The Minnesota Vikings took their time incorporating Cordarrelle Patterson into the offense last season.
He was a dangerous return man from the start, but it wasn't until Week 11 that the plus-sized wideout caught more than three passes in a game. Patterson bloomed down the stretch, scoring three times through the air with another three touchdowns on the ground over the final five games of the year.
New offensive coordinator Norv Turner hasn't been shy with the second-year pass-catcher, using Patterson all over the field during this week's voluntary minicamp, per ESPN.com's Ben Goessling.
That makes sense after general manager Rick Spielman told reporters at the combine that Turner, upon his hire, immediately cooked up 10 new plays designed to unleash the 6-foot-2, 220-pound athletic freak. We saw Patterson used in different ways as a rookie, but Turner plans to unleash him.
"We've had guys who have been very productive players, extremely outstanding players I would say, and they lined up and played one position," Turner said Thursday. "We've had a bunch of other guys we've moved around. We've moved Cordarrelle around quite a bit this week and he seemed to handle it pretty well, so we'll see how much he can handle."
For his part, Patterson is showing maturity, acknowledging he could have worked harder as a rookie, saying: "I think I was kind of bad last year. This year will be way better."
Greg Jennings (101) and Jerome Simpson (96) both saw more targets than Patterson's 72 in 2013, but his 6.4 yards after the catch led the team and tied him fifth in the league with Julio Jones.
Turner has a reputation of unleashing young wideouts. He used Josh Gordon in Cleveland last season as an "X" receiver with the ability to kill teams deep. Patterson figures more as a "Z" type in Minnesota's attack -- something closer to a monster-sized Percy Harvin. That alone should keep NFC North opponents up at night.
The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down draft news and rumors and plays the popular prediction game, "Go Get My Lunch!"