Losing your starting job to an undrafted free agent after being a second round pick could cause a player to get angry, or even worse, just give up. But Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is trying to use it as motivation, and is saying all of the right things. “It is what it should be right now,” Seferian-Jenkins said on Tuesday speaking to the media following practice. “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.” Seferian-Jenkins had a well-publicized incident take place during the team’s offseason earlier this summer, when head coach Dirk Koetter actually kicked him out of practice. Despite the somewhat embarrassing moment, Seferian-Jenkins told the media that he was happy he was tossed. “Kind of what I alluded to a little earlier, [he’s] a detail-oriented guy,” Seferian-Jenkins said of Koetter. “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 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.” The 6-foot-5, 262-pound former second-round draft pick continued saying all the right things and showing – at least publicly – that he’s maturing not only as a football player but as a person. “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.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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