Seferian-Jenkins says foot won't hold him back in camp
TAMPA -- Bucs players report for preseason camp in just two weeks, and rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said his left foot is in good shape as he recovers from February surgery for a stress fracture.
"I feel really good. My foot feels really good," Seferian-Jenkins said Wednesday from Arizona, where he's been training. "I've been running routes, doing all the exercise and workout drills that they've asked me to do. I feel very comfortable and confident that I'll be ready to go when it comes to training camp."
Seferian-Jenkins has been working in Phoenix with Team EXOS, an international sport performance company whose clients range from 64 2014 NFL draft picks (11 first-rounders) to the German soccer team. They also have worked with Bucs rookies Charles Sims and Robert Herron this offseason.
Seferian-Jenkins was limited by the foot injury during the Bucs' three-day rookie minicamp, and because the University of Washington's academic calendar is on the quarters system, he wasn't allowed to attend any other workouts until classes ended in mid-June because of an NFL policy designed to keep college players in classes for their final spring before joining the NFL. That kept him from attending OTAs or the team's mandatory minicamp (the absence is, of course, excused), so he has catching up to do in learning a new offense with the Bucs in training camp.
"The only thing you can really do is try to learn the formations and concepts, the methodology of the offense, but there's nothing that substitutes for the hands-on experience of being out there running routes, and getting the timing down with the quarterbacks, the communication, all that stuff," he said. "There's definitely going to be a little bit of a learning curve, but that's to be expected when you're not there at all. It's nothing I can't overcome. I'm just going into it one day at a time and will be working really hard."
Seferian-Jenkins spent time with his fellow Bucs draft picks at the NFL's Rookie Symposium in Ohio and said he's bonded well with the other five draft picks, including Sims, Herron and first-round receive Mike Evans, who was his roommate at the symposium.
"I spent a good amount of time with all five of the other guys who are there," said Seferian-Jenkins, who had worked with Herron for about two months training together in Arizona before the draft. "I'm excited to work with them, and I'm excited to work with the veterans as well. We're all going to get better."
Seferian-Jenkins was the Bucs' second-round pick in May, taken with the 38th overall selection, as the second tight end taken behind Lions first-rounder Eric Ebron. He won the Mackey Award, given to college football's top tight end, last year after catching 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns.
He'll get to Tampa a few days early next weekend, giving him extra days to throw and catch with Bucs players in advance of training camp. Tampa Bay opens camp on July 25, with two weeks of drills before the team's preseason opener Aug. 8 at Jacksonville.