During the 16 years that the Wilfs have owned the Vikings, the team was unable to keep three great receivers happy. They now have to worry about a fourth eventually deciding to make a play to continue his career in a new city.
Second-year receiver Justin Jefferson, who with eight catches for 116 yards broke Odell Beckham‘s record for the most receiving yardage in the first two seasons of a player’s career, opted to be blunt and candid regarding the struggles that contributed to the Vikings losing to the Rams, 30-23.
“I felt like after the first half we had a little bit more energy than what we came out with,” Jefferson said, via Judd Zulgad of SkorNorth.com. “Second half, I think we came out with a little bit more energy, so it’s just all about starting with that energy from the get-go. Especially with a good team, a good offense that can move the ball. . . . We’ve just got to come out firing off the jump.”
Jefferson had more pointed remarks about the selection of plays made when in position to score touchdowns.
“I think we should be more aggressive when we get down there,” Jefferson said. “As soon as we get down there. But I’m not the one calling the plays. I’m just here to do my job and do what’s told of me. But we can’t get down in the red zone that many times and come out with three points.”
Jefferson offered a pragmatic, but also ominous, assessment of the situation.
“I can only control what I can,” Jefferson said. “I definitely will keep the energy up, keep talking my guys up, trying to pick them up. But at the end of the day I can’t go out there and play for them. . . . It’s not totally over yet. We’ve got some juice left, but you’ve just got to go and win these two games. Be aggressive, be emotionally into it and just be mentally prepared to go in there and fight our butt off.”
And while Jefferson currently can’t control the organization with which he plays, he eventually will be able to pursue the same path that took Randy Moss (twice), Percy Harvin, and Stefon Diggs out of Minnesota.
Unless these next two games turn out well for the Vikings, a coaching change quite possibly will be next up for the Vikings. Then, the new regime will have a year or two to persuade Jefferson to stick around for the long haul.