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Ask a room full of people whether they’d opt for Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson or LA’s Cooper Kupp as their preferred receiver, and the crowd may be split.
However, by the numbers, Kupp outshined all wideouts in 2021 and capitalized on a record-breaking season with a Super Bowl MVP award.
Kupp recorded 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season.
The link between Kupp and the Vikings wideouts is former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who’s been named the latest head coach in Minnesota.
When asked about his anticipations with utilizing Jefferson in the offense, O’Connell said he expects Kupp-like production from the 22-year-old phenom in purple and yellow.
As relayed by the Daily Norseman, O’Connell said the following about the two wideouts:
“There was a huge role for Cooper because of his willingness to be completely solidified in every phase, both the run and the pass.
“I see that with Justin. I see an incredible, incredible skillset, but I also see a player we can move around. We can make it hard for defenses to know where he’s going to be. He doesn’t have to line up in the same spot all the time. He doesn’t have to run the same type of routes all the time. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands.”
Jefferson’s 2021-22 season was no fluke: amassing 1,616 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns and 108 receptions.
With the ceiling already set high by Jefferson, O’Connell believes he could reach even greater heights in his third season in the NFL.
Helping Jefferson reach that next gear will be Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
In the interview, O’Connell complimented Cousins’ attributes as a franchise QB.
“Kirk is one of the naturally accurate passers in this league,” the coach said. “He does not need to think about throwing the football, being accurate, where he wants to place the ball. He naturally does it in the rhythm and timing of any offense he’s ever been in.”
He added, “That’s really been one of his traits that’s allowed him to have a lot of success.”
O’Connell is coming off his Super Bowl 56 victory alongside Kupp. The Vikings believe their new regime under O’Connell may soon challenge the Rams’ supremacy over the NFC.
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Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela