LA Rams WR Van Jefferson will finally face his father

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams rookie WR Van Jefferson will finally face his father, Coach Shawn Jefferson, this Sunday against the Jets

If the LA Rams were the order of the Jedi Knights, then rookie wide receiver Van Jefferson would most certainly be the equivalent of Luke Skywalker. The first Star Wars movie featured a young Skywalker who had the ability to use the power of the ‘Force’ in ways far beyond the abilities of a normal person. It turns out in subsequent films that Luke Skywalker is the son of Sith Lord Darth Vader, and for the Jedi Knight to win, he must face Vader.

There are many similarities to that fictitious cinematic hit to the LA Rams of today. Just like Skywalker, rookie wide receiver Van Jefferson inherited much of his football knowledge from his father, New York Jets assistant head coach/receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. And much like Skywalker, Van Jefferson must face his father on the football field.

Back to football

While the similarities are too obvious not to weave into this article, there are enough differences to keep it NFL-only. Van Jefferson is a player for the LA Rams, while his father Shawn Jefferson is the assistant head coach for the New York Jets. There will be no light sabers, and no Jedi Mind Tricks in this one. Just a receiver playing against his father’s team.

Of course, the fact that a son will be playing against his father in an NFL football game will be saturated by sports media. It’s an intriguing human interest angle for a game that needs more stories about the personalities of players who make the game possible.

No tear-jerker in this one

But while there will not be any signs of the Force in this game, don’t look for many emotions either. This is a game of professionals. There may be a heartwarming reunion after the game, but even that is more likely to occur in private.

"“My dad is not an emotional kind of person,” Van Jefferson said Thursday. “Of course it’s going to be a good moment because I haven’t seen my pops in a long time.” – per interview with Dennis Young of the New York Daily News"

The game will be all business. After all, his father knows how the NFL works. Here today, gone tomorrow. But Van Jefferson is likely to be around awhile. While used sparingly, his 15 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown on just 21 targets is already better than his father’s rookie season of 12 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Will the Rams feature Van Jefferson in this one?

I would not be surprised if the Rams give Van Jefferson plenty of opportunity in this one. He has played 40 offensive snaps against the Arizona Cardinals, catching four of the five passes thrown his way. I believe that the Rams offense could very likely tip-their-cap to Shawn Jefferson by giving his son Van plenty of opportunities to display his NFL skills for his father.

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Whether Jedi Knight or Rams receiver, the story ends up in the same place. For Van Jefferson, he must face his father. And for the Rams sake, he must be the victor of that meeting. I guess that makes the Rams the Jedi Knights after all.