Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins made several rookie mistakes last year - Photo by: Getty Images
Welcome to another installment of SR’s Fab 5 Reaction where every Tuesday I take the time to answer your questions and respond to your comments from the previous week’s SR’s Fab 5 column. This week’s SR’s Fab 5 Reaction is a day late due to our new website launching on Tuesday this week. Due to time constraints from my responsibilities as publisher, I am unable to respond to every reader comment each week, but I do read every one of them.
Comments have only been edited for clarity and grammar. Now on to your comments.
The topics in this week’s SR’s Fab 5 include: Seferian-Jenkins Is Bucs’ Villain; Bucs’ Preseason Opener Analysis; Preseason Games Expose Real Truths In Tampa Bay; Hawley, Smith Duking It Out At Center
A lot of the heat Austin Seferian-Jenkins is getting is from all the hype he has received from limited play. This is hardly his fault. It’s not like he has agent who is shoveling stories out on him. It’s the local media who are looking for something upbeat to write about the Bucs.
Another reason he has gotten a lot of heat from fans is his perceived softness after being injured last year. I was one of the guilty ones, but after reviewing the play he was injured on, which happened on the hard concrete turf known as the Superdome, I rethought my viewpoint.
ASJ probably should have been put on IR last year, but it was a credit to him that he didn’t want to go there but finish the season out instead. Lovie Smith bringing him back and saying he was close to being ready week after week after week didn’t help matters either. – drdneast
I appreciated Austin Seferian-Jenkins being so candid in his interview with me. His shoulder injury was significant last year, and I agree that Lovie Smith didn’t do him any favors by suggesting he was close to being ready every week. That was kind of ridiculous. So far, Seferian-Jenkins has risen to the challenge and is rivaling Cameron Brate in training camp. It’s fun to see those guys push each other.
Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Great SR’s Fab 5. Ah, football is in the air and excitement looms ahead. I hope it isn’t short lived! ASJ is a young kid with some unfortunate injuries, probably girls on each arm, and became instantly wealthy. I think Dirk Koetter is teaching him a valuable lesson. Yes, he needs to perform, but I also think Coach is providing tough love to kick start ASJ to the next level. This is what good coaches do. In my heart, I think he breaks through and plays to his abilities.
Not sold on the defensive line yet. The Eagles may have had bad O-line play, as we had bad special teams play. You got it right, SR – consistency is key. If the D-line plays same against Jacksonville then I’ll certainly start being encouraged. GO BUCS! – Dbuc63
I like how Dirk Koetter has pushed Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ buttons through the media. ASJ told me he received the message loud and clear. He’s been a great weapon in the red zone, as has Cameron Brate. Jameis Winston is going to have a lot of big options down around the goal line. As for the defensive line, we’ll see how it fares this Saturday night in Jacksonville. I don’t think much of Philadelphia’s O-line, so this will be a bigger test for Gerald McCoy and Co. I like what I’ve seen from the pass rush so far – in the preseason and in training camp. Newcomers Noah Spence and Robert Ayers are the real deal.
Closed minds sure are hard to open. Folks have chosen ASJ as this season’s whipping boy because of a few immature acts and an injury that prevented him from playing in the past. They never seem to acknowledge the catches he makes by leaping over a defender and ripping the ball down with authority.
Granted, ASJ is a work in progress when it comes to maturity and becoming more of a student of the game and not just relying on his physical prowess. There aren’t many players with his natural ability. It’s up to him to use them to become that “special” player. – scubog
I think we’re going to see a lot of two-tight end sets – or 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends) this year from the Buccaneers. Neither I – nor the team – am sold on the wide receivers after Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Adam Humphries (or a healthy Louis Murphy). That will help Austin Seferian-Jenkins see more playing time this year if he remains the No. 2 tight end behind Cameron Brate. Seferian-Jenkins is a better, more reliable target than Russell Shepard, Donteea Dye or any other receiver that may make the roster.
Former Bucs HC Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
A disturbing trend continues. Throughout Lovie Smith’s time here, time and time again the post-game press conference included “I thought we had a good week of practice, I thought we were prepared.” But week in week out it never seemed like the Bucs were ready to play when the game started.
Over the last 32 regular season games, the Bucs have sucked in the first quarter, and were outscored 187-101 with only eight touchdowns and never more than one in the first quarter of a single game. They scored more than once only four times and they were shut out 13 times.
On defense there were blowouts at the hands of the Falcons, Ravens, and Titans. Thursday night, it looked the same way. Down 14-0 before my Orlando-based broadcast even started. It’s only one pre-season game and with a new staff, so I hope they can correct it. From your perspective, do they see the soggy starts as a problem? Are they working on it?
On the officials, as a fan, we always think the refs are working against us. It’s hard not feel like that when you see no-call pass interference on the long pass to Mike Evans and ticky-tacky offensive pass interference penalty on Kenny Bell. The one on Bell looked like he hit the DB after the pass was gone, but he got flagged anyway.
Noah Spence looked like he was hugged from behind a lot, but again, no calls. The Bucs have been a bad team and bad teams commit a lot of fouls, I get that. But it’s those judgment penalties that drive me nuts when it doesn’t look like the same criteria are being applied to both teams evenly.
From your position in the media, is there any merit to biased officiating – other than breathing next to Tom Brady equals roughing the passer, of course? – dfk68
The penalties, the turnovers and the early 14-0 deficit were discouraging, dfk68. I understand your point. The silver lining is that it was the first preseason game and gave Dirk Koetter something to illustrate how the Bucs cannot continue to beat themselves and attempt to win. As for the officiating, Tampa Bay has developed a bad reputation for being a heavily penalized team over the last couple of years and the Bucs aren’t going to start getting the benefit of the doubt until they change their ways. Get used to it – until the Bucs cease averaging nine flags per game. When Tampa Bay’s young players mature the number of penalties should decline.
Nice job, Scott. Loved your rebuttal on Twitter. I didn’t get to see the game being in Arizona, but all these articles do a great job of breaking down the game. Luckily, I will be in Safety Harbor, Fla. for the last three preseason games, so I get to see them improve. The Florida State kicker, Roberto Aguayo, will end up proving himself. He could have been a tad hyped up for first professional game. Go Bucs. – jme0151
Thank you, jme0151. What a reactionary ass Ross Tucker was with his smart aleck tweet. I was happy to set him straight. Glad to see you’ll be in the Tampa Bay area for the preseason games so you can get your Bucs fix. I too have faith in Roberto Aguayo. Let’s not overact to his first missed extra point in a meaningless preseason game, especially when he admitted to being nervous for his first NFL game. What I didn’t like was Aguayo hitting the left upright, which is what he’s done a few times in camp. That could signal a mechanical issue that needs to be corrected.
So their first-round pick was for a backup player. Good for Jude Adjei-Barimah. Not so good for Jason Licht. – bigbuc
It’s actually very good for Jude Adjei-Barimah, who has playing well. And it’s also good for Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner – the other two cornerbacks that are keeping Vernon Hargreaves III out of the starting lineup for now. I wouldn’t worry about Hargreaves. I spoke to Ronde Barber this week and he absolutely loves him. He says that Hargreaves has the best backpedal transition he’s ever seen. Hargreaves is a rookie who is still learning. He’ll eventually be a starter. Believe it or not, it’s actually a testament to veteran depth that Hargreaves hasn’t cracked the starting lineup yet. Most teams don’t necessarily want to start rookies. The Bucs have been forced to do so lately because they’ve been so bad. Look at this situation as a sign that times are changing in Tampa Bay.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do some people always look for the negative in a story like bigbucs remark about Jason Licht. Why should Licht be so concerned that Jude is keeping Hargreaves off the field. Licht was responsible for bringing in Jude as well. Some people should think before they open their pie hole. Turns out Jude has been a real find but lets not credit Licht for that.
Finally. in regards to ASJ, I truly hope he is staying off Twitter. That whole dialogue between two “adult” men was about as silly and immature as two little girls sticking their tongues out at each other during recess. Both were at fault.
Perhaps ASJ and Mike can start a support group and meet in a church rectory with others who are trying to keep from becoming addicted to their twitter accounts and their own vanity.
I will be a fan of Jenkins when he can show that he can stay healthy and perform at a high level every game. Until then, I think he is probably going to spend a lot of time on the bench.
Go watch practice Seat and then tell me you think he’ll be on the bench.
I’s rather discuss who are the 1 or 2 Wr’s who are going to fill the last 1 or 2 spots? Go Bucs!
Doubtful he spends much time on the pines seat26/ Bucs tight ends are pretty much 1 and 1A 1B with three of them playing a fair amount of time. That’s why a lot of this ballyhoo about who is the starter is much ado about nothing.
Also, meant to say ASJ and “Miko” should start a Twitter support group. Sorry.
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