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It Took a Decade, But a Team Has Finally Figured Out How to Use Cordarrelle Patterson

For the Falcons' many flaws, it appears Arthur Smith has done at least one thing very right in his first four games as a head coach: he's finally figured out how to use Cordarrelle Patterson.

It's baffling to me how a man who has been the best kick returner in the NFL since the day he stepped on a field hasn't been an every down player for most of his career. Coming into 2021, Patterson had never amassed more than four receiving touchdowns and 77 targets in a season — both in his rookie year. He now has three touchdown catches and a rushing score in his first three and a half games with the Falcons and will likely blow past 77 targets as well.

And all of that comes with Patterson listed as a running back.

When you have a guy who has returned eight kicks for touchdowns, you find a way to get the ball in his hands. So while Smith has been derided by some for not getting rookie Kyle Pitts enough touches so far this season, it's very encouraging that he's carved out a role for Patterson to shine. Put him in space and good things usually happen.

Hopefully Patterson's performance so far this year is a sign of things to come for what Smith will be able to do with Pitts and everyone else on the Falcons' offense.