Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Patterson “might” return kicks on Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium and indicated that will be part of Patterson’s duties in the regular season.
“We want our players to help us win football games any way we can,” Zimmer said when asked about Patterson returning kicks in the regular season. “We want to get the ball in those guys’ hands so you’ll see Cordarrelle back there.”
Last year, Patterson returned one kick in each of the first three preseason games, breaking off a 50-yarder in his first attempt and averaging 30 yards in his three attempts. During the regular season, he led the league with a 32.4-yard average and two touchdowns on 43 attempts.
“It matters, but I can’t say this week I’m going to do it and then coach pulls me out,” Patterson said. “But this week I feel I’m going to have an opportunity to get back there. If not, I’ll just wait ’til the Rams (for the regular-season opener).”
Patterson finished his rookie season becoming a bigger part of the offense – catching 45 passes for 469 yards – and he will be a starter at the beginning of the season this year with bigger things expected.
WEDNESDAY A.M. NOTES
“It’s not a big deal,” Zimmer said. “… I just don’t want to irritate it more.”
Greenway played with a broken wrist for much of the season last year, but Zimmer said it isn’t broken again.
“It’s not really a date (to name) the quarterback,” he said. “It’s more like, ‘All right, well let’s do this.’ And then, ‘Let’s
Special teams consultant Joe Marciano is expected to get more involved in the next week as he prepares to replace special teams coordinator Mike Priefer during his two- or three-game suspension for an anti-gay comment made in the presence of former punter Chris Kluwe.
“As we get closer, (Marciano) is working on molding into exactly what we’re trying to do and his system and Mike’s system are very similar,” Zimmer said. “He’s in obviously all the meetings and everything in with Mike all the time. And he’s trying to learn the same terminology that Mike is using.”
“I haven’t seen him yet, so we’ll give him a lot of plays,” Zimmer said. “The rest of (the safeties), we’re going to try to split up the time the best we can. And sometimes, unfortunately, the situation – if we just had a scrimmage, we could kind of plot it all out, but sometimes when you’re playing against somebody, it’s a little more difficult with situations and personnel.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.