While it maybe didn’t come with the same surprise factor as when Dirk Koetter named Adam Humphries the team’s No. 3 receiver earlier this week, saying Cam Brate was ahead of Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the battle for the starting tight end position may be even more important.
Speaking to the media following Wednesday’s sixth training camp practice, Koetter talked about the battle.
“I don’ think it’s any secret, Cam’s been working with the first group, so, yeah, we’re deep at tight end and Cam’s at the top of the depth chart right now,” Koetter said.
“He’s (Seferian-Jenkins) working at it. He’s trying to get better every day. Sometimes luck of the draw, a guy may not get balls thrown to him some days. Or he gets it thrown to him and it’s a bad throw. But he’s working at it and that’s all he can do right now. He’s just got to work. Anybody that’s fighting for a job, that’s all they can do.”
Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Brate, who was wearing a Saints uniform in Week 2 last season before being signed to the Bucs active roster, filled in for an injured Seferian-Jenkins (who ironically was injured in the wins against the Saints in Week 2) for several games last season, and was tied for second on the team with receiving touchdowns (three). The former Harvard grad developed a nice chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston down the stretch, and impressed teammates and coaches along the way.
On the year, Brate appeared in 14 games with four starts and had 23 receptions for 288 yards and the mentioned three scores. Seferian-Jenkins, who drew the ire of Koetter in the offseason and was kicked out of a mini-camp practice at one point, missed nine games in 2015 with an injured shoulder. The former Washington standout finished the season with 21 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Good. Like I said in a previous story I hoped he would take the starting job by the horns. For those hoping ASJ has the job by Week 1 I think he still has a chance because I didn’t really see Brate lighting the world on fire in training camp except for Monday, it’s just that Brate is seeing a lot of targets whether he’s running with the 1st or 2nd team. It’s just that ASJ hasn’t outperformed Brate on the field up to this point.
Iam glad he is running with team one.There are 90 players in Camp is this TE that was not living up to his billing trade him off for a draft pick in 2017-Go Bucs
Like I said before Brate, Stocker, ASJ will play a lot this season. I don’t believe it makes much different who is classified the started. Go Bucs!
Glad to hear ASJ has competition. Might open his eyes up. I still think he is #1 when it’s all said and done. We have a lot of talent at TE, now they just have to get after it. GO BUCS
It won’t bother me if Brate is the starter on September 11th.
I am not ready to jettison ASJ yet. Some people blossom right away (like Kwon Alexander). Some take a little time to mature either as athletes or as persons or both. The guy has tons of talent if he can pull it together. We will definitely know by the end of this season.
Stocker took some time to show his worth also. I am looking forward to the first three preseason games to see how the TE situation shakes out.
asj will be the starter when the season start.
Not surprising Brate is ahead right now. ASJ has all the talent, but ability to stay healthy and his maturity/attitude has been a big problem. Will see what happens. Obviously we are better off if he gets it together and starts over Brate, but I’m not sold and I guess Koetter isn’t either.
If you could take Brate’s brain and attitude and put that in ASJ’s body, you’d have the next Gronkowski. Unfortunately we’re likely to have a couple of average tight ends this season. The Bucs will use a lot of two tight end sets, so we’ll get to compare them all the time. Not too worried about who gets to be the “starter.” More concerned that ASJ might not be able to adapt to Koetter’s expectations. ASJ has had several bonehead moments in the spotlight. You’d think that would keep him sober, humble, and want to do whatever it takes to be a real pro football player, but not all players have that kind of maturity in them.
Dirk is just turning up the heat on ASJ. Long time for roster fluctuation. He sees the obvious talent and merely wants him to be accountable and do the things necessary to develop into the star he could become. It’s up to the youngster to conduct himself as a professional and approach the game the way the great ones do. If not, #87 could just suffer the indignity of losing his job to an undrafted free agent who was more willing to devote himself. Nice to see Coach making everyone attain success the old fashioned way, by “earning it.”
What I think is great is Koetter as a first time H.C., has the balls to to put an undrafted F.A. ahead of a second round pick. Even better, Licht who drafted AJS isn’t making his coach play that pick. Licht get’s the talent, but let’s his coach play who he thinks is better. That let’s all 90 guys know you do the work, and perform better doesn’t matter where you’re picked, or how much money you make Koetter’s will play you. J.R. Sweezy you watching?
Well said, Suferdudes!
More thoughts on the ASJ situation:
Ian Beckles (formerly on WDAE’s 620 radio) was all over Gerald McCoy for his performance during his first 3 years or so in the league. This was partly because Gerald was a first round pick and partly, I believe, because Ian himself had been a defensive lineman in the NFL. Apparently with Gerald there was no character issues only athletic issues. He had a spate of injuries during a period of instability with Buccaneers organization itself. Even this year he is having to learn another defensive scheme.
Meanwhile Gerald was working hard behind the scenes. He sought out guidance and honed his skills wherever he could. When Warren Sapp (Always a Buc!) offered his help Gerald took him up on his offer. He listened and learned and continued to work. Now he is considered the best at his position by many in the NFL. So all is not always as it may appear to be.
My point? ASJ still has time to reach his potential with the Buccaneers. Fortunately, I see no signs that our current regime has given up on him yet.
Some our fans have short memories and short attention spans.
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