Resurgent Seferian-Jenkins getting reps with Bucs' starters again
Two weeks after he was relegated to backup status at tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins has shown enough improvement that he'll split reps with Cameron Brate working with the first-team offense, coach Dirk Koetter said Sunday.
Seferian-Jenkins had three catches for 36 yards in Saturday's win, including an 18-yard catch in traffic that drew an additional 15 yards for an unnecessary roughness penalty, setting up a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Asked if he was pleased with how the third-year pro had responded to his demotion, Koetter said he's liked what he's seen.
"Very much, very much," Koetter said. "In fact, we're going to even out those reps with the first group with Cam and Austin. Austin's worked his way right back in there and when he got moved down the depth chart, all you can ask a player when he gets moved down is that he competes and does better and tries to get back up there, and he's done that. Now he's not perfect by any means and Cam's had a fantastic camp -- he did not have a great night catching the ball last night -- but we're going to need both those guys."
Brate took a hit to the back of the helmet in the end zone Saturday, prompting another personal-foul penalty, but said after the game that he was "fine." The Bucs have used a higher amount of double-TE and even three-TE looks in the first two games, with Seferian-Jenkins and Brate key in those packages.
"Austin and Cam are the two guys that can bring some verticality to your pass game," Koetter said. "The catch in the second half that Austin made on the bow-out, there's just not a whole lot of guys that can make that play. He's earned a chance to get back and work more with the first group, so we should give it to him."