Sleeper Tight End

May 7th, 2016
Future tight end?

Future tight end?

For conspiracy theorists, the Bucs do not have any fullbacks listed on the rookie minicamp roster. They are listed as tight ends.

Joe isn’t sure what to make of that, but Joe believes if there is a roster spot to be won by third-day draft picks — Joe is fond of sixth-round linebacker Devante Bond’s athletic abilities — this Danny Vitale out of Northwestern is intriguing.

Talking to various Bucs types, the team is, well, disappointed (for lack of a better word) in the development of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. While folks believe he was hung out to dry and belonged on injured reserve — remember who was in control of the 53-man roster? — the team is bummed because he hasn’t developed into the top flight tight end they drafted.

Entering this offseason, ASJ is no better than the second-string tight end. Good chance he’s third string. Now, if for some reason either ASJ flames out or Luke Stocker is bitten by the injury bug again, there could be an opening for a tight end.

Vitale believes he is the guy, as he discussed his chances of playing NFL tight end yesterday.

“Absolutely. I think I can be used in a lot of different situations, Vitale said. “Flexed out in the backfield a bunch of times and then in the backfield as well – kind of like a wing/flanker type of guy as well, so I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.”

We shall see about the man Senior Bowl head honcho Phil Savages refers to as “Superback.”

Joe knows this much: it is time for ASJ to get with the plan. Joe will never knock a guy for being hurt. But when ASJ has been on the field, he’s acted less like an an NFL tight end and more like a high school junior whose 15-year old chick is in his head.

39 Responses to “Sleeper Tight End”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I really want to line this guy up in the backfield… will give us so many options,..

  2. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Make or break for ASJ. Hope he comes through.

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

    I agree TBBF..

  4. Harry Says:

    I love what I have read about this guy. He will be on the roster come September. He is just too versatile, and can give the coaches a lot of different possibilities on how to use him to give the Bucs an advantage on offense.

  5. Trubucfan22 Says:

    If he is a good blocker i could see him being a “superback” for the bucs offense. He is versatile. So line him up in different positions in different packages. He can be a fullback when we need a power run game. Or he can be a split out and go out and run routes. He can motion anywhere on the field and be productive. He isnt a speedy guy or an overly powerful guy, but he does his job and does it effectively. I really hope he makes the roster and that l koetter can find ways to use him.

    His versatility reminds me of Charles Sims. Charles is the perfect Speedy jack of all trades back, while Vitale is the perfect jack of all trades full back/TE. We can line either of these 2 guys up anywhere on the field and they can have an impact.

  6. Pa Privateer Says:

    The first thing that needs to happen is NOT pigeon hole him into a FB role only. But I trust Koetter to maximize his talent. In my opinion, keeping him on the field as a passing threat greatly reduces the threat of the defense trying to blitz. In other words, Vitale will help the OL protection by making LB’s have to cover instead of blitzing.

    I believe we got our own MOBO/Baby Gronk but much more polished.

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    There was so much talent on the board when we drafted this guy.
    I was at the time saying come on Jarvis Landry here
    I would think if u spent 5 minutes with this guy pre draft you would say he doesn’t have the mental make up to make it.
    Physically he does no question.
    Jason’s first draft wasn’t that good from the point that he passed on some ballers who have made pro bowls.
    Sims is okay but we needed o line at that pick and we passed on some good ones to draft a dime a dozen back.

  8. Destinjohnny Says:

    Talking about asg

  9. Pa Privateer Says:

    Imagine if we could run “No-Huddle” at some point every game?

    Vitale could definitely increase that possibility

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    His highlights don’t feature his running…….I hope he is the kind of back that can pick up that yard on 3rd or 4th & 1…..

  11. TvD Head ball coach Says:

    Mike Alstott 2.0

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    I can see Vitale getting a lot of field time this year because of his versatility. Big, strong, fast & smart … great combination. Can’t wait to see how Dirk Koetter & Todd Monken decide to use him.

  13. Martinii Says:

    I hope they use him out of the backfield. Have a feeling ASJ is going to have a strong comeback year if he can stay healthy.

  14. SB with Jameis Says:

    Just imagine we line up in a two back set, ‘I’ formation as if to run the ball. As soon as the Defense is set Vitale goes wide to the right and Sims wide to the left. How is the defense going to adjust to cover them with ME and VJax already out there?

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    Think Chris Cooley. H-Back that can motion over to Fullback.

  16. Buccfan37 Says:

    ASJ should see the writing on the wall and accordingly upgrade his showing appropriate to his hyped grandeur and struggle to date. Sure injuries and slow healing are a factor and he has made a few positive plays, just not enough to call him anything other than a questionable higher impact player.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Trubucfan22 Says:
    May 7th, 2016 at 9:45 am
    “He isnt a speedy guy or an overly powerful guy”

    Um actually he’s both.

    4.6 speed is pretty good for a 6-1 240lb player. But the real indicator of his athletic value is quicks. Vitale’s 4.12 time in the short shuttle was the fastest of ALL running backs by almost a full .1 second.

    Power? Vitale benched THIRTY reps of 225. Only 4 players in the whole draft did better. All Dline and Oline players of course.

    But what really blows me away is that Vitale posted a vertical jump of 38.5″. Just 1/2 inch short of VH3s fantastic vertical skills – and again, a top 5 mark for ALL draftees at any position.

    Dudes an athletic freak. The new breed of Slash – with ATTITUDE. He’ll play FB, RB, TE and Receiver. AND he plays like a madman on all 4 Special Teams units.

    I’m calling it right now. Vitale will be a 6th round sensation.

    Licht has done it again. 4 “starters” in the draft for the 2nd year in a row. Maybe 5 if the 4th round pick works out as well as they hope at Safety.

    You should have saved the “rockstar” moniker for the GM who actually deserves it Joe. Licht is quickly attaining that status among NFLers with picks like this one.

  18. 1sparkybuc Says:

    I don’t see the Bucs keeping Stocker if Vitale makes the roster as a TE. Brate has shown steady improvement, and ASJ is due for a breakout year. Stocker has to do more than just block to keep his job. Vitale looks to be a great secret weapon for the Bucs with teams not overlooking Sims anymore. For sure they can’t just focus on Dougie and Evans or ignore VJax. Jameis has options. I hope Bell comes through with his speed. Can’t wait for the season to start.

  19. Howard Cosell Says:

    Speaking for Eric Cartman:

    “Austin Sefarian Jenkins pisses me off!”

  20. Mikey Macfly Says:

    ASJ is a bum, simple as that. Met him out and about one day and his attitude sucked.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    I think Koetter could get really creative with Vitale and Sims out there at the same time. Line up both in the backfield and then depending on the defense they could split out, or stay back, run or pass, so many options! Cmon Koetter get creative!

    Really hope ASJ can put it together this year too. Dude could be a monster if he can stay healthy.

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    Me too! Count me in on hoping that Vitale sticks and becomes vital.

  23. rayjay1122 Says:

    ASJ who? Oh. OK now I remember, he is that assistant trainer guy, right? Vitale should win a TE spot if he stays healthy as there is not a ton of competition to beat out. Brate was the only TE that I remember doing anything last year.

  24. Fsuking Says:

    Well he’s a tiny little tight end who will never play there full time, but I like his versatility. Idk if I understand the decision though. He will make more $ in a few years if we are calling him a TE

  25. Bill Byrne Says:

    I have never been a fan of Austin Sefarian Jenkins (ASJ) from day one. He has read and believes too many of his newspaper clippings. I do not believe he is tough enough to play tight end and maybe he should be given an opportunity to play wide receiver. Tight end is the biggest problem now for 2016.

  26. IndyBucsFan Says:

    Cam brate

  27. tdtb2015 Says:

    Yes indeed. Mike Alstott 2.0.

    Unlike Gruden with Alstott, Koetter will maximize his output. Hopefully Danny Vitale will bring some juice to our offense like Alexander did to the defense last year.

    Is it August yet?????

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    But he’s white and wears 40, he’s the next Alstott remember. Any who if you watch his highlights they are all catches – I mean all. The guy can catch the ball, he played in the slot, he played outside, etc. I didn’t see him block on what’s out there so I have no idea if he’s good there – but I don’t think based on his size he’d be a good TE, he’s too small. But as an h-back he’s perfect sized and has the perfect skill set, if he can block.

  29. James Walker Says:

    Has anyone told ASJ you can’t make the team in the tub.

  30. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hopefully H-Back Alan Cross pushes this guy to the brink.
    Should be a very competitive camp at H-Back this year.

    Alan Cross – Memphis (2012-2015)
    • Receptions:90
    • Yards: 1,050
    • TD’s: 14

    Alan Cross – Memphis Football

  31. cometowin2 Says:

    Based on measurables, Danny was one of the best running backs in the draft let alone full backs.

    Danny runs better routes than a lot of WR’s. Good lead blocker and highly productive in the passing game.

    Number 1 for running backs in the bench press but even more impressive would of placed 5th in the BP at 30 reps for OL. Should make for nice pancakes and stiffarms.

    20 yard shuttle #1 of all RB’s by a mile at 4.12. Almost made top 15 of all players. Braxton Miller was 12th at 4.07.

    3rd best vertical leap for running backs at 38.5 inches and 5th best broad jump at 10’ 3″.

    9th in the 3 cone drill at 7.12

    Even at 239 pounds he ran 4.60 in the 40 which just missed the top 15 for running backs.

    Not his fault Northwestern never let him run the ball. I’d like to see him get the ball in the 4th quarter when the defense is tired. I sincerely believe he will be the 2nd coming of Mike Alstott. He even wore 40 at Northwestern.

    Danny is an athletic freak, a leader and extremely intelligent and coachable. Guaranteed starter day one at FB and likely future all pro if improves his blocking.

  32. Brent bull/buc Says:

    If asj isn’t good by the end of this year that was a bust draft by licht. Only producing Evans and Simms. Pamphile isn’t a starter and asj is shaky. Herron and clay are gone so is that it they drafted.

  33. Kevin Says:

    Seems like this guy will make the cut. Not sure about that LB though

  34. Guzzie Says:

    No huddle offense with Charles Sims, Dan Vitale, ASJ, Evans, and Vjax, that’s a standard offense that really features a 5 receiver set considering Sims and Vitale are better than most of our WRs, put one of the backs in motion off a 1st down power I look, then it’s a jailbreak offense versus their standard defense

  35. ThunderSack Says:

    Regardless of his measureables I am not sure he can block a line of Tetris or else he would not have lasted until the 6th round.

    As soon as he proves that he is an effective blocker in any phase of the game I will not get too excited. Stocker is our most versatile tight end and is not going anywhere.

  36. Brandon Says:

    Not his fault Northwestern never let him run the ball. I’d like to see him get the ball in the 4th quarter when the defense is tired. I sincerely believe he will be the 2nd coming of Mike Alstott. He even wore 40 at Northwestern


    Just as a predicted, people would start comparing this guy to Alstott. Not even close, folks. He’s not, Chris Cooley, or Baby Gronk, either. If you want to compare him to somebody, the guy to look at is Aaron Hernandez. He’s only 6’1, very athletic, but absolutely doesn’t block well out of the I.

    That being said, I do like him. His potential to create desired matchups due to his versatility would be outstanding. We could potentially run a legit 4 WR set with him and ASJ on the field. Think about that, we could run a dime offense against a base defense…or the defense adjusts and we run pro style against a dime defense.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Buy your capes to take to the games…this kid is gonna fly.

  38. Mike Johnson Says:

    Looks like there will be intense Competition in Camp. You gotta love it! This is make or break for guys like Dye, Bell, and Hot tub ASJ. Bucs need to be like Bellicheat..The man drops dead weighters quickly. We need ballers!

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Actually, if you at least look at the size, speed and all that…you’ll discover he is very much like Alstott in that department.

    And he CAN run the ball. He just catches just as much.