A triple threat who has excelled in the NFL as a return specialist, receiver and running back, Cordarrelle Patterson takes pride in his versatility.
“There’s nothing I can’t do on the football field,” Patterson said this week on the Bears All-Access radio show on WSCR-AM 670. “That’s just the mindset I’ve had since I was a little kid. I feel like I can do anything and everything on the field.”
Patterson signed with the Bears March 13 after spending his first six NFL seasons with the Vikings (2013-16), Raiders (2017) and Patriots (2018). In 95 career games, he has averaged 30.0 yards and scored six touchdowns on 176 kickoff returns, caught 184 passes for 1,872 yards and 10 TDs and rushed for 687 yards and seven touchdowns on 184 carries.
Last year with New England, Patterson started back-to-back games at running back in place of the injured Sony Michel, rushing for 38 yards on 10 carries in a 25-6 win over the Bills and 61 yards and one touchdown on 11 attempts in a 31-17 victory over the Packers.
“[Offensive coordinator] Josh McDaniels asked me, ‘Can you play running back?’” Patterson said. “I was like, ‘I can do whatever you need me to do.’ That’s just the kind of player I am. He trusted and believed in me. At practice he gave me some carries. When my number was called in the game, I just tried to make the most of it and show him I could do whatever.
“I take big pride in what I do as a player on and off the field. I try to hold myself to a high standard. Every time I touch the ball, I try to make the most of it for my team.”
During the radio interview, Patterson said he wanted to sign with the Bears in part to return to the NFC North and also to play for coach Matt Nagy.
“The things they did [in 2018], a first-year head coach came in and [turned] the program around,” Patterson said. “I could picture myself being with that new coach that they’ve got and I could picture myself being a Bear.”
On the move: Former Bears offensive lineman Bryan Witzmann on Friday signed with the Cleveland Browns. The fifth-year pro joined the Bears last Oct. 18 and started seven games at right guard in place of the injured Kyle Long.
Witzmann is the seventh Bears free agent to sign with another team. He joins safety Adrian Amos (Packers), receivers Joshua Bellamy (Jets) and Kevin White (Cardinals), nickel back Bryce Callahan (Broncos), tight end Daniel Brown (Jets) and offensive lineman Eric Kush (Browns).
The Bears have re-signed right tackle Bobby Massie, tight end Ben Braunecker, punter Patrick O’Donnell, defensive lineman Nick Williams and quarterback Tyler Bray. They’ve also inked six free agents from other teams in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Redskins), receivers Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings) and Marvin Hall (Falcons), running back Mike Davis (Seahawks), nickel back Buster Skrine (Jets) and offensive lineman Ted Larsen (Dolphins).
Crystal ball: In a seven-round mock draft posted Friday by CBS Sports, writer Chris Trapasso predicts that the Bears will select Vanderbilt cornerback Joejuan Williams in the third round, Miami safety Jaquan Johnson in the fourth round, Temple running back Ryquell Armstead in the fifth round, and Notre Dame tight end Alize Mack and Tennessee edge rusher Kyle Phillips in the seventh round.
These Bears players will all be cheering on their universities during the NCAA men's basketball tournament.