Coming off a historic rookie season, Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson knows he's going to be seeing more defensive attention in year two. In theory, that could be concerning as he looks to replicate or exceed his incredible production from 2020. But Jefferson also points out that this year, he'll have a more normal offseason and will know what to expect from the league.
"I’ve been watching a lot of guys’ film," Jefferson told Tyler R. Tynes in an interview for GQ. I literally sit at the computer all day watching different film, highlights, just different ways to improve my game. I’m always trying to look for different ways to step my game up. Like you said, there’s more film out there on me. There’s more guys looking at me. I’ve got a target on my back now. I’ve got to do better than I did last year. Going into year two I know how the game is now. You know? I’ve experienced it, I’ve got a bit more information, I’m a little bit more comfortable now that I’ve had a year under my belt.
Knowing what to expect in the league, I feel like this year is gonna be way more smooth."
The entire Q&A between Tynes and Jefferson is worth a read, so make sure to go check it out in full. Outside of his comments about how he's preparing for the 2021 season, I thought the most interesting part of the interview was Jefferson talking about being a Black athlete in Minnesota over the last year, with all that has happened and all of the discussions that were sparked among the team.
"It's really just starting to get back to where it needs to be," Jefferson said. "We’re still lacking. We just keep putting that word out there and fighting for equality and what we believe in. I don’t want this situation to fade off like every other situation. You know? We have to keep building on everything. And me? I have to keep learning. I was never involved in this, I’ve never had a moment of police brutality happen to me, or anything with the police. That was something for me to really sit back and educate myself on, so I can understand the guys that are talking about the police and things that are involved in that. It’s really just learning. It feels good to finally be involved in all of this."
Jefferson also talked about how he wants to keep learning more and being a part of creating change.
Other highlights from the piece, which you can find right here, include Jefferson's excitement to play against the Eagles someday, why he's still motivated by his pre-draft slights, his relationship with Stefon Diggs, how he uses basketball to improve his game, and a whole lot more.
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