Koetter: Bucs gathering details of Seferian-Jenkins DUI arrest
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter was in a meeting with players and coaches Friday when he learned that tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was in a holding cell at the Orient Road Jail following his arrest around 4 a.m. this morning with on misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.
Following practice, Koetter said the team still was gathering information and that he planned to meet later today with general manager Jason Licht about the incident.
“Obviously, there was a situation that we became aware of this morning and we just don’t all the details yet,'' Koetter said. "By the time we found out, we were into meetings this morning and we’ve been on the practice field. Right now, I don’t have all the information. We’re aware of it. Jason and I will be getting together this afternoon and whatever is going to happen will be forthcoming.
Seferian-Jenkins, 23, was stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol at 3:42 a.m. Friday and was booked at the Orient Road Jail at 6:24 a.m., charged with misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and violating a court-ordered Ignition Interlock Device restriction from a previous arrest for DUI in Washington in 2013. He remained in jail at 10 a.m., held on $750 bond.
The Bucs are already likely down a tight end for Sunday's home opener at Raymond James Stadium against the Los Angeles Rams as Luke Stocker has not practiced since leaving last week's game at Arizona with an ankle injury. For depth, Tampa Bay could promote one of two rookies, Alan Cross and Danny Vitale, from the practice squad.
Following practice, tight end Cameron Brate ran some extra routes and took passes from quarterback Jameis Winston.
we have a player that’s missing from practice. Anytime we have a player missing from practice, if a player is missing from practice, we want to find out the reason why. We want to make sure they’re okay. The number one thing is player safety to make sure everybody is okay. After we find out what the situation is, then we’ll address and react accordingly based on what the league policies are, what the team policies are, what ownership’s policies are. There’s a lot to go through. I’ve been at practice. I’ve been busy getting ready for the Rams since 6:30 this morning.
"We have a player that’s missing from practice,'' Koetter said. "Anytime we have a player missing from practice, if a player is missing from practice, we want to find out the reason why. We want to make sure they’re okay. The number one thing is player safety to make sure everybody is okay. After we find out what the situation is, then we’ll address and react accordingly based on what the league policies are, what the team policies are, what ownership’s policies are. There’s a lot to go through. I’ve been at practice. I’ve been busy getting ready for the Rams since 6:30 this morning.
"Again, I’m aware of what the situation is. I haven’t seen reports on everything, on anything like that, so I just don’t know. I’m not going to stand up here and talk about stuff I don’t know about. It’s stupid.''
According to the FHP, Seferian-Jenkins was driving at 75-80 mph in a 55 mph zone as he entered southbound I-275 near State Road 60. He made an improper lane change, cutting off an FHP trooper and "weaving back and forth."
The arrest report states that Seferian-Jenkins was observed to have glassy eyes and the smell of alcohol and was "agitated," with slurred speech and leaning on objects for balance. He "performed poorly" on field sobriety tests and declined to provide a breath sample to measure his blood-alcohol level.
Seferian-Jenkins pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in 2013 while he was in college at the University of Washington. He was arrested in March 2013 and was a second-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2014.
After two injury-plagued seasons, Seferian-Jenkins got off to a rough start with Koetter when he was kicked out of a voluntary workout at an Organized Team Activity in June. Koetter said Seferian-Jenkins "didn't know what he was doing" on the previous play in practice. He declined to elaborate.
"I did send him off," Koetter said after practice. "That's between me and him. … You guys are making more of it than you need to."
But Seferian-Jenkins was on the bubble to even make the roster and played 56 snaps in the final preseason game because Koetter thought he needed to play. He is now in his third season with the Bucs and caught a 30-yard touchdown in the Bucs' season-opening win at Atlanta.
The Bucs have not hinted whether they will take any action against Seferian-Jenkins, but the arrest doesn't bode well for his future in Tampa Bay. In addition to not being a starter, he has been unreliable on and off the field and now faces a possible suspension from the NFL.