The Next Great Tight End

November 12th, 2015
Next great tight end? (Photo courtesy of

Next great tight end? (Photo courtesy of

It is always refreshing to hear nice things said about Bucs players from one of the best to ever play the game.

However, given what Joe currently knows, this high compliment seems premature if not dubious.

While doing a promo for his new app, former Chiefs and Dixie Chicks tight end and sure-thing future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez talked about the next guy to grab the baton from Gonzalez as the game’s best tight end.

And Gonzalez swears Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is that guy, writes Connor Casey of The Sporting News.

“He’s my number one young guy,” Gonzalez, speaking on behalf of his fitness mobile app FitStar, told The Sporting News. “He’s working with a quarterback that is still learning his way, but I think the sky is the limit. He’s 6-6, 260 pounds, can run like the wind and catches the ball outside the framework of his body.”

Gonzalez believes that, with the right quarterback, Seferian-Jenkins could play at the same level as Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham.

“I really believe, and nothing against Gronkowski, but if you put (Seferian-Jenkins) with one of these great quarterbacks like a Tom Brady or Drew Brees, he’d be putting up those numbers,” Gonzalez said. “As Jameis Winston evolves, I think Seferian-Jenkins will evolve, too. Within three years he’ll be a top 5 tight end in the league.”

Well, the first step to being great is playing. Because of his myriad injuries, ASJ has only suited up for 11 of the 24 Bucs games played since he was drafted in the second round in 2014.

You can’t be even good for your team unless you can have an impact, and if your injuries keep you off the field, well, it’s awfully hard to have any impact. At least not a positive impact.

Of course, ASJ practiced today. He practiced last week, too, but was nowhere to be found on gameday against the Giants. Joe has no idea if ASJ will play Sunday or not. Joe is not going to even guess whether he suits up.

ASJ was available to the local pen and mic club today for questions and got snippy and short with reporters when asked about his lingering shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined since the Bucs beat the Saints in Week Two in mid-September.
Hat tip: The Commish.

38 Responses to “The Next Great Tight End”

  1. Another J Says:

    He’s a training room all star!

  2. mike10 Says:

    DAM! Maybe we should just sign him to a $100 mill contract too based on potential.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    I agree with Tony Gonzalez. ASJ has a tremendous upside; he just needs to heal up and stay healed up. His stats against Tennessee (5 catches for 110 yds and 2 TDs) let everyone see what great potential he has. Looks like he was pretty much injury-free in college, except for the foot stress fracture just before the combine. If he can get healthy, then hopefully he can be that big TE target that the Bucs (and Jameis) need so badly.

  4. Couch Fan Says:

    Hopefully he can shake the injury bug and get back on the field. He looked good for the most part and we can sure use another weapon for Jameis.

  5. Simpleasthat Says:

    Give me a break. Austin “football prop” Jenkins.

  6. loviegottago Says:

    another high dollar hang nail mofo

  7. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    I WANT him to be great. And, even if by no fault of his own, you have to be on the field to have the chance to be great. Hope he’s getting a career’s worth of injuries out the way in his first two years.

    In the meantime?


  8. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    America’s next great tight end (potentially)!

  9. RookieBucsFan7 Says:

    ASJ is the perfect example of LOW HANGING FRUIT!!! I am praying that 6-5 265lbs fruit drops all over the Cowboys secondary on Sunday!

  10. Brent Says:

    Whatever. I’m not counting on always sidelined Jenkins. I just want a tough guy who is durable plays hurt can block and make routine plays. Ask has been an injury plagued player since college. #cynical.

  11. bucrightoff Says:

    I have the over/under of him getting hurt again at 7 catches. I think I’m shooting too high. Plus this guy has shown remarkable immaturity on the field. I think he’ll always be a guy with the physical talent but without the smarts and toughness to truly be great.

  12. Buccfan37 Says:

    Without Romo anybody beats the Cowpokes. If the Bucs lose that proves to me they are nobody. ASJ hasn’t proved anything, he is cocky based on nothing.

  13. Dave Says:

    Get healthy ASJ!
    JW throwing to him and Evans and another WR they get next year…. Sky is the limit

  14. BucTired Says:

    If A-Puff plays, I”ll be surprised

  15. Holy Facepalm Says:

    Thank you, Joes, for finally using the word ‘myriad’ properly!

  16. Howard Cosell Says:


  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    So far ASJ lacks what Tony Dungy used to call the most important ability!


    Still recall that Gronkowski has also had periods of inactivity because of injuries.
    Gronk broke his forearm and then later tore an ACL causing him to miss a lot of 2012 and lots of 2013. There were lots of questions about him heading into last year. But he’s been on a real roll lately and has stayed healthy.

    Let’s hope ASJ heals and finishes the season with a breakout over the last half.

  18. bucrightoff Says:

    StPeteBucsFan Says:
    November 12th, 2015 at 4:15 pm
    So far ASJ lacks what Tony Dungy used to call the most important ability!


    Still recall that Gronkowski has also had periods of inactivity because of injuries.
    Gronk broke his forearm and then later tore an ACL causing him to miss a lot of 2012 and lots of 2013. There were lots of questions about him heading into last year. But he’s been on a real roll lately and has stayed healthy

    Ok this is as big a homer stretch as there is. Gronk had already firmly established himself as a top TE before these injuries. ASJ? Well…

    ASJ since 2014: 360 yards, 4TDs
    Player X since 2014: 327 yards, 7TDs

    Player X? Tim Wright.

    So yeah, ASJ’s entire reputation right now is from fantasy nerds expecting him to be a fantasy steal. He doesn’t rate as a top 20 TE right now. Gronk was clearly a top 5 TE when he got his arm hurt first. And we’re talking a broken forearm and torn ACL, not a bruised or maybe seperated shoulder like ASJ. If Gronk separated his shoulder, he’d be out one series to get it popped back in, and he’d be right back on the field.

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    A very valid point. Perhaps my post was unclear. I didn’t mean to suggest that ASJ is as good as GRONK…my point is that even the top TE in the league has had major injury problems. Maybe ASJ can bounce back LIKE Gronk if not quite as good as GRONK. Just as Gonzalez pointed out…ASJ will become as good as his health and Jameis allow him. I have faith in #3…still nervous about ASJ’s health.

    BTW somebody made the point yesterday that Jerry Rice had the dropsies early in his career before becoming one of the greatest WR’s ever. I do not think they meant ME was as good as Rice or will ever be that good…simply that many talented players have had struggles in their careers.

  20. bucrightoff Says:

    The drops don’t bother me with Evans anywhere nears as much as him giving up on routes to complain for a flag. He’s showcasing some of the things we see from diva receivers. Nevermind that often when he complains for a call he’s the one guilty of PI. Just play goddamn it. Team still needs such an attitude adjustment.

  21. Tom Edrington Says:

    Pardon me fellas while I try to climb back in my chair, was laughing so hard I fell out of it……if I was ASJ, I would have probably injured myself….

  22. White Tiger Says:

    Love ASJ – and Gonzalez knows more than I ever will about what an elite NFL TE should look like – but I have to call “BS” on Tony G’s assessment here.

    As many on this site know – I have my own misgivings about the ROOJIE QB – BUT ASJ is responsible to get his body ready to play, and play in such a way that he’s AVAILABLE to HELO his ROOKIE QB!

    Because the last few games I’ve watched – the ROOKIE QB has OUTPLAYED both Tom Brady and Drew Brees (whom he outplayed in head-to-head competition)!!??

    ASJ’s going to have to prove that his team can count on him to be ready at game time – LIKE GRONK and GRAHAM – before I’m ready to “anoint” him with such high praise. For now, THE ONLY comparison anyone can make between ASJ and “Da Gronk” right now, is the number of game ending/season ending injuries he’s tallied in his short (two year) career.

    The one thing that made Gronk, Gronk…was the pounding he took early…yet still found a way to be ready on game day. Graham is probably a more interesting comparison – but ASJ doesn’t seem able to utilize that elite speed to escape without an injury!?

    By this time in his career, Gronk had already started 32 games and amassed 143 receptions for 1873 yards – by comparison; ASJ has 11 starts in his first two seasons, 28 receptions for a whopping 360 yards…

    He’s not been on the field much at all to help ANY Buccaneer QB – least of all the young rookie starter that’s playing better than both QB’s Gonzalez mentioned.

    Makes me wonder if Tony G just isn’t interested in watching actual games, or his script writer isn’t prepping him properly?

    Sheesh, the absolute WORST thing you can do to a prima donna is to heap praise on them BEFORE they’ve actually DONE anything (and while their riding the pine…).

  23. White Tiger Says:

    As many have said – ASJ would have to actually be on the field for this to be accurate – at the time Tony G was heaping praise on our prima donna TE, he was probably getting treatment for pulling a hammy while retrieving the morning paper…

    I’m not a fan of our rookie QB – but unlike Gonzalez I actually DID watch the last 3 games – and I’m pretty sure he’s OUTPLAYED both Brady and Brees over that time frame (and Brees in head-to-head competition) – so I’m calling BS on Tony G!

    The rookie QB is doing just fine without the “potential” superstar TE – as a matter of fact – Cameron Brate looked a LOT more like Gronk than ASJ…and Brate can block…


  24. Brent Says:

    If asj doesn’t get on the field soon he’s already a bust. That’ll be 2 years we wasted money on him when we could have drafted someone who plays.

  25. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    White Tiger GTFOH – What exactly do you “not like” about our rookie QB. His lack of leadership, his will to win, or his talent and skill set. He is playing like a top 10 QB in this league as a rookie and has been a model citizen since he arrived in Tampa Just let go of your preconceived notions or racism and accept the fact that we finally have what appears to be a franchise QB wearing a Bucs uniform on Sundays.

  26. Strider.... Sec 146 Says:

    I hope we hold on to ASJ he is a game changer when healthy

  27. JAB83 Says:

    Yeah if you knew you had a million dollars waiting for you to get it and you couldn’t figure it out right away I guess you would just give up and let someone else get it…. Y’all will be crying just like u do with any.player that leaves hear and does good…. My point, why critize a player for vetting hurt… It happens… When he plays he looks to be bad to the bone good…. Bitter sweet but let it be…. JW will make this guy learn to play banged up… In fact the play he got hurt on I called it from the jump…. Literally…. He jump so high and nearly caught a poorly thrown ball landed on his shoulder and than had a.line man land on him…. For all we know he factored something trying to make a great play…. He certainly gave if effort… To bad the results got him hurt…. But that happens and hopefully everyone learns from it

  28. Mike Johnson Says:

    Maybe ASJ does not want to play..for Tampa Bay. I mean he shows no determination to..get on the field and try things at 70 or 80%. And we do have players playing with injuries right now. ght now he holds the nickname of, “Mr Hot Tub”. To realize his potential..he’s gotta come outta that hot tub him for a 5th thru 7th rder.

  29. ElioT Says:

    I fear we’ll never see the “dunkaneers” on the field at the same time.

    Just like we never saw McCoy, Price, Clayborn and Bowers; or Nicks, Joseph, Penn etc…

    I wonder what Tony G had just smoked when he made these comments.

    ASJ, get your ass on the field and stay there.

    Siege this!

    Go Sucs!

  30. SDbucfan Says:

    I just watched his interview. He was very on edge talking about his shoulder! Lol. This guy is a joke! Notice when he told the reporter that he wasn’t talking about the shoulder anymore, the reporter didn’t even wanna talk to him anymore. I guess far as the reporter was concerned, there was nothing else to talk about! Lol. What a bum!

  31. White Tiger Says:

    I acknowledged the rookie QB’s talent, while also acknowledging that he’s outplayed Brady and Brees over the past few weeks, as well as the fact that he’s doing fine without the potential superstar.

    I do not have to like him. It is enough that I am watching.

    I’m also watching Marcus Mariota.

    Neither makes me a fan of the rookie QB, nor of the Titans.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    In Buc fan areas outside of Florida, ASJ has been given the nickname,” Mr. Hot Tub Man”. Am..what a handle to shake. He will remain the Hot tub man until he proves to Bucs fans..he is..earning his keep.

  33. SDbucfan Says:

    OK guys! I think I have a theory, and tell me what you think. Could it be he is just coasting through his rookie contact, and saving his body for the BIG bucks? I could be wrong but, I think I’m on to something here!

  34. godzilla13 Says:

    Even with a positive story Austin Sepherian-Jenkins gets no respect, on a Buccaneer site for pete’s sake. Yes, Tony Gonzalez said Sepherian-Jenkins has the potential to play at the same level as Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. Can there be a more positive vote of approval from the best TE of all time? Yet all I read is how soft, injury prone and a wasted draft pick he is. I am going on record right now and say that he will play this weekend. He will elevate our offense and be the player we need. It just feels good that someone else out there has faith in him.

  35. Architek Says:

    I’m not buying what people are selling about this non-football player.

  36. Ray Rice Says:

    The MF should just get a job in the training room. As much time as he spends in it. With his soft a$$$!

  37. FortMyersDave Says:

    Look ASJ’s defenders say he has a lot of upside…. Yes i would agree with that but so did almost all players selected in the 1st and 2nd round of the NFL draft with the possible exception of one Dexter Jackson whose drafting in the second round was probably a nail in Chuckie’s coffin as Buc’s skipper! The guy may have all the talent in the world like an Antonio gates in his prime but you have to be on the field to ****ing prove it. Right now a lot of people, a definite majority label him as a bust; until he gets back on the field and proves his numerous critics wrong and puts up numbers that would make most fantasy geeks (myself included) grab him from the waiver wire then he will continue to be considered a bust….. Look at the WR the Fins got at the end of the second round; Jarvis landry; wouldn’t he look good in a Buc uni right now?????? And think, the bucs could have traded down from the ASJ slot and still got him….. Licht has drafted well but this ASJ choice does stick out; an early 2nd rounder going bust with Evans imitating Clayton has to anger the GM, don’t you think?????

  38. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I hope ASJ turns out to be as good as I think he can be. It’s hard to put much faith in Godzilla’s endorsement of him though seeing as how he doesn’t even know how to spell the guy’s name.