Seferian-Jenkins has to be noticed in preseason

by Gary Shelton on August 10, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Seferian-Jenkins  needs to get noticed in preseason../JEFFREY S. KING

Seferian-Jenkins needs to get noticed in preseason../JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 6 a.m.

The climb uphill begins Thursday. And if you buy that Austin Seferian-Jenkins is kind of chill as he begins it, you might also notice this:

Hey, it's kind of steep.

Seferian-Jenkins, the Bucs' tight end, has placed himself in this predicament. He is a million dollars worth of talent worth about 11 cents on delivery. Instead of having his heart
in the game, he has usually shown the bone in his head during

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his time in the NFL. He has walked out on a thin limb, and like Wile E. Coyote, he is sawing from the wrong direction (away from the trunk).

Currently, Seferian-Jenkins is just another guy among the Bucs' tight ends. Both Cameron Brate and Luke Stocker are listed as starters, which makes Seferian-Jenkins third at best. Which places him squarely between fighting for playing time and fighting to hold on.

“It is what it should be right now,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Whatever it is, the coaches know it. I’m a player, the coaches coach, and those guys know what they’re doing. So whatever the depth chart is, the depth chart is. I’m just thankful to be out here playing football and doing what I love.

“I don’t care what the depth chart is. I don’t care what I’m on. I’m going to enjoy it and I’m going to seize every opportunity that I get because that’s the most important thing. Hundreds of thousands of people would love to be out here playing the game that we play. You got great media coverage, you got great fans that come out here. So if I’m not number one on the depth chart right now, I’m not number one on the depth chart right now. But I’m going to be the best two, be the best three, be the best four, whatever I’ve got to be I’m going to be the best I can be. So I’m enjoying it, I’m seizing the opportunities and, like I said, I’m really enjoying it, I’m loving the game and it’s just been great energy all the way around and I’m really loving it.”

If football was a beauty contest, of course, Seferian-Jenkins would win. He's tall and fluid, and frankly, he looks like a tight end. But this is the guy who posed after a touchdown with his foot on the ball. This is the guy who was thrown out of a practice in June for not knowing what was going on. This is the guy who is running behind free agent Brate at tight end.

It's a shame. Bucs' quarterback Jameis Winston has always liked throwing to his tight end.

“Every practice really energizes me,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Like I said, I enjoy coming out here, working out, getting better, getting in better shape, and enjoying my teammates, enjoying the fans that are here. Just living in the moment and just trying to get better. And that’s really just been the big focus for me, just living in the moment, enjoying the moment and just being a technically sound guy.

“Am I going to be perfect? No, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to sulk and cry about it if I’m not perfect, if I’m not what I want to be right now because realistically a lot of people aren’t what they want to be, in football and in life. It takes time, it’s a process and it’s a day-by-day thing, it’s an hour-by-hour thing and I’ve really enjoyed every bit of it and I’m seizing the opportunity.”

But is he? It's still a struggle to Seferian-Jenkins, a man cursed with good talent.

“(Koetter is) a detail-oriented guy,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “If you want to be a great player, if I want to be the great player that I’m capable of being, I can be a really special player, I’ve got to be detail-oriented. And Coach Koetter is not going to let me be below that.

“He wants me to be a great player and he’s won’t settle for being average, he won’t settle me for being good, and he won’t really settle me for being great. I want to be special and he wants me to be special and I’m working towards that and I respect him to the fullest. I really thank God every single day that he kicked me out of practice, it was really a wake-up call and like I said, I’ve been enjoying every single moment I’ve had. Like I said, I’ve loved it, I love Coach Koetter, I love all our coaches, I love my teammates, I love the competition that we’ve got in the tight end room, I love the competition that the D-ends are bringing. It’s just been great all the way around and I’m really, like I said, seizing the opportunities and I’m loving just being out here and playing football.”

Seferian-Jenkins has said that being thrown out of a June practice by Koetter was a great thing for him. Whether he believes it is up for discussion.

So how does he make the team? Maybe he splits a seam and scores a touchdown. Maybe he frees Doug Martin on a block. Maybe he becomes a threat in the end zone (the Bucs were 0-for-9 on Tuesday).

Either way, Seferian-Jenkins has to make you notice him. Maybe, he has to make you smile.

Seferian-Jenkins has some catching up to do on the Bucs.

Seferian-Jenkins has some catching up to do on the Bucs.

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