NFC Notes: Patterson, Matthews, Beasley

It appears that a fire has been lit under Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Minnesota failed to exercise the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option for 2017, and teammates believe that slight may have been a catalyst in Patterson’s increased production so far at camp.

I don’t know if them not picking up his fifth-year option woke him up a little bit or what, but he’s going out there and working,” Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said, according to Ben Goessling of “He’s doing a great job of switching it up on you. Normally, CP, he was just one speed. He’d just come at you full speed. Now, he’ll lull you to sleep a little bit, and he’ll turn on the burners. It’s messing the DBs up a little bit, but at the same time, I told him, ‘You’re running some great routes. Just keep it up, keep working and then when we get the month of July off, don’t backslide. Just keep doing what you’re doing and getting better.'”

Let’s take a look at a few more notes from around the NFC…

  • Clay Matthews says he never pressured Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to move him back to outside linebacker, but he did admit to Rob Demovsky of that he hoped the transition inside would be short-lived. Matthews is set to return to his pass-rushing role again in 2016, as Green Bay will roll with Jake Ryan, Sam Barrington, and fourth-round rookie Blake Martinez at inside ‘backer.
  • The Falcons do plan to move former eighth overall pick Vic Beasley to linebacker, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll stop rushing the passer, as Atlanta linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich explains to Vaughn McClure of “The emphasis with Vic will still be pass rush,” Ulbrich said. “The emphasis will still be his nickel end stuff, will still be playing Sam as a blitzer. The majority of his meeting time will be devoted to that. The majority of his individual work pre-practice will be devoted to that. The majority of his practice reps will be devoted to that. And on Sundays, the majority of his reps will be devoted to that.”
  • Running back Terron Ward made the Falcons as an undrafted free agent last season, but he’ll have to beat Gus Johnson and Brandon Wills to retain his roster spot this season, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Ward managed only 29 carries behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in 2015, but he did play on roughly 22% of Atlants’s special teams snaps.
  • The Lions worked out former Mississippi State tight end Darrion Hutcherson on Thursday, Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
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