Now in his third year in the league, Justin Jefferson is no longer a Minnesota Vikings rookie. The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is expected to play more of a team leadership role as he looks to help the Vikings emerge as a real threat in the NFC North and possibly beyond. increase.
Jefferson himself knows what to expect from him this season. JJ is the type to show his emotions, which sometimes prevents him from being a true leader on his team. The 23-year-old is well aware of this fact, and this is exactly what he discussed with Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell (via Trevor Squire on Heavy.com).
“In my third year, I played the way I used to, [O’Connell] I wanted you to take on that leadership role. Not getting frustrated, not throwing a tantrum when things aren’t going your way, all those things play a role,” Jefferson said at the post-match press conference. “If Adam and KJ are eating. If we win, then I love it, if we win, I love it, the stats I get, the touchdowns I get, as long as we win, our whole team plays together. As long as you have it, it doesn’t really matter.”
After a strong first week performance against the Green Bay Packers, Jefferson was hampered by opposing defenses in Weeks 2 and 3. But Jefferson knows he needs to keep his emotions in check.
“Just because I’m not an emotional player,” Jefferson said. After all, if someone double-teams me, I can’t do too much about it. Just being a key player and always letting them know where I am, so when I double, KJ and Adam are 1 on 1. In this type of matchup, you don’t get the ball. I have confidence in playing with it.”
After putting his head down, Jefferson bounced back big in Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints. He caught his 10 of his 13 targets for his 147 yards. More importantly, he helped lead the team to another victory. Minnesota earned his third win in his first four games.
After the Saints won, O’Connell appreciated his star, WR.
“Yeah, I spent a lot of time with JJ over the last few weeks. I’ve been telling him how grateful I am,’ he said.
“What a performance. I gave him a game ball today. He won that game ball today. Did.”
We all know how special Justin Jefferson is as a player. But more is expected of him this season, especially with the leadership role he’s expected to play with the Vikings.