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#pounditWednesday, May 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson sounds very hyped about Vikings’ coach hire

Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings’ hire of Kevin O’Connell as head coach is clearly viewed as good news by the team’s star wide receiver.

Justin Jefferson spoke to NFL Network at the Pro Bowl on Friday about the team’s hire of the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator. The wide receiver was clearly enthusiastic about the hire, citing the fact that he enjoyed watching the Rams and even noting that he has never had an offensive-minded coach before.

“I’ve been watching the Rams offense for a minute now,” Jefferson said. “They get their playmakers the ball. They have some tremendous plays, Cooper Kupp wide open all the time. I’m excited for it. This is my first head coach that’s gonna be on the offensive side instead of the defensive side.”

Jefferson played for Ed Orgeron at LSU and came into the NFL with Mike Zimmer at the helm, both coaches with a defensive background. That makes it pretty easy to understand why the receiver would be so excited to play for someone whose specialty is the offense.

There have been hints in the past that Jefferson hasn’t always been pleased with the Minnesota offense. He clearly hopes O’Connell can take him to another level, and if that happens, Jefferson could be poised for a massive season.

Ja’Marr Chase eager to tease Justin Jefferson over record

Ja'Marr Chase dances in the end zone

During a 34-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase tallied an impressive 266 yards receiving. That was good enough to set the NFL’s all-time rookie record for receiving yards in a single game.

Furthermore, those 266 yards gave Chase 1,429 receiving yards on the season. That, too, is an all-time rookie record.

But the record is a little extra sweet for Chase. Not only did it wipe out any memory of his preseason struggles, it also surpassed his former college teammate and close friend, Justin Jefferson, who had previously held the rookie record with 1,400 yards.

“It meant a lot,” Chase said during an appearance on The Herd. “It was a goal of mine. I had written it down and stuck it on my mirror … in college. It’s been with me ever since. Now, I get to go back and call Justin and rub it in his face a little bit.”

It’s all in good fun, though.

“That’s my guy. This is something we always talked about. It’s just a blessing to have the opportunity to be in this position,” Chase added.

Chase may have broken Jefferson’s all-time rookie record but the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver still has one up on his former LSU teammate. With one game remaining, Jefferson has 1,509 yards to Chase’s 1,429 yards.

Cooper Kupp shares cool post with Vikings receivers

Cooper Kupp in pads

Cooper Kupp shared a cool post on Twitter Sunday after his team’s win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Kupp’s Los Angeles Rams beat the Vikings 30-23 in Week 16. Kupp had 10 catches for 109 yards in the win. For the Vikings, Justin Jefferson had 8 catches for 116 yards, while Adam Thielen added 3 catches for 40 yards.

Following the game, Kupp shared photos of him with Jefferson and Thielen. His caption was simple: “artists.”

That caption is a very cool and shows how Kupp views what he, Jefferson and Thielen do. They’re more than just receivers. They’re more than just players. They are artists who work hard to perfect their crafts. And few are doing it better than them.

Kupp and Jefferson entered Sunday first and third in the league in receiving yards this season. Kupp also leads in receptions and touchdowns. Thielen entered with 10 touchdown catches on the season and also has had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in the past.

The three men are among the best in the NFL at what they do, and Kupp seems to recognize that.

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Look: Vikings players shows support for Odell Beckham with warmup attire

Justin Jefferson wears a free Odell shirt

Odell Beckham Jr. will soon be wearing a new uniform, but some of his peers are keeping the “Free Odell” movement alive anyway.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson wore a hoodie during warmups on Sunday that said “FREE ODELL” and included a portrait of Beckham.

Beckham and Jefferson both played college ball at LSU. Jefferson was actually involved in the drama when OBJ handed out stacks of cash to LSU players after the national championship game two years ago.

Vikings cornerback Cam Dantzler, who grew up with Beckham in Louisiana, wore the same shirt:

The real question is whether Jefferson and Dantzler would have worn those shirts even if the Cleveland Browns did not agree to part ways with Beckham. That would have been an even stronger message, but we’ll probably never know.

Beckham and the Browns agreed to a divorce after Beckham’s father, Odell Beckham Sr., had some social media posts criticizing Baker Mayfield. LeBron James also found a way to join the “Free Odell” movement.

Beckham will be placed on waivers on Monday. He reportedly wants to play for a contender and may cause problems if he doesn’t wind up with one.

Justin Jefferson explains why he has Vikings’ Week 16 game ‘circled’

Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson had himself a phenomenal rookie season last year, and the former LSU star is looking forward to even bigger challenges in 2021.

Jefferson was a guest on the “All Things Covered” podcast this week, and he was asked if there is one cornerback he hasn’t faced yet that he is looking forward to lining up against. Without hesitation, Jefferson said he is already thinking about facing Jalen Ramsey.

The Vikings don’t play the Los Angeles Rams until Week 16, which is in late December. Jefferson probably shouldn’t look too far ahead, but Minnesota fans have to love that he is embracing the opportunity to compete with the best.

Ramsey is still widely considered to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, even if he was ruthlessly mocked for getting torched by a rookie last season. Jefferson had 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns last year. The matchup will certainly be one to watch.

Justin Jefferson to be first NFL player featured in this popular video game

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson watched his signature touchdown celebration rapidly gain popularity during his breakout rookie season in 2020, and the dance will now be featured in a prominent video game.

Epic Games announced on Monday that Jefferson’s “Griddy” dance will be featured in “Fortnite” beginning Wednesday. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes, Jefferson will be the first NFL player to be featured in the popular video game.

The NFL entered a partnership with Epic Games, the developer of “Fortnite,” back in 2018. The deal allows the game to feature logos from all 32 teams on the gear that characters wear.

Jefferson began doing the “Griddy” dance when he became a star at LSU, though he is not the inventor of it. The dance was created by Allen “Griddy” Davis in the weight room of Landry Walker High School in New Orleans in 2017. It eventually went viral on social media, and Jefferson first did it in a game at LSU in 2019.

Many NFL players and pro athletes are avid “Fortnite” players. One MLB player even once had to apologize for something he said about his manager while playing the game. Jefferson’s inclusion in “Fortnite” may lead to some jealousy among his peers.

Jefferson, the No. 22 overall pick in last year’s draft, made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last year. His 1,400 receiving yards ranked fourth in the NFL.

Vikings laughed at Eagles for passing on Justin Jefferson … and were right

Vikings laugh Eagles

The 2020 NFL Draft was a completely different TV experience from what fans previously were used to. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no central gathering for the draft. Instead, TV cameras were placed inside the homes of team employees and players. The result was a more intimate viewing experience for the fans, such as one we saw among the Minnesota Vikings.

As Pro Football Focus reminded people on Twitter Tuesday, some Vikings higher-ups (GM Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer) laughed at the Philadelphia Eagles for passing on Justin Jefferson with the No. 21 overall pick last year. Instead of Jefferson, they chose a different receiver — Jalen Reagor.

The Vikings were right, at least for one year.

Reagor had 31 catches for 396 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last season. Jefferson had 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.

Six receivers were taken in the first round last year. Seven more went in the second round. It remains to be seen how all of their careers go, but for now, the Vikings seemed to nail the rankings. They definitely got it right with Jefferson.

Justin Jefferson tweets reaction after not winning Offensive Rookie of the Year

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson did not win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year this season and took note.

Justin Herbert won the award. The Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback received 41 of the 50 possible votes. Jefferson received the nine other votes.

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver sent two smirking emojis and said “see ya next season.”

Jefferson had a huge season. He had 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. But more voters were impressed with what Herbert did for the 7-9 Chargers. The 22-year-old quarterback passed for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns. Both marks set the rookie quarterback record.

Jefferson received plenty of recognition from his peers. Even if he didn’t win the award, few doubt his talent.

Justin Jefferson has special request for Randy Moss after breaking record

Justin Jefferson

It’s not every day that players get to break records set by Randy Moss. Justin Jefferson did it on Sunday, and he wants Moss to help him remember the occasion.

The Minnesota Vikings rookie needed 111 receiving yards in Week 17 to break Moss’ rookie record for receiving yards in a season, which he did in the fourth quarter. Jefferson also broke the Vikings’ franchise record in the same category, which was set by Moss in 1998. Jefferson even wore special cleats paying tribute to Moss while accomplishing the feat.

After the game, Jefferson said it was an “honor” and a “blessing” to break a record held by Moss, and said he wanted the iconic receiver to sign his cleats.

The significance of breaking a Moss franchise record is not lost on Jefferson. It certainly looks like the Vikings have a star for years to come. The organization will hope Jefferson can keep emulating the legend, though maybe with a bit less yelling at his quarterback.

Marshon Lattimore responds after Vikings writer calls him out for dancing

Marshon Lattimore

Marshon Lattimore responded on Twitter Friday after a Minnesota Vikings reporter called him out for dancing.

Lattimore was covering Vikings emerging rookie receiver Justin Jefferson during Friday’s 52-33 win by the New Orleans Saints. Jefferson had six catches for 85 yards in the loss. In the final two minutes of the game, Jefferson went down with an injury and exited after an incompletion on a 3rd-and-10 play.

Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan took issue with Lattimore mimicking Jefferson’s dance as Jefferson walked off the field with what appeared to be an injury.

Souhan felt Lattimore’s actions lacked class.

Lattimore saw the criticism and responded on Twitter. He told Souhan to “shut up.” Though the lack of punctuation in his tweet made it somewhat confusing to read, Lattimore seemed to be calling the criticism “lame.” He also defended himself by saying that Jefferson wasn’t injured, but merely cramping.

Lattimore’s team got the victory, so they also get the last laugh. But this sort of thing isn’t new for Lattimore, who takes great enjoyment in his successes on the field and often rubs it in.