Cordarrelle Patterson impresses, but is far from satisfied
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson made a great first impression on an announced crowd of 62,306 at the Metrodome, taking the opening kickoff back 50 yards and adding four receptions for 54 yards in the first half of a 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans.
But he's going to focus on the negatives.
"I thought I had it to the house," Patterson said about the opening kick return. "I can't say I'm going to do this, do that, it don't happen. You just look at the film, see all the mistakes I had and go to work."
Ponder watched from the sidelines, impressed with his rookie receiver.
"[Patterson] is great with the ball in his hands, obviously," Ponder said. "I always had high expectations for him. I think he did even better with the lights on."
Receivers Jerome Simpson and Greg Jennings started with the first-team offense, but a tipped pass to Simpson landed in Texans' safety Shiloh Keo's hands -- ending Ponder, Simpson and Jennings' nights.
Coach Leslie Frazier's game plan of one series for the starters meant Patterson was clear for takeoff for the rest of the first half.
"We felt like [Patterson] would have a chance to be a good returner early on and we weren't sure how fast he'd come as a receiver," Frazier said. "For him to do what he did tonight, that's going to help his confidence. I'm sure he'll go back and work even harder to be a complete receiver."
Patterson's longest catch was for 22 yards, breaking through multiple tacklers on a crossing route through the middle of the field.
Patterson showed the ability to maneuver his 220-pound frame in between defenders, whether it was on his kickoff return, or on one of his multiple crossing routes.
On a night where the Vikings lost by two touchdowns and added two turnovers, Frazier said Patterson was a bright spot.
"That's exactly what you want out of a rookie playing wide receiver in our league," Frazier said. "He's going to be hungry coming back, now we just have to keep feeding him, helping him continue to grow."