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Cordarrelle Patterson not in the doghouse, Vikings say

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Benched in favor of Charles Johnson, 2013 first-round draft pick Cordarelle Patterson's long-awaited breakout season is on hiatus.

Although Patterson is no longer part of the Minnesota Vikings' offense, wide receivers coach George Stewart insists the former Tennessee star still has a bright future with the club.

"The misconception that he's in somebody's doghouse, that's totally false," Stewart said this week, via The Star Tribune. "... I wouldn't put the term 'bust' on Cordarrelle. He's going to play good football for us. He's a first-round pick for a reason, and he's going to be very successful for us going forward."

Patterson's development has stalled because he's a niche offensive weapon rather than a pure wide receiver. At this point in his career, his route tree is limited to flies, screens, slants and in-turning crossers. If it doesn't happen within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, Patterson doesn't get the ball.

This is no surprise. Patterson was one of the most physically gifted wide receivers in the 2013 NFL Draft but slipped to the end of the first round because he was viewed as a project.

Former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin told a New York reporter this week that he "loves" Patterson's skill set.

"It's not an easy transition, not having played receiver at all and then you come and you're one of the full-time guys outside," Harvin said. "So I think it's just repetition. As he gets older, I think it'll start coming to him."

It's too late for Patterson to help the Vikings this season, but it's good to see the coaching staff still believes in his limitless potential.

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