Rams News: Sean McVay Says Van Jefferson Is Playing ‘Confident’ At Recent Practices
Van Jefferson
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been made of the Los Angeles Rams opting to go with a younger and less experienced team in 2023 despite still having Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald on the roster. But much of the strategy for Sean McVay’s team relies on natural improvement from some of the players already on the team, like wide receiver Van Jefferson.

Jefferson is entering his fourth NFL season after being selected by the Rams in the second round of the 2020 Draft. And while he has shown flashes of being a regular contributor at the receiver position, he has struggled to put it all together with consistency.

He only started in nine games last season due to injury and with the Rams opting to go younger in 2023, his role could significantly increase if he shows he’s ready for the opportunity.

That’s what McVay is seeing so far from the 27-year-old wide receiver in training camp. He spoke about the leap that Jefferson has made from last season and what it could mean going forward.

“I’m glad you asked about him because I think he’s strung together his best practices the last couple days,” McVay said. “He’s confident, he’s playing violent at the point of attack, he’s making contested catches.

“I think he’s seeing coverage contours really well, he’s able to win and work edges on some of his isolation opportunities and that’s the Van that we know. And I think for him, I don’t want to speak for him, but he sure looks like he’s feeling good. He looks like himself and I think his last two days have been his best two days and that’s a positive thing.”

This is a massive year for Jefferson for a number of reasons. Primarily, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract, meaning he can be an unrestricted free agent due for a big pay raise this offseason. And he has the perfect opportunity to increase his value by playing on a team that has question marks at receiver behind the superstar in Kupp.

If he can capitalize by cementing himself as the clear No. 2 and have the on-field production show that, he may find himself getting a big new contract next offseason. The early indications show that he’s ready to prove what he can do with a larger role.

Les Snead says he’ll be aggressive next offseason

Rams general manager Les Snead admitted the reality of the franchise this season, saying that they had to use this year as a chance to take a pause from all the big contracts and traded picks of the past few seasons and reset for next offseason.

Snead also said that when next offseason does come around, he plans on going back to the level of aggression he had that netted the Rams a Super Bowl championship for the 2021 season.