The stage is set for Austin Seferian-Jenkins to have a break out year in 2015.
Whether it’s because new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter heavily incorporates tight ends into his system, or because a rookie will be under center, or simply by the fact that the former second-round pick enters the year with great expectations, Seferian-Jenkins should have every chance to shine this season.
“I tell you, if Austin is healthy, he reminds me…I coached Tony Gonzalez at the end of his career,” said OC Dirk Koetter. “Our tight ends coach Jon Embree had Tony in Kansas City. Austin’s talented… If Austin can stay healthy we have very high expectations, and so does he.”
After a disappointing rookie campaign that consisted of numerous injury-related set backs, Seferian-Jenkins says he’s much further along in his development, both physically and mentally.
“I’m 22 years old now,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Last year I was 21. I was just coming in to play in the NFL; I had never played against NFL-caliber players. I’ve played against them for a year now, so I’m feeling a lot more comfortable.
“It was definitely a learning process last year in understanding how to take care of your body, how to do a lot of different things, how to pick up an offense and those little nuances of it, technique and whatnot.”
Training camp will be a pivotal time for Seferian-Jenkins to master the nuances and technique of his position, especially if he wants to get out to a Tony Gonzalez-like start. The good news is he’ll have every opportunity to do so. Just by the few OTA, mini-camp and training camp sessions, one can already tell that the athletic tight end is becoming Winston’s best friend and a highlighted target in the system.
“Absolutely,” Seferian-Jenkins said when asked if he’s excited about Koetter’s tight-end friendly offense. “I came into an offense in college where the tight end was really important. The tight end is going to be important (in Tampa Bay). We have to make our plays, though.
“…When we have the opportunity to make plays as a group, we need to make them. So I’m excited about the opportunity we have and I’m enjoying it.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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He has a lot to learn right now so I hope he is focused. Again, too much hype of trying make something that may not be there yet. Go Bucs!
I am excited about ASJ’s possibilities. I will be much more excited though if he can stay healthy this yr. Always a big jump from College to pros.
There have been three picks in the last 5 years that I was really excited about (GMC – obvious; LvD – a guy I loved in college; and ASJ – I saw a lot of Washington games). I think it’s important to be realistic about what a huge year for ASJ could look like on this team…we have several mouths that will get fed in the passing game – a passing game led by a rookie that is likely to be brought along slowly.
a) If JW was asked to throw an average amount of passes per game, we’re looking at 25-30 attempts
b) if he completes a good percentage (say around 60%) that makes maybe 15-20 completions.
c) ASJ is maybe going to be on the field for something like (at best, if he’s rocking it) 80% of our passing downs, so that’s maybe 12-15 completions per game
d) If ASJ plays all 16 games, then he could be eligible for all of those 12-15 completions
e) those completions will be shared with two pretty awesome WRs; some intriguing looking slot guys; and our RBs
All-in-all, I’d say he might have a maximum shot (if all is going well) at 3 or 4 catches per game for 50 or 60 catches on the year – with maybe an average catch being 10 yards for a TE, that’s 500-600 yards, and maybe 1 in 10 catches being a TD, that’s 5 or 6 TDs. That’s where my expectation is at the moment for ASJ to have a huge year…60 catches, 600 yards, 6 TDs. Of course there are all sorts of factors that will come into play (like injuries, hot streaks, the success (or not) of the running game), but I just wanted to share what IMO would be the expectation of a huge year. Go ASJ!
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