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Van Jefferson just trying to “make the most of the opportunity” with the Steelers

There are always players around the league who struggle to find a team they can truly call home. Cam Heyward most recently called players who play their entire career with the same team as “one helmet players”, but what you realize quickly is how those players are few and far between. Most tend to at least play for another team at one point or another in their careers.

The same can be said for wide receiver Van Jefferson, who has spent time with the Rams and Falcons before joining the Steelers this offseason. While most consider him an afterthought, he’s just trying to make the most out of this current opportunity,

“I’m just embracing the opportunity, coming in and learning from all the guys and making the most of my opportunity, whatever that might be,” said Jefferson. “That’s kind of my mindset.

“That’s always the main goal, to come in and have that as a mindset,” said Jefferson of starting. “But at the end of the day I am just trying to come in and be the best player I can be and earn the trust of the quarterbacks, the trust of coaches and make the most of the opportunity.”

Some might view the way Jefferson carries himself, or what he says at times as arrogant, but he wants to make it clear he just wants to put his best foot forward. And after all, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

“Oh yeah,” said Jefferson, in a matter of fact yet not cocky manner. “You always think highly of yourself, always think you can do those things. So, I definitely I can do that. You’ve got to put in the work now in order to get that result. I am just taking it one day at a time, be where my feet are. I’m enjoying the moment now and the results take care of themselves.

“Obviously I have a lot of confidence in myself,” said Jefferson. “Like I said, I’ve got to put in the work to get that opportunity. Nothing is given, nothing is going to be handed to me. I’ve got to work for that spot and I’m comfortable doing that.”

Jefferson comes to the Steelers with a pre-existing knowledge of the Arthur Smith offense. He spent some time with Smith in Atlanta last season, and while he didn’t master the offense, he feels as if he will be more than capable of having a head-start with the Steelers.

“He is an amazing guy, amazing coach,” said Jefferson. “I got traded in the middle of the season, so I wasn’t that perfect with the offense. Now I’ve got a full offseason under my belt learn his offense, so it’s been helpful.”

When asked what kind of coach Smith is as a coordinator compared to a head coach, Jefferson doesn’t see much of a difference.

“He still has that personality,” said Jefferson. “Just get you going. He wants everything to be perfect. He wants the guys that work hard.”

Could Jefferson turn out to be a player who has a much larger role than anyone is willing to admit at this juncture? Will he blossom in the Smith scheme? That will be decided soon enough, but Jefferson is turning heads early in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and hoping to turn his career around in Pittsburgh.

Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2024 offseason.


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