Cordarrelle Patterson has gone two games without a catch, and after playing just three offensive snaps in the Week 13 win over the Panthers, the wide receiver got just one Sunday against the Jets.
But Patterson says his bond with coach Mike Zimmer has strengthened the past two weeks.
“Me and Coach Zimmer, we had a little heart-to-heart talk this morning,” Patterson said today. “He kept it real with me and I told him how I feel, so just talking to him, I believe in everything he says. I stand behind him and Coach Turner. I respect everything they’re doing. Getting that talk out of the way, it makes have a little less pressure on me. It makes me feel good to go in there and talk to him.”
Patterson said both Zimmer and he initiated the conversation, but wouldn’t say what was said.
“That’s nothing that any of y’all should know,” Patterson said. “Whatever me and Coach Zimmer talk about, that stays between us. That’s how I feel like it should be and that’s how it’s going to be.”
The verbal volleyball that Patterson and Zimmer have played over the past couple of weeks has been interesting. It started after the Panthers game, when Patterson expressed confusion about his limited role on offense. That prompted both Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner to tell us that Patterson missed a pair of practices due to a funeral, leading to a reduced role that game.
Turner then confirmed last week that Charles Johnson had officially overtaken Patterson as the starter at the split-end position, and Johnson had another strong receiving game against the Jets.
Zimmer, meanwhile, has publicly pumped up Patterson whenever asked about the second-year wide receiver — and he gets asked about him seemingly every day. Yesterday was no exception.
“I want this guy to be a great player. I really do. I want him to be a great player,” Zimmer said. “I don’t know when it’ll happen and I’m hoping like crazy it does because I want him to be a great player.”
It is unclear if Zimmer relayed that positive message to Patterson this morning. But whatever Zimmer said seemed to put Patterson, who has just 30 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown this season, in pretty good spirits for a guy who has played just four offensive snaps the past two weeks.
“I feel like our chemistry throughout the past couple of weeks, it’s just been gaining each week and every day,” Patterson said. “Just trying to talk to him, tell him how I feel. He always tells me to just keep it straight up with him, and that’s what I’ll do. And I know he is going to keep it real with me.”
@MasterStrib I there a chance Kalil doesn’t get abused by Ansah this week? #VikingsST
— Phil Finke (@pfinke05) December 11, 2014
Considering the Vikings still have a chance to make the playoffs, there’s a chance for anything to happen. Left tackle Matt Kalil has taken baby steps over the last two weeks, but I think he’ll have a difficult time guarding Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah one-on-one again.
Ansah had a career-high 2.5 sacks against Kalil during their Week 6 matchup at TCF Bank Stadium. It was perhaps Kalil’s worst game over the last two seasons with the entire Lions defensive line humming in an impressive performance. It’ll be interesting to watch how many times the Vikings use a tight end on the left side to help protect or chip Ansah to help Kalil.
Ansah has collected a sack in consecutive games, giving him four since the last time he faced Kalil. I’d set the over/under at 1.5 sacks for Ansah.
#VikingsST is it tough to rate Teddy because the defenses we played last 6 or do u take it its Teddy’s growth not the defenses we play
— zach sween (@1Sween) December 11, 2014
Not at all, and I would still consider the Jets defense a tough matchup for a rookie quarterback considering their front four and head coach Rex Ryan’s controlled chaos when they dial up blitzes. Teddy Bridgewater handled all of that well in his best performance yet, I think.
The biggest thing with Bridgewater is you want him to build off the previous week, regardless of the opponent. He’s done that recently against the Panthers and Jets, improving on his accuracy, arm strength, his deep ball and the offense’s overall effectiveness (scoring touchdowns).
These next two games will be great tests for not only Bridgewater, but a young offense facing the Lions and Dolphins. Those are two good defensive units, and you want to see Bridgewater continue to perform at an effective level.
@MasterStrib Adrian Peterson: Cut, Trade, Keep? #VikingsST
— Richard Krueger (@RichardKrueger) December 11, 2014
If the Vikings can somehow work out a pay cut with Adrian Peterson and he wants to remain in Minnesota, you keep him.
Those are two big unknowns though considering what’s transpired this season, but it has to be enticing for Peterson to think about the Vikings’ bright future with some of the young talent they can build off in the coming years. Does he have the patience with sun setting on his career in the next few years, though, is another perspective Peterson must consider.
The issue even before Peterson went through his trial was he’d turn 30 during the offseason and still remain as the only running back receiving over 10 million (11.7 million in base salary). Peterson has basically taken a year off, which could be a good thing, but even at 30, he’d still be one of the best backs in the league. Peterson would take a load off this young offense, including Bridgewater and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
If the Vikings can tweak his salary and Peterson still wants to play here, I’d consider that a big “addition” for the Vikings in the offseason.
Does anyone even see Yankey practicing? How, with a couple guards down, does this guy still not get talked about? #vikingsst
— Eric Cernjar (@ecernjar) December 11, 2014
He’s still under construction and developing as an NFL offensive guard. The rookie has been inactive all season working on his strength, technique and understanding of the position as the Vikings ease him along.
If you can recall during the preseason, Yankey struggled at guard. The last thing you want to do is roll out a guy having a hard time with second and third string defensive linemen to block for your rookie quarterback. Charlie Johnson has been sub-par at left guard once again, so the Vikings won’t lose much with sticking Vladimir Ducasse in Johnson’s place if he can’t play. The concern with Yankey though is he won’t be able to hold his own at left guard, like he couldn’t during the preseason. It’s too much of a risk to try even with three games remaining, I think.
Free agent pitcher Ervin Santana, who the Twins are said to be pursuing heavily, has had a very productive morning on Twitter.
His verified account is mostly inspirational quotes anyway, but this morning four different quotes have been posted on his feed: One from Willie Mays (Giants), one from Ernie Banks (Cubs), one from Joe DiMaggio (Yankees) and one from … Kirby Puckett (Twins, in case you were wondering).
Coincidentally (or not) all of those teams are said to have some level of interest in Santana.
Stay tuned … we’ll see if he takes his trolling to another level.
Four Vikings starters sat out practice today for a second straight day.
Rookie outside linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd were out for the team stretch, but ducked out of practice shortly thereafter. Left guard Charlie Johnson and safety Robert Blanton, meanwhile, were not spotted at all during the periods open to media.
Barr missed last week’s win over the Jets due to a knee injury. Floyd played the past two weeks with a knee injury, but did not make it through either game. Johnson and Blanton were hurt against the Jets. Johnson sprained his ankle in that game. Blanton injured his knee and ankle.
Tomorrow will be a big day for those guys, as they probably need to practice to play Sunday.
Fullback Jerome Felton, who is dealing with a neck injury, returned after sitting out yesterday.