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Cordarrelle Patterson has to work for spot in Vikings' offense

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have praised Cordarrelle Patterson's work habits and attention to detail in their offense so far this spring, so the receiver's current spot on the depth chart probably has more to do with where he ended last season than where he'll ultimately end up. But after Patterson finished 2014 on the bench, it's clear he's got some work to do to overtake some of the Vikings' other wideouts.

Patterson worked almost exclusively with the second team again during the Vikings' first mandatory minicamp practice on Tuesday, while Charles Johnson, Mike Wallace and Jarius Wright opened up the session in a three-receiver set with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings have high hopes for Wallace after sending a fifth-round draft pick to Miami for him in March. Johnson and Wright were two of Bridgewater's favorite targets -- and a pair of the Vikings' biggest surprises -- last season. That leaves Patterson currently working with backup quarterback Shaun Hill, trying to carve out his spot in a young receiver group.

"When we’re out here in practice, we have individual periods, we have periods where we get to throw routes with the wide receivers and that’s where we develop that chemistry," Bridgewater said. "And then it’s staying after practice and working on routes that we may have not thrown in practice, trying to get that chemistry down. Those are some of the ways that you just try to find some chemistry with the other receivers."

Patterson made an impressive one-handed catch during Tuesday's practice and was still the Vikings' top kick returner. Considering special teams coordinator Mike Priefer last week called him the best kick returner in the league, Patterson's spot doesn't seem to be in any jeopardy there. But in light of how rarely the Vikings used four-receiver sets last season (just seven snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information), Patterson will have to fight for his touches on offense.