When the Chicago Bears signed Cordarrelle Patterson a year ago, I thought they were getting an exciting play maker that would not only help out as a kick returner, but also spend some time at wide receiver and running back.
His 2018 season with the New England Patriots saw him do just that.
He was only on offense 21% of the time, but in his 230 offensive snaps he caught 21 balls for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns, while rushing for another touchdown on a career high 42 carries for 228 rushing yards. That’s 5.4 yards per carry, and that’s also the lowest YPC he’s ever had in a season.
Josh McDaniels, the Pats offensive coordinator, managed to find 63 offensive touches for Patterson in their Super Bowl wining season, but Matt Nagy could only find him 28 touches in his 2019 offense.
That has to change in 2020 and it’s something the team is aware of.
“Yeah, that’s a guy Matt and I have talked about just making sure we’re maximizing his talent,” Bears GM Ryan Pace said back in February. “Obviously he’s an explosive, talented player. That can be at running back, receiver, returner. We’re going to make sure we’re getting the most out to that player because he’s too talented not to.”
And with the Bears electing to ignore running back in both free agency and the NFL Draft, maybe they realize Patterson is deserving of some more time in the backfield.
Technically, they only have four guys on the 80-man offseason roster at running back — David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall, and UDFA Artavis Pierce — which seems thin, so maybe Patterson is the plan after all.
“The guy has to have the ball in his hands,” wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said last week. “He’s one of the most elite, explosive, dominant football players with the ball in his hands in this league.”
Whether the Bears give Patterson the ball from the tailback spot, or if they run him on end-arounds or jet sweeps from wide receiver, they need to make him a larger part of the game plan in 2020.
Check out this highlight of some of his runs in the Tweet below.