Justin Jefferson Breaks Silence on Vikings QB Change From Cousins to McCarthy

Justin Jefferson Breaks Silence on Vikings QB Change From Cousins to McCarthy

Justin Jefferson #18 and Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson touted his support of Kirk Cousins throughout the pre-draft season but is excited for the “new energy” in the building that’s followed rookie J.J. McCarthy.

 

Following the announcement of his four-year, $140 million extension, Jefferson spoke to local media on June 4 and addressed the Vikings’ plans at quarterback now that his future is secured through the 2028 season.

 

“Last year, with all the quarterback changes that happened… it really didn’t matter who’s throwing me the ball,” Jefferson said, referring to the four-quarterback carousel the Vikings rode after Cousins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury. “I’m always confident in myself and confident who’s throwing the ball to give me those opportunities to let me make a play for the team.”

 

The terms of Jefferson’s contract attach him to McCarthy for the duration of his rookie deal. The Vikings securing Jefferson long-term is their catalyst for McCarthy’s development — and Jefferson is excited to take the Michigan quarterback step-by-step through his maturation at the next level.

 

 

Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Speaks on ‘New Energy’ From J.J. McCarthy

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Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy (left) and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (right).

 

Much like Adam Thielen and Cousins once mentored Jefferson, the star Vikings wide receiver is excited to return the favor to McCarthy, who could be his running mate through the next decade.

 

“A new energy. A new soul. I love his confidence. I love his attitude,” Jefferson said of McCarthy. “Of course him coming off a championship, you can’t have any more confidence than that. That confidence is going to continue to be with him, and it’s my job to install that into his brain throughout the whole entire season. And of course giving him that extra confidence by throwing me the ball.

 

A new energy was called for in Minnesota.

 

The Vikings have yet to win a playoff game with Jefferson on the roster despite him totaling the most receiving yards (5,949) of any player through their first four seasons.

 

Jefferson added in his news conference that he called McCarthy after he was drafted, saying “confidence is key” and that he’ll do everything in his power to keep McCarthy’s confidence in him.

 

“There’s going to be people to come and help, of course I’m going to be that main person to be in his ear and try to teach him and try to prepare him for what we’re about to go through,” Jefferson said. “I told him this league is tough, it’s not an easy job to come out here and perform at the highest ability, especially as a rookie. I’ll definitely be that main person that he can lean on and help throughout the way.”

 

Justin Jefferson Set to Step Up as the Vikings’ Alpha

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Justin Jefferson #18 and T.J. Hockenson #87 of the Minnesota Vikings.

 

The notion that the Vikings ever considered not making a long-term commitment to Jefferson does not track with the new regime’s treatment of him throughout the past two years.

 

“The Vikings’ playbook literally underscores the organization’s top-down commitment to Jefferson,” The Athletic’s Alec Lewis wrote. “Many of their formations and terms feature words related to Jefferson, be it his home state (Louisiana) or his favorite dance move (Griddy). Head coach Kevin O’Connell has long viewed Jefferson as a partner in many ways, one of the few men on Earth who is talented and intelligent enough to transfer his brainstormed offensive ideas onto the field.”

 

While the quarterback position is still the most important in the game, this is officially Jefferson’s team.

 

“Now being the leader of this team and carrying myself in a different way, I’m going to be on everyone hard and I’m going to make sure I’m the leader of this team and we’re working on where we want to go, which is a world championship,” Jefferson said.

 

Gideon Canice

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