“He’s In Jon’s Room”

May 30th, 2016
Seferian Jenkins Stocker

Competition is heavy

Eight big bodies is quite a crowd in “Jon’s room” at One Buc Palace.

Joe’s referring to the office/meeting room of tight ends coach Jon Embree.

Brandon Myers is still around and looking a little quicker during OTAs. Luke Stocker is the clear No. 1 tight end. Cameron Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are healthy. There’s also undrafted rookies Kivon Cartwright and Alan Cross, plus second-year, ex-Gators tight end Tevin Westbrook, who joined the Tampa Bay practice squad last September and ended 2015 on the Bucs’ active roster.

And there’s one more guy studying regularly with the tight ends: rookie fullback/superback Dan Vitale out of Northwestern, who was drafted in the sixth round.

Now that’s interesting.

Earlier this month, Joe asked running backs coach Tim Spencer what he thinks of Vitale. Spencer’s answer included an admission that Vitale is primarily working with the tight ends.

“He wasn’t really asked to do some of the fullback things that we ask the “F” to do from the backfield. But he’s tough enough to do those,” Spencer said of Vitale’s role. “So that’s what I look forward to seeing, working with him to improve, although he’s in John’s room, but we sort of cross over. So both of us will get work with him.”

Remember, it was Vitale’s college head coach who said the Bucs came to him seeking a tight end

Don’t ask Joe to figure out how the Bucs handle the tight end position. Preseason should be very telling in that department.

41 Responses to ““He’s In Jon’s Room””

  1. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    Loving all the articles to read this holiday

  2. FartinMartin Says:

    Amen Jolly !

    Ain’t nothin’ over on the ‘Major’ papers re: the Bucs,
    yet some of them Seem to dis the Joes. I don’t
    always agree with em’, but I do appreciate the content!
    Thanks Boyz…. Have a great Memorial Day !

  3. Architek Says:

    I don’t know what the future holds for ASJ but one thing is certain, the Bucs are not betting on him having a breakout.

    If he does its icing but they have other bodies in case he performs as he’s been performing.

  4. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Competition is a great thing. Surely we should get a good TE corps out of this group. At least we know that ASJ will not be gifted ANYTHING. He’s going to have to shape up or ship out.

  5. LargoBuc Says:

    Maybe ASJ has some trade value left?
    I know that when we were most in need, Cameron Brate was there for us, giving 110% every game and presumably every practice. ASJ, even when healthy, just has not shown any heart. Any fire. I see no passion at all from this guy. Had we kept Brate in, we might have won one of those last four.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We will likely keep Stoker, ASJ, Brate & Vitale…….I think the extra roster positon saved by not using a FB will be an extra WR.
    I don’t think Meyers will make it.

    It will be interesting to see if we carry 3 QBs this year……(think that is a waste)….but if we are interested in Griffin long term….we need to sign him now.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  8. Eric Says:

    If AJS is healthy he wil be the starting TE anybody think differently I have an 100 ocean front lot in Arizona for $100! Take it off my hands!

  9. SB with Jameis Says:

    ASJ was not drafted by Koetter. He will not be gifted anything.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo know that Haboo to Henkins will be a regular Sunday occurrence this year, so Pablo knows Henkins will be in Hon’s room for sure.”

  11. dmatt Says:


    I totally agree with u 100%. ASJ shows no heart or determination. He plays soft (2014 fumble against vikings that lead to a td and our losing),timid (shows no heart n gut) n is often injured ( a wimp that needs to work out more). When healthy, it’s all about him n not the team as a whole with his bonehead penalties antics. I say move on ASJ n play more of Brate and this new true grit of a player, DVitale. Lets quit wasting time with ASJ, he’s a pretty boy trying to play a game that requires toughness n tenacity, which he lack. Yes injuries r common, but don’t’ return with a mentality that hurts the team.

  12. Buc1987 Says:

    Now I’m perplexed Joe. I don’t say that often, so I kind of like it.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t see how any NFL team can let a young, big, fast, talented TE just walk away, as in ASJ.

    Depending on the number of TE’s the team keep, I’d say it’s Myers on the bubble due to age & $$$.

    However, considering that Vitale doubles as a FB, it’s conceivable that 5 TE’s can be kept because they all bring different talents to the team: Stocker & Myers (really, more like OLs), ASJ & Brate (more receiver oriented), & Vitale Receiver/FB/”superback”).

    That’s quite the group and offers really interesting flexibilities…

  14. SB with Jameis Says:

    The argument that the Bucs can’t possibly win more than six games this year because they won six last year with a much easier schedule neglects one thing- Lovie Smith. We left a lot of games on the table last year that were very winnable. The losses against Houston, Washington, New York, Indianapolis, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Chicago were all winnable games in which the Bucs best themselves with way too many stupid plays. And no tenacity on either side of the ball. Year two is gonna be great!!

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    SB with Jameis Says:

    The argument that the Bucs can’t possibly win more than six games this year because they won six last year with a much easier schedule neglects one thing- Lovie Smith. We left a lot of games on the table last year that were very winnable. The losses against Houston, Washington, New York, Indianapolis, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Chicago were all winnable games in which the Bucs best themselves with way too many stupid plays. And no tenacity on either side of the ball. Year two is gonna be great!!

    I’d say the #1 problem the team had last year was discipline, as in penalties.

    ‘Course, that may have been the result of frustration with coaches & The System…

    Cut penalties by 50-60% and 2015 would have been a different season, and we may still have “Coach My System” running things…

  16. Kevin Says:

    Reason wr depth will not be a concern right away….lots of passes going to TE this season.

    Get ready to hear more cannon fire in one season than ever in Tampa.

    GO BUCS!!!

  17. Owlykat Says:

    Koetter needs to take ASJ aside and tell him what he expects of him and potential will no longer keep him on this team. He has to produce this year or we will trade him off as a bust. He needs to show work ethic and build himself up, keep focused, be team oriented for once, stop penalties, learn the playbook and learn to run his routes, and put in time with Winston for chemistry, and get more yardage than any other of our TEs. No more pampering him!!!

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Part of me wants us to cut or trade ASJ and then see him turn into an All-Pro…..
    the other part wants him to stay healthy, play to his potential and shut everyone up.

  19. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Agree with TBBF..

  20. William Walls Says:

    Yeah, that pretty much sums up how I feel about him. He doesn’t deserve success that he hasn’t worked for, but we don’t deserve to suffer as a team if he’s a bust. Ultimately, I want to see that someone has sat the kid down and had a frank “cut the crap” discussion with him, have him respond appropriately to that, grow up, amd go out there and deliver on all of this potential he’s supposed to have. It’s better for him, better for the team, and better for us fans.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    If ASJ is as bad as some think, there’s little trade value in him, in fact as a second rounder quite the loss.

    I give him a pass his first year because of terrible coaching.

    I’ll give him a semi-pass last year because of injuries. Before he got hurt, he did show some significant potential. In fact, he showed he could be a force.

    Did he show spurts of immaturity? Well, at 21-22, we all did.

    I have NO doubt he knows the position he’s in. Koetter & Licht aren’t the kind of guys that would let a problem fester, and “Hameis” sure isn’t, either…

  22. Brent bull/buc Says:

    Sticker can’t get open and catch balls. I hope vitals can make him expendable.

  23. DB55 Says:

    I thought maybe Tevin Westbrook could come in and give ASJ some completion until I looked up his highlights and found NONE except for one dropped TD pass in a critical situation. Oh well, gadurs, what do you expect? Ha!

    Now, Cartwright looks like he can block n catch. He doesn’t look like he’s going to break records or anything but could possibly compete.

    I say keep 4 TEs including Brate, ASJ, Stocker and Tim Wright. Man, I love me some Tim Wright!!!!!!!! Vitale can be listed as the FB. All Koetter wants is a TE who can block out of the backfield.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    LOL at the people on here calling ASJ soft and weak. I would wager not one of you would even look at him cross, much less step up to the guy.

    Unless he just doesn’t condition himself at all, which I highly doubt, then the injuries are not something he can control. He also couldn’t control Lovie thinking he was winning some mastermind chess game by stating every week he was about to come back, and then not be active on game day.

    Does he need to step up his play? ABSOLUTELY.

    Does he need to stay healthy? ABSOLUTELY.

    But you all act like he’s doing this by choice, and that also with his complete lack of accomplishments we could somehow trade him for something of value. We couldn’t even get value for MG.

    This is absolutely a prove it season for the young man, as it’s his 3rd season now in the NFL. But shouldn’t we all be hoping he turns into the man-beast we all thought he could be? Brate was great and all, but ASJ has speed and size that can’t be taught. Now he just needs to step up and play.

  25. BigHogHaynes Says:


  26. BigHogHaynes Says:


  27. Papa578 Says:

    We will find out what we have in ASJ this year (availability, desire, etc. ). Time to fish or cut bait I say.

  28. Ndog Says:

    Everyone on this board and Joe need to stop with the one year and if your not a superstar get cut crap. WE NEED TO LET PLAYERS DEVELOP! This is exactly why we are not a good franchise we don’t develop players and kick them to the curb so some other team can benefit for their desire and talents. We can all name countless guys who came from nothing and after two or three years made it big because they were given time. So stop with the CFL and at best 5th receiver crap let’s let guys play their second year before kicking them out of the league.

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Guys need to get off ASJ’s case. He’s got talent and he’s shown it before. Problem was he can’t seem to stay healthy. Reality is that he’s not going anywhere … too much promise. He just needs to stay healthy if he’s going to play a role on this team.

    Folks worried about weapons for Jameis shouldn’t be. Jameis has a LOT of targets to throw at. As a rookie QB, he threw for 4,000 yds last year with mostly the same WRs-TEs-RBs, several of whom were hurt for various parts of the year. In any given game there’ll be at least a couple of hot hands, and I’d bet that Dirk Koetter and Jameis will feed off that.

    I’m expecting that Jameis will up his stats to 4,500 – 5,000 yds throwing for 2016, about 30-32 TDs throwing and that the Bucs will really spread the ball around. I’d be surprised if we have a single 1,000 yd receiver this year. Emphasis offensively will be on eating up the clock, minimizing penalties, and scoring TDs.

  30. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I mean the young man was a Mackie award winner his last season in school. They saw something, I’m the ultimate optimis so my belief is this dude will stay healthy and do his thang well this season. Scary notion ME outside and this guy working the middle. Maybe just maybe could quell some of youts burning desire for another WR.

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    “Luke Stocker is the clear No. 1 tight end.”

    LOL – yea- right. If ASJ is healthy and available, he is the clear #1.

    I would not be surprised to see us keep all 5 TEs. Or all 4 + Vitale if he gets listed as FB.

    It will probably depend on whether they like a 6th Receiver better than a 5th TE. If Bell and Humphries both shine in camp and pre-season and Murphy is healthy – then that’s our 6 WRs (including Russell Shepard) and in that case, Brandon Myers will likely not make it. ASJ, Brate, Stocker and Vitale are locks to make the 53 IMO.

  32. Pawel Says:

    Will Vitale be as Fullback on gameday roster?

  33. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I bet big hog liked Licht when Lovie was here. What’s up with all of this Lovie love. All he did was turn us into a bigger laughingstock than before he was hired. Mr boring.

  34. Ndog Says:

    Bighog he was indeed along with Jameis, Sims, Marpet, Smith, Kwon, Evans, and Pamhphile. Whats your point? By the way he also brought in Brate, Jacque Smith, Clint McDonald, and Joe Hawley all quality players for this team.

  35. buccfan305 Says:

    I wanna know why Fluke Stocker is still on the team??? Does he just slip through the cracks of cuts every year. The guys has 44 rec for 359 yards in 5 years!!!! WTF??? and he’s the “clear number one” GTFOH!!!!

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    buccfan305 Says:

    I wanna know why Fluke Stocker is still on the team??? Does he just slip through the cracks of cuts every year. The guys has 44 rec for 359 yards in 5 years!!!! WTF??? and he’s the “clear number one” GTFOH!!!!

    Because he’s an excellent blocker, a prime directive as a tight end.

  37. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    You all ASJ doubters will see what kind of year he will have..he will be great and stay healthy..

    And as far as his penalties? My goodness look at our guys last year that got penalized the most…they were barely old enough to purchase a beer! What 21 year old or 22 year old won’t make mistakes? Give them a chance to mature!!!!! For the love of gawd…I think part of it is also because people look at ASJ and think he’s in his mid to late 20’s…for flock’s sake, stop with the constant bashing on a player that has proven can be a hellish beast on the field!

    No wonder he’s been feeling like kak lately…If I was a good player and am getting grief from people that have no idea what injuries can do..I would be feeling like I am being driven out of town..

    I’m personally sick of the ASJ negative comments…Rewatch some of last years plays he did…

    SMDH in disbelief….

  38. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I just can’t imagine stocker being our “clear cut” no. 1. Maybe on 1st & 2nd down because of his blocking skills but when it comes to the passing game he should be the 3rd or 4th guy. Brate & ASJ are great pass catchers, specifically ASJ so there should be no reason why he would start over those guys on passing downs. Plus I’m intrigued to see what Westbrook can do in the passing game. I’ve heard sum good things about him how the bucs like his skill set so let’s see what he can do in preseason

  39. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    ASJ will show all the haterz how much of a dynamic pass catcher he can be when healthy and one of JW favorite targets. I like Brate, but sorry, he’s not on ASJ level as far as skill wise. Let’s slow down before we crown Brate our future. Before the season started he couldn’t even find a team that would sign him because no one drafted him. He had a decent rookie season, now let’s see if he can continue to duplicate his success.

    I think once ASJ can get healthy and grow up (because I think he’s just young and imature still) he can become a pro bowl caliber TE for us. So why would u want him to go do that with another team? He’s already showed he can be a dynamic weapon when healthy. Wait till he plays a full Season. I want to hear what the haterz say then. Any TRUE football fan can see the potential this guy has, and that it’s not his fault he’s been injured so far.

  40. Cobraboy Says:

    One of the chief knocks on ASJ was poor blocking (Tim Wright was a zero in blocking.)

    He’s supposedly gotten better but has a ways to go. He certainly has the big body to be a decent blocker.

    But if all you can do is be a receiver then you’re easier to defend when on the field.

    A TE needs to be a blocker/receiver, not just a receiver. Certainly there are a few freak TE who are primarily receivers, but those are very, very rare. The TE’s the Bucs have are an interesting bunch because they all have differing blocker/receiver components to their game.

    Bucs TE’s may be the deepest I can remember since the Gruden days with Dilger, Dudley, Yoder group.

  41. Cobraboy Says:

    I remember the Good Old Days when Buc fans thought Ronde Barber and John Lynch were wasted picks because they weren’t studs on Day 1. And just two seasons ago folks were calling Charles Sims a bust because he got hurt.

    With more kids coming out early, and coming from spread programs where the game is different from the NFL at the fundamental level, you gotta give some of these young ‘uns some time to develop.

    I’m expecting a HUGE year from ASJ. I suspect Lovie did the kid no favors in his handling and that shoulder was much worse than let on. Maybe he should have been put in IR and allowed to fully heal and rehab without pressure.