Cornerback A.J. Jefferson is one of the most inexperienced players on the Vikings roster, but he's feeling like a coach this week.
Jefferson was acquired in a trade before the start of the regular season from the Arizona Cardinals, and this week his new team, the Vikings, host his old team. That has caused an extra dose of meeting with Minnesota's coaching staff.
"They asked me some things about some of the players out there, so I tried to give them some insight about what I know as far as playing with those guys over there. We'll try to take that and put it in our scheme some kind of way and help us to win," Jefferson said.
"I feel involved in a little bit more. They want to talk to me. I feel like part of the coaching staff now. It's going to be good."
Jefferson said he made the rounds in different coaches offices on Monday for about 45 mintues and, despite playing cornerback, spent time in an offensive meeting room to help dissect the strengths and weaknesses of the Cardinals' defensive players. He also spent time with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer helping analyze the special teams players.
"I got questions from all the coaches. They want to know about the defensive guys, they want to know what I think about the receivers out there and the special teams coach wants to know what I think about their players out there," Jefferson said. "I try to give them my best scouting report and they can run with it."
At times, coaches downplay the intelligence they can glean from players about an upcoming opponent. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier made no such attempt when asked about Jefferson on Wednesday.
"We're tapping (Jefferson)," Frazier said. "Our offensive staff met with him on Monday. Our special teams coach met with him. So, yes, we are definitely talking with him about their personnel and some of the things that he can provide with information for us."
Just like Frazier didn't attempt to downplay the advice they sought from Jefferson, the cornerback didn't downplay the little extra motivation he gets playing against the team that traded him.
"Any time you get traded, you want to definitely put it on the team that you're playing against," Jefferson said.
"Every game is motivation for me. I've just got that much more excitement about playing and just getting back at the team," Jefferson said. "I tell all these guys it's a homecoming for me. I know all those people out there. It would be great to get a win."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Vikings player feeling like a coach this week
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