Cordarrelle Patterson Embodies ‘Patriot Way’ With Training Camp Self-Assessment

FOXBORO, Mass — Cordarrelle Patterson has a pretty good opportunity in front of him.
Traded to the New England Patriots from the Oakland Raiders over the offseason, Patterson has the chance to make the roster not just a special teams body, but as an impact receiver.
Beyond Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan, the Patriots’ wide receiver situation is fairly open, with Edelman out the first four games of the regular season due to a PED suspension. But after those two, little is certain for New England’s smattering of wideouts in terms of roster spots and roles.
To a typical observer, Patterson has had a fine first handful of practices at Patriots training camp. But to him, he’s far from content with his performance a few days in. And when asked Monday to assess his performance, the 27-year-old’s candor about his play certainly aligned with the “Patriot Way.”
“To be honest, it hasn’t been going as I’ve wanted it to go,” Patterson said of his camp so far. “… There’s a lot of mistakes I’ve been making and I’m just trying to get better each and every day, man. It’s a lot of mistakes. I’ve just got to quit thinking so much. New offense, new scheme, new everything, so I just need to stop thinking so much as a player and just go out and play football like I’ve been doing my whole life.
Patterson twice has been a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection as a return man, also proving over five NFL seasons to be a big-play threat who can reel in passes on offense. He understandably still is working on building a rapport with Tom Brady, hoping to be one of the receivers who works his way into the quarterback’s good graces.
Many receivers have detailed the challenges of comprehending New England’s thorough playbook. For Patterson, his experience playing under a slew of different offenses hardly makes understanding the playbook daunting, rather attention to detail being more of a need.

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“The playbook is the playbook, man,” Patterson said. “I’ve been in like seven offenses in six years. So I just have to tune into it, the fine details. It’s just the little things I’ve been saying to myself I need to keep working on. So I feel like as I keep working on it each and every day with all the quarterbacks I’m going to get better.”
Patterson played the first four seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings prior to his one-year stop with the Raiders. Even though he’s got a good bit of experience behind him, playing for the Patriots is a totally different animal.
As such, the Tennessee product admitted that he is contending with some nerves for a handful of reasons.
“I would say (that),” Patterson said of some of his mistakes being due to nerves. “Anytime you’re with the best quarterback and the best coach in the whole planet, your nerves are going to run each and every day because you know everybody’s watching you.
“The media have millions of people there and fans at practice, so it’s all different,” Patterson added. “I feel like next week I’ve just got to just stop thinking about so much stuff that’s going on and just tune in to my job. Like I’ve said I’ve been doing it my whole life, just go there and do what I know best.”
Of course, it’s only five days into camp, so most players young and old likely are getting the jitters and mistakes out of their system. But Patterson seems more than aware of the opportunity he has and what he needs to do in order to improve. And given the skills he offers head coach Bill Belichick, his lack of complacency certainly bodes well for the Patriots.