Raiders, however was not retained after one season. He went to New England for a 12 months. It was Invoice Belichick who first began to make use of Patterson at operating again.
Then Patterson spent the previous two seasons in Chicago earlier than he signed with the Falcons within the offseason.
Patterson was the returner that the Vikings thought they had been getting, however by no means may get free for greater than 470 yards receiving over eight seasons.
The Falcons’ teaching employees has cracked the code on how finest to make use of Patterson. He performs all around the offense, however is listed as a operating again.
“My day is easy, man,” Patterson stated. “Wherever they inform me to go, I’m going. Personally, I’m simply right here to assist the group win irrespective of the place they put me at out on the sector.”
Some days he goes with the receivers and passing-game specialist T.J. Yates.
“He’s an absolute Swiss military knife,” Yates stated. “He can do nearly all the things. He clearly comes with receivers once we’re operating routes generally. He’s with the backs and with the quarterback. I imply, he’s, he’s in every single place as a result of we lined him up in so many alternative positions.”
Patterson likes the place confusion.
“I’m a operating again,” Patterson stated. “That’s my place. That’s the place they (have) me at on the depth chart at operating again. When my quantity is known as to exit and play receiver, I simply exit and do it. As we speak, I’m a operating again. Tomorrow, I’m a quarterback. Come on man, I bought to maintain them guessing.”
Patterson, a four-time All-Professional and Professional Bowler as a kick returner, is having fun with this late-career surge.
“I hope it evokes youthful youngsters,” stated Patterson, who performed within the SEC at Tennessee. “A number of youngsters are rising up and solely making an attempt to play one place. It’s position-less soccer, and also you simply must exit be taught it, have enjoyable and play something. (When) your quantity is known as, you go on the market and make a play.”
Patterson doesn’t consider that a lot has modified since his days with the Vikings.
“I prepare for the video games similar to my different eight years I did earlier than,” Patterson stated. “Nothing (has modified). Simply work. Displaying the coaches that I’m worthy. I hope they only proceed to present me the chance.”
The Falcons weren’t positive they may pull off their grasp plan for Patterson.
“Going into it, we didn’t actually notice how a lot of a blessing in how good he will be and what number of a number of issues he can do,” Yates stated. “And clearly he’s had an excellent quantity of manufacturing to this point this 12 months. We hope to proceed that in utilizing his talents all around the area.”
Patterson likes that his household is just three hours away.
“Each dwelling recreation, they’ll be right here,” Patterson stated. “It’s superb. Actually, man. My momma will get to see her grandkids each different week. It was arduous being up in Chicago and getting on flights and all that stuff. Now, they’ll simply drive down. I do know they get pleasure from what I do.”
Patterson, who has a pregame ritual of throwing passes into the stands to followers, was elated along with his 64-yard catch that helped the Falcons beat the Saints on Nov. 7.
“It’s within the high 5,” stated Patterson of his favourite performs.
Credit score Falcons offensive coordinator Dave Ragone and quarterbacks coach Charles London with getting Patterson to signal with the Falcons. Each had been with the Bears final season and established a relationship with Patterson.
“Atlanta felt like the fitting place for me within the offseason,” stated Patterson, who signed a one-year, $3 million take care of a $1.7 million signing bonus. “I felt fairly assured in the entire coaches, the entire employees and the group. That was an enormous issue.”
Patterson desires to stick with the Falcons subsequent season, however could also be taking part in himself right into a extra profitable deal in free company.
“I really like Atlanta,” Patterson stated. “That’s out of my pay (vary). If it was as much as me, I’d be right here for the subsequent two years. If it was as much as me. But it surely’s not.”
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Subsequent 4 video games
Patriots at Falcons, 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18
Falcons at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28
Tampa Bay at Falcons, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5
Falcons at Carolina, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12