Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: Patriots are using Cordarrelle Patterson way better than we did

Ryan Hannable
November 28, 2018 - 11:11 am

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FOXBORO -- It's safe to say Cordarrelle Patterson did not work out for the Vikings.

Patterson was selected by the Vikings in the first round of the 2013 draft and after nine total touchdowns in his rookie season, he only had seven in the next three seasons combined and was not re-signed as a free agent following the 2016 season.

After a year in Oakland with minimal contribution, Patterson was traded to the Patriots this past offseason where he's found a unique, do-it-all role, in the Patriots offense.

On a conference call Wednesday, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who coached Patterson for three years in Minnesota, admitted he should have used him better.

“Quite honestly, they are using him way better than we did," he said. "Cordarrelle is a great athlete and a very, very strong runner. I think they use him in a number of different ways. It is good to see for him. I wish we would have used him a little bit better.”

Patterson is currently the only player in the NFL with a touchdown reception, rushing touchdown and kick return touchdown. He's caught 13 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 37 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown.

“They are getting the ball in his hands quite a bit," Zimmer said. "He is an exceptional hard runner than can make a lot of big plays. He can make guys miss. He gets a lot of yards after contact. Whether it is throwing in the ball or handing him the ball, or rocket sweeps, or whatever it is. Everybody [knows] how talented he [is], we obviously knew how talented he was here as well, but we didn’t get him the ball ball enough maybe in a lot of those ways that they are using him.

"Honestly, since I have been watching him on tape, I am going to put that in the back of my mind. If we ever get a guys like this again, a guy like that again, we can use him in much better ways.”

Patterson will face the team that drafted him Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.