ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As I moved in to interview Tim Patrick following the Broncos’ camp practice Sunday, I was struck by how far I had to look up to catch his eyes.
What the heck, I said, have you grown?
"That’s what everybody says," Patrick said, laughing.
He’s 25 years old, so it’s unlikely he’s another inch up from his listed 6-foot-4.
"I might still be growing," he said. "Everybody says that. I did put on some weight."
Maybe that’s it. Patrick said he put on 10 pounds. Of?
"Muscle," he said, laughing again. "I hope muscle."
The trick? It helped he drew a full, $480,000 rookie minimum salary from the Broncos last year and he collected another $237,112 in play-time bonus.
"I had a little more money in my pocket so I was able to eat every single meal," said Patrick, who now has 220-plus pounds on his 6-4 (or so) frame. "I went and got some real training. I shouldn’t say real training. All my training is real. But I went to a facility in Florida and trained."
It’s too bad head coach Vic Fangio doesn’t watch his team’s one-on-one drill between receivers and defensive backs. He would have seen Patrick make a heckuva catch Sunday on a deep flag pattern that beat rookie Alijah Holder.
"That’s what I do, I beat man coverage," Patrick said. "That’s fun. That gets you going. Get the ball, catch it, get your swag right so when you get out there on team (11 on 11) and 7 on 7 you’re ready to go."
When the Broncos season essentially perished with Emmanuel Sanders’ Achilles injury prior to the 13th game last year , Patrick was the receiver who most stepped up.
New No. 1 receiver Courtland Sutton may have hit the rookie wall as he had just 146 yards receiving in the final four games. DaeSean Hamilton had 182 receiving yards.
Patrick, who had just 4 catches for 73 yards through 12 games, finished with 19 receptions for a team-most 242 yards in the final four games.
"I wasn’t banking on my technique, I was just wanting to make plays," Patrick said. "Being able to do that with no technique gave me so much confidence going into the offseason to work on my technique. And if I do that then it’s going to be really hard to stop me."
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