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Cordarrelle Patterson Excited to Join Steelers, Play for Arthur Smith Again

New Pittsburgh Steelers weapon Cordarrelle Patterson is excited to re-join Arthur Smith and become the team’s potent kick returner.



Pittsburgh Steelers RB Cordarrelle Patterson
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Cordarrelle Patterson at the team's OTAs, June 6, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Hours after the NFL passed its new kickoff return rules, the Pittsburgh Steelers inked one of the best kick returners of all time, Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson signed a two-year deal, and with Arthur Smith in Pittsburgh now, Patterson is familiar with the offense. But his job, first and foremost, is staking his claim as the team’s kick returner and bringing fireworks to that phase.

Patterson is confident in what the Steelers have planned for that phase, though he would not divulge what that is for obvious reasons. However, he noted that because all 32 teams are going through this transition, having a star kick returner or special teamer is a way to get a headstart while the schematics get figured out by the league, so the headstart is in the talent.

I mean, they’ve been working in everybody’s favor,” Patterson said. “Man, so with this unit we got, though, so, man, we gotta take advantage of this season. It’s gonna be new to everybody this year. So, it’s gonna be new to everybody. So we just got to figure it out, you know, just try to get the headstart on it with the guys we have.”

Take it from Cordarrelle Patterson: The new rule should have drastic effects on the kickoffs seen on an NFL field day in and day out. Once the rule came into effect, Patterson became excited about its revival. He is a twelve-year NFL veteran, and every year, teams have to consider his kick return ability. Now, he will be able to flaunt it once again.

“Oh, it’s exciting for me, man,” Patterson said. “It’s going to be very different for everyone. And that’s the same for everyone, so we hope we can get a jumpstart on it. I got that phone call, and I already knew what time it was. You know, I’m ready to show the world what I can do.”

Steelers Falcons Cordarrelle Patterson

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Patterson has watched a lot of XFL tape to prepare for the new rule. In the XFL, teams adopted different variations of run plays, including counter and duo. Patterson did not go that deep into it, but he did state that teams will get ideas from the XFL when they go back and watch it. And as an ascribed football junkie, Patterson believes that the kickoff rule will tailor to vision more than it does pure speed.

“Honestly, I do,” Patterson said. “I can’t tell you everything, or they’ll get mad at me. I do this in my sleep. This is what I do: kick returns. Whenever I can, I’m turning the tape on to try and get better at that. So, of course, I’m watching that.”

Patterson has become a swiss army knife over the past few seasons. Smith primarily used him as a running back, but he split out into the slot as a receiver. If you wanted a gadget player who is an elite returner, Patterson has proven he can do that at a high level. So, Patterson bounces from room to room throughout the weekly meetings to prepare for his role.

But he is not coming into Pittsburgh to step on anyone’s toes. He wants to reinforce the offense and contribute in any way he can while knowing his role. And that is what he expects to do once training camp kicks up.

“I’ve been in this offense on three years going on four years now,” Patterson said. “Arthur knows me. He knows me up and down; he knows what I can and can’t do. I’m not coming here to step on anyone’s toes. I know what I can bring to this team and I know my role. Whatever they need me to do, I’m that guy. I’m here to help these guys, I’m an older guy to help get these guys going.”

When asked exactly where he is in meetings and individual rooms, Patterson even cracked a joke that he would sometimes sit in with quarterbacks for a trick play. He is that comfortable with the scheme and vision.

“I’ll be everywhere, man,” Patterson said. “I might be even sitting in with the quarterbacks at times. They might put a pass in there for me. I have to be ready for whatever.”

Cordarrelle Patterson projects as the Swiss Army Knife of the offense while bringing plenty of utility to kick returns. It’s up to the Smiths (Arthur and Danny) to utilize the skill set that has been proven throughout his career. In Year 12, he should be a useful asset to the Steelers.

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