ASJ And Touchdowns

July 3rd, 2016
Team TD king?

TD catch king?

July is the time for predictions.

And if there was such a line to bet on, Joe would take up scribe Joe Kania on his latest bold prediction.

In a story in which various contributors offer a bold prediction for Tampa Bay this season, Kania believes tweety Austin Seferian-Jenkins will lead the squad in touchdown receptions.

Although he’s been with the Bucs for two years, we still haven’t seen what Seferian-Jenkins is capable of in a full, 16-game season. He missed seven games with injuries during his rookie season in 2014 and was sidelined for nine games this past year. Despite appearing in just seven games last fall, he hauled in four touchdown passes, which were tied for the most of any Buccaneer. Based on that performance, I believe he is capable of leading the team in touchdown catches in 2016.

Part of my prediction is based on what I’ve seen from Seferian-Jenkins on the field, but another part of it is the system he plays in and the teammates he plays with. Jameis Winston was very successful connecting with his tight ends during his rookie season, whether it was Seferian-Jenkins, Cameron Brate, Luke Stocker or Brandon Myers. Those four combined for 65 catches. To get a better feeling for the significance of those numbers, Mike Evans had 74 catches to lead the team while Vincent Jackson was second with 51. The fact that defenses are required to spend so much effort focusing on Evans and Jackson will help free up Seferian-Jenkins as well.

This isn’t so much a bold take as it is a prayer. If, somehow, ASJ leads the Bucs in touchdowns, Joe assumes the team will be playing deep into January. Either that, or there are a whole helluva lot of injuries leaving ASJ one of the few targets on the roster — or Evans’ hands are still covered in K-Y jelly.

Depending on when and who you speak with at One Buc Palace, ASJ is a No. 2 or No. 3 tight end entering training camp. It sure appears Harvard man Cameron Brate is the No. 1 tight end, especially in the red zone, and will battle for the most snaps with Luke Stocker.

ASJ first has to stay healthy after playing in half of his eligible Bucs games since being drafted in the second round in 2015. Again, either that, or the Bucs will have a much better season than anyone anticipates.

16 Responses to “ASJ And Touchdowns”

  1. bee Says:

    No way this happens. Evans, Jackson and even Brate will have more opportunities to catch TDs. Plus they’re better players…

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Its not that hard to envision ASJ with double digit TD catches – IF he can stay healthy all year and plays in all 19 games. (see what I did there?)

    Stocker and Brate is a fairly solid (if not dynamic) duo at TE. ASJ and Vitale are the wild cards IMO. If either of those guys gets hot and heavily involved in the passing game – this offense is going to blow up and drive DCs crazy with its versatility.

    Lets not forget the example of Stocker in relation to ASJs injuries the last 2 years. Dom paid 2 4th round picks to draft Stocker and he came in with a lot of hope and promise. But couldn’t stay healthy at all and was basically worthless to us for his 1st 3 years in the league. But ever since the start of year 4 he HAS stayed healthy – and has developed into a very solid blocker who can catch a few passes.

    ASJ has too much talent not to come around sooner or later. The Bucs will stay patient – just like they did with Stocker – and see what he develops into.

    IMO – Its more likely than not that Sefarian-Jenkins is gonna blow up in 2016 and have a breakout year – IF he can stay healthy for the year which no one can predict and we haven’t yet seen.

  3. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    ASJ is clearly a better physical specimen than Cameron Brate. And so we are all influenced to believe ASJ could be better than Brate. He “could”…but the odds are starting to favor Brate.

    This year will be pivotal for several Bucs as it is every year…and none more so than ASJ. He truly needs to put up or shut up at this point.

    Brate showed that he could play in this league last year. If he makes that vaunted giant leap this year ASJ may not be able to beat him despite ASJ’s physical advantages.

  4. Buccfan37 Says:

    Go ASJ!… dunkaneer plenty of catches… you are big, you are brash, you like the spotlight, do it. This message is brought to you by the budding ASJ fun club.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    At this stage it is pointless to assign #1, 2 & 3 TE starting ranks… will work itself out and we will probably know from the 1st string reps during TC.
    Its hard for me to believe that ASJ won’t end up being the primary TE….but I think all will get plenty of opportunities because we like to run 2 TE sets.

  6. BigEl Says:

    I remember those 4 td’s last year. They were all game changers, if I remember right.

  7. MadMax Says:

    As soon as ASJ stops worrying about what others are saying about him or to him on social media, thats when he can get his mind into the swing of things and be a huge “go to” for JW3.

  8. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    It’s not possible for the Bucs to have a better season than I anticipate.

    I see us winning the Superbowl this season and 4-5 Superbowls in the next decade.

    No amount of success would surprise me. At this point, our potential for Greatness is truly unlimited.

  9. Rick in Fort Myers Says:

    With all the hoopla you guys are raising over ASJ and what to me is his physical potential, you’re forgetting to factor in the mental and I’m not talking about ASJ’s mental attitude.

    Instead, I’m talking about Jameis Winston’s mental attitude toward his tight ends. Right now, deep in the recesses of Winston’s mind, and even Winston may not realize it’s there, is the knowledge that he can, when everything on a given play is going south, throw the ball to Cameron Brate or Luke Stocker and something positive is going to happen.

    The tight end is the quarterback’s best friend for a reason. The tight end is often the last line of “offense” between a busted play and a positive result. So, based on last year, Winston’s mind is telling him to look for the friendly face of Brate or Stocker when the protection is breaking down and everything is going to hell in a hand basket, because getting the ball to one of those guys will result in something positive.

    Unless ASJ can “show” Winston he’s ready to fill that role by doing it, he won’t be Winston’s first thought in a moment of crisis and won’t be able to crack the 1s or 2s.

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    In today’s NFL, and in today’s Bucs, there are really no #1, 2’s and 3’s any more at almost every position. ALL get to play a lot.

    If you’re on the field, barring injuries to several players and you’ve been activated off the streets, you’re the #1 on that play, period.

    The days of 11 starters on O & D are over. It’s all—every down—situational football.

    Empty backfield: no #1 RB’s. 5 WR set: no #1 TE. OT/G Pamphile lined up at TE: #1 TE.

    Hell, I could make a case that Bucs have three or four “#1 tight ends”…depending on the situation.

    As it should be.

  11. Tbbucs3 Says:

    We have an open spot for Asj to rack up garbage time yards, catch game losing hail marries and be on IR half the season.

  12. tmaxcon Says:

    ASJ is just as likely to be released is he is to lead the team in tds… his talent is unquestionable but his mental make up gives no reason to believe he will lead the team in anything but temper tantrums and childish Twitter sessions. I hope he turns it around and becomes productive but he must prove it by his action. Right now all he has proven is he is a fragile mental midget

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I like this predictions thing…I’m gonna have a go at it.

    Prediction #1 – Mike Evans will have more than 1,400 yards receiving and 10+ TDs.

    Prediction #2 – Jameis Winston will have 4,70+ yards passing, blowing away the record set by Freeman.

    Prediction #3 – Doug Martin will drop in rushing yards, but gain in TDs over last year (Bucs will be passing more).

    Prediction #4 – Vitale will have 25+ receptions on the year.

    Prediction #5 – Vitale will prove himself as a short yardage FB, becoming Mister Reliable on short yardage first downs.

    Prediction #6 – Cameron Brate will become the starting tight end…not because he is better than ASJ, but because he is hungrier and less of a locker room issue.

    Prediction #7 – GMC will reach double digit stats for the first time.

    Prediction #8 – Kwon Alexander will prove he is a dominate ILB…and the national media will recognize.

    Prediction #9 – Bucs defensive backs will be top 10 in the league.

    Prediction #10 – Bucs defensive line will improve by at least 10-12 sacks over last season.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    I can’t say I disagree with your point. I think he’ll make the team if he can stay healthy and stay out of trouble, but at this point, even his work ethic is questionable.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Prediction #6 – Cameron Brate will become the starting tight end…not because he is better than ASJ, but because he is hungrier and less of a locker room issue.


    Depends on the play called & situation.

    Run play/short yardage? Stocker.

    Play action? Brate or ASJ

    3rd down pass? Brate & ASJ.

    H-back? Vitale/Stocker.

    “Starter” is an overused term for today’s NFL. There are “starters” on special teams.

    Every man on the 53 man roster should be considered a “starter” in some situation.

  16. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    This is not a long shot at all imo. On the list of under the radar connections to look out for on NFL network guess who was no. 1? Jameis to ASJ. Any real football fan can see the oozing talent coming from this kid. He can’t choose when he gets injured so I’m not gonna put that on him. He does need to mature tho, and if u think the bucs are just gonna give up on a rare talent like ASJ you must be high. It will be interesting to see how the haterz change their perspective on him once he’s balling out like I know he will.