A Good Sign For JJ McCarthy In Minnesota?

The Vikings are doing everything they can to set up their rookie QB for success, including his locker placement.
JJ McCarthy throws the ball at Vikings minicamp.
JJ McCarthy throws the ball at Vikings minicamp. / Minnesota Vikings

All eyes will certainly be on the quarterback situation in Minnesota as training camp draws near, and it sounds like the Vikings are doing everything they can to set up their rookie QB for success. It's become clear that head coach Kevin O'Connell has no intention of rushing McCarthy onto the field before he's ready, and that he expects the young QB to meet specific benchmarks before can assume the starting role.

But in addition to helping McCarthy perform as well as he can on the field, O'Connell has also made sure to put McCarthy in the best position possible within the locker room... literally. During a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, superstar wideout Justin Jefferson - the highest paid WR in the NFL - indicated that McCarthy's locker is right next to his, as was the case when Kirk Cousins was still the QB in Minnesota. Jefferson acknowledged that McCarthy's locker placement is intentional.

"I like JJ," Jefferson said. "He's definitely learning, he's definitely trying to learn. Asking questions. They put JJ's locker right next to mine, just like how they did Kirk [Cousins]. So I already know their mindset and how they want things to go. They want me to be that guy that JJ can always talk to and ask questions about. He's definitely that type of kid. He definitely wants to ask questions. He wants to learn how to become a top quarterback. He wants to learn how to become a problem in this league."

The fact that McCarthy is asking the star wideout a lot of questions and that he's eager to learn isn't surprising. During his time at Michigan, it quickly became clear that McCarthy was a student of the game, that his competitive spirit was unmatched, and that he was determined to do whatever he could to help the Wolverines win at the highest level - and he delivered. He's now taken that same mentality with him to Minnesota, where he hopes to help deliver the same level of success in his new role with the Vikings.

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy
Oct 7, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) . Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

"I love his attitude," Jefferson said. "I love his questioning and his curiosity to want to become something. So I'm definitely looking forward to what he has to bring to our team. Of course, there's a lot of expectations from him. But I always tell him, don't really worry about the expectations. All you have to do is just carry yourself with confidence."

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Chris Breiler