Wide Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson
As the saying goes, shooters shoot, and in the case of wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson return men return.
The explosive wide out has made a name for himself as a dynamic threat on special teams since entering the league, and he’s hoping that flash – pun intended – will carry over now that he’s an Oakland Raider.
“I’m always bringing it out,” said Patterson with a smile Thursday afternoon. “I’ve always been aggressive. I’m a guy that, I want to make a play unless coach looks at me and is like, ‘Just take a knee,’ and the situation in the game is that we don’t need it, I’ll just take a knee. But, 100 percent I want to take it out, no matter what.”
Since being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round (No. 29 overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft, Patterson has “taken it out” 134 times, finding the end zone on five occasions, boasting an impressive 30.4 yard return average en route to earning a bevy of awards for his work.
General Manager Reggie McKenzie signed Patterson in free agency this offseason to provide a spark in the Raiders return game, and while No. 84 hasn’t gotten a chance to show off what he can do in a game just yet, he’s looking forward to stepping in whenever his number is called.
“I say this week every week,” said Patterson. “If he [Head Coach Jack Del Rio] wants me to chill and rest, I’ll chill and rest. But, when Week 1 comes, I’ll be ready.”
As Patterson said, through the first two weeks of the preseason, he hasn’t yet returned a kick, although he’s played 25 snaps on the offensive side of the football.
However, with the All-Pro returner focusing on route trees, and fostering a connection with the team’s trio of quarterbacks, other players have gotten a chance to show what they can bring to the return game.
“I’ve been doing it for four years now, going on five,” Patterson explained. “That’s my job. Until somebody beats me out, I’m going to return kicks my whole life. Whenever coach wants me back there, I’ll be there. If he wants me back there this week, I’ll be back there. If not, if he wants to wait until Week 1, just going to wait.”
While Head Coach Jack Del Rio constantly stresses the importance of healthy competition, one guy who Patterson likely won’t have to keep an eye on as far as the return game is concerned is offensive lineman Jon Feliciano – even though the big man did rip off an impressive 18-yard return last weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.
“Yeah, he’s been doing a good job at it,” Patterson said when asked about Feliciano. “That week, he had about 18 yards, so I feel like I need to give him the job.”
All jokes aside though, Patterson will be the next player in line looked at to help the Raiders make some magic in the return game. In a bit of a statistical anomaly, the Silver and black haven’t returned a kickoff for a touchdown since 2011 – two years before Patterson even entered the NFL.
Funny enough though, the last player who was able to take one to the house *against *the Raiders? None other than Patterson himself, who galloped 93 yards to the house back in 2015.
“I know the Raiders still hate me for returning the kick on them a couple years ago,” Patterson joked. ‘I hear guys in the locker room all the time say that they could have caught me, but I didn’t see anybody within 10 feet of me. (laughter) So I always give them trouble about that.”
Now donning the Silver and Black, Patterson will hope to carry over his success from Minnesota to the Bay Area, channeling that playmaking ability which will hopefully result in six points for the Raiders.
“It’s the green light for me,” Patterson said. “Every time the ball is kicked, it’s the green light.”