TAMPA — Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was sent off early from practice last week and then traded insults with fans online, apologized for both Tuesday, saying he needs to hold himself up to the high standard set for the Bucs on and off the practice field.
"It's a learning process. I'm ready today and excited to get back to work and get this behind me …I won't let it happen again," Seferian-Jenkins said, speaking to reporters after a morning walkthrough on the opening day of three-day mandatory minicamp.
Seferian-Jenkins said he talked to coach Dirk Koetter hours after practice ended and he understands what is expected of him at practice. He also apologized for interaction with Bucs fans on Twitter throughout Thursday.
"It was a lapse of judgment," Seferian-Jenkins said. "Obviously it was not a good day. I was sent off the field. I was frustrated. I can't take it out on the fans. That's not fair to them at all. All they want is a winner, all they want is me to be successful, all they want me to be is great. They just want me to get ready and I respect that. For any of the fans I offended, I'm sorry. I can't wait to get to work and be the best tight end I can be for you guys."
Koetter, who had been dismissive of the early exit as a minor problem Thursday, echoed that Tuesday: "He doesn't have to explain it. I told you guys Thursday, you're making too big a deal about it. What happened happened and he said what he said and we're practicing again. That's that."
NO LONG-TERM injuries: The Bucs continue to hold several players out of practice. G J.R. Sweezy, DE Jacquies Smith and WR Louis Murphy are recovering from surgeries, and WR Vincent Jackson, C Joe Hawley and LB Cassanova McKinzy were spectators as well Tuesday. Koetter reiterated that they are cautionary moves and none should persist to training camp next month.
"We don't have one guy -— knock on wood — that won't be ready to go when we come back to camp," Koetter said. "Of course, we're going to very cautious with guys this time of year. … Guys that are feeling a little twinge here or there, it makes no sense to push them."
THIS AND THAT: Undrafted rookie LB Luke Rhodes, from William & Mary, was working with the second-team defense. Koetter said he's "off to a good start" but reminded that it's only June. … The most expensive ticket for the Bucs in 2016? That'd be the Bears, where the cheapest ticket on Ticketmaster's "Ticket Exchange" was drawing $79, about $20 more than home games against the Broncos, Seahawks and Panthers. Only season tickets, group sales and five-game packages have been sold, with single-game tickets expected to go on sale from the Bucs in late July.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.