Still Loving Life and the NFL

Cordarrelle Patterson stayed positive and joked with the Atlanta media in his first press conference, and seems to hold no ill will toward Chicago, at least on the surface.
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Former Bears return man Cordarrelle Patterson stayed true to his positive, joking nature when he met with Atlanta media for the first time.

There was no direct bashing the Bears, although a few questions pointed in this direction came up and Patterson quickly sought to put out the fire before it caught hold.

However, his answers almost seemed to dance around the topics and certainly left his feelings open to interpretation.

"I mean, I was always taught you've got eyes in the front of your head so you can see where you're going not where you've been, so, whatever happened in Chicago that happened," Patterson said. "I'm on to the 2021 Atlanta Falcons. I'm here to talk about what I can do for the Atlanta Falcons, not what I did for the Chicago Bears."

Patterson signed with Atlanta for one year and $3 million, including a $1.7 million bonus according to Spotrac.com. He averaged only 3.6 yards a carry as a backup running back with the Bears last year, and had a career-high 64 carries.

"Last year the year didn't go as planned, and I wanted as a running back, so hopefully this year can go better," Patterson said.

With the Falcons, Patterson joins up again with Dave Ragone. The former Bears quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator is now the Atlanta offensive coordinator.

"Dave (and I) got a great relationship," Patterson said.

Patterson did point out he came to the Falcons because Arthur Smith's offensive and team philosophies intrigued him.

"What Arthur does is amazing," Patterson said. "That's why I said, that was one the reasons for coming here.

"He don't care who you are. You can be a first-rounder, seventh-rounder, or eighth-rounder. He wants to spread the ball out and get it into everybody's hands. That's something a guy like me wants, (the) ability to go out there and not just be a running back or receiver, be a kick returner, just being everywhere on the field."

It would be easy to point at how little the Bears got out of Patterson on offense in two years for $10 million, and blame it on Matt Nagy or the offensive coordinators.  However, Patterson did choose to go to a team with one of Nagy's assistant as the coordinator.

And beyond that, Patterson really hasn't been successful anywhere on offense in his entire NFL career. The closest he came was in Minnesota early on but the Vikings quickly found he couldn't fit into their passing attack.

The Patriots used him in a role somewhat like the Bears did and got some good use out of him in their run to the playoffs in 2018 when they won the Super Bowl, but only as a stop-gap situation due to injuries, and even then only on a limited basis. He made only three postseason rushing attempts that season for 10 yards and had four catches for 32 yards.

He had more rushing yards for the Bears last year than with New England in 2018. Patterson ran for 4.1 yards a carry over two years on 81 attempts for 335 yards. He had one rushing TD and no receiving TDs in Chicago.

Patterson has never had more than the 469 yards and four TDs he had receiving as rookie in Minnesota and never had more than the 52 receptions he had in 2016 with the Vikings.

"Honestly, I've been in this league, this is going on my ninth year, and it feels like I've been in a new system every year," Patterson said. "I like coming to new places. I like just having fun."

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