Cordarrelle Patterson is currently learning it’s never too late for a position change.
Well, maybe at a certain age, changing positions isn’t worth it. But Patterson, a 29-year-old receiver and electric returner, is now devoting his attention to running back.
It may be too much to ask Patterson to become the next Walter Payton. Still, a change to running back could very well save Patterson’s career and improve the Chicago Bears‘ hopes of making the Super Bowl.
Cordarrelle Patterson has always been an explosive player
Cordarrelle Patterson has had a strange NFL career.
The 29th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Patterson’s overall receiving numbers — 195 catches for 1,955 yards and 10 touchdowns — should put him in bust territory.
But Patterson’s impact on special teams, which include three First-team All-Pro selections, instead make him one of the game’s most explosive players.
Although Patterson’s career has been strange, it’s also been extremely productive. Patterson has scored 17 touchdowns from scrimmage and returned another seven kickoffs to the house.
Patterson’s seven kick return touchdowns are third all-time. Former Browns receiver Josh Cribbs and Jets running back Leon Washington each had eight such touchdowns.
Cordarrelle Patterson is now playing running back for the Bears
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Officially, Cordarrelle Patterson spent the first seven years of his NFL career as a wide receiver.
That didn’t stop Patterson from lining up as a running back or taking a snap on an end-around in certain schemes.
That also isn’t stopping the Chicago Bears from experimenting with Patterson in the backfield. Patterson has spent recent weeks working with the Bears’ running backs.
According to the team’s official website, Bears coach Matt Nagy addressed the position change in a recent interview with reporters.
“I think it’ll be our job as coaches to make sure that however we decide to use Cordarrelle that we think is best. We’ll go ahead and do that, but there’s different ways throughout his career that he’s had success.”
Patterson saw action at running back with the New England Patriots in 2018. He carried the ball 42 times for 228 yards and a touchdown in a depleted backfield.
Patterson could help Chicago finally return to the Super Bowl
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Although he’s played some running back before, Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t hiding his excitement at the new opportunity.
According to the Bears’ official website, Patterson is focusing on learning the position beyond just carrying the ball.
“It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life. It’s going to come, man. It’s going to take time. For a fact, it’s something I don’t have down right now, so I keep spending time with (passing game coordinator Dave Ragone) each and every day. I’m just trying to keep learning it and master my craft.”
Although the move is a small one, Patterson playing running back could boost the Bears’ Super Bowl hopes. Patterson is an explosive player capable of using his speed to break off long runs.
Whoever wins the current quarterback battle between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles is going to have to get creative. The Kansas City Chiefs have been unstoppable in recent years because they have a dynamic receiver in Tyreek Hill who can do anything.
If the Bears intend to use Patterson in a similar role, but with him focusing on running back, it could pay off big time. Patterson’s had a strange career, but winning a Super Bowl after playing a major role in the backfield could be the ultimate cherry on top.