Known as ‘the most exciting play in football’, kickoff return touchdowns are a pretty rare thing. For the Raiders, they haven’t had one in five years. The last guy to do it was Jacoby Ford in 2011, returning a kick 101 yards for the score.
It’s been far more frequent for Cordarrelle Patterson, having returned 5 kicks for touchdowns in his four seasons in the NFL. Also three of his four seasons he led the league in kick return average — two of those years he was named All Pro as a returner. He also has a incredible 30.4 yards per return average for his career.
It’s pretty clear just what Patterson brings to the table.
“I love special teams, especially on kickoff returns,” Patterson said over conference call Tuesday. “It’s just a feeling you wouldn’t understand until you’re back there when you get that ball in your hands. You’re nine yards deep in the end zone and you have those 10 guys in front of you who are going to block and give you their all for you. I’m willing to bring it out anytime I can. If the coach gives me the OK, I want to bring it out. I want to go somewhere and know that I can help on special teams. I feel like that’s my best in the game right there, so I want to go and help on special teams as much as I can and get this receiver stuff down pat.”
Taking a kick 9 yards deep in the end zone isn’t just theory for Patterson. One of his five career return touchdowns was 109 yards. There’s only one yard left on the field of play after that.
One of Patterson’s returns, the Raiders brass got a front row seat. Patterson took the ball at the 7-yard-line, weaved through coverage and put on the jets for the 93-yard score.
Returning a kick for a score is every return man’s ultimate goal. And when you have ‘just’ five of them, they tend to stand out.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” said Patterson.
Because it happened in Oakland, he found himself jawing with an angry Black Hole of Raiders fans, a place where he Patterson said he was warned to stay away
“When I scored that touchdown, they were giving me a lot of crap,” Patterson recalled.
Now those same fans are on his side, ready to embrace him should he provide a repeat performance in Silver & Black. As is always the case when a player joins the Raiders, the fans have put out a welcoming party like none other.
“Man, since I joined the team, it seemed like 30 seconds and like my phone was blowing up on Twitter and Instagram with all the Raiders fans, ‘Glad to have you,’ ‘Welcome to the black side,’ and everything. Raider Nation, baby,” Patterson said with amazement.
“I’m Blessed to be a part of them now.”
Those fans would very much appreciate if you blessed them with a kick return touchdown next season.