Don’t Be Fooled

September 23rd, 2016



Recently in this space, I detailed Jason Licht’s impressive track record through his first two draft classes as GM of the Bucs.

I listed Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Kwon Alexander, Charles Sims, Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet and Kevin Pamphile. When the column was posted on, one reader quickly pointed out that I forgot to mention Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

No, I didn’t.

I left out the 2014 second-round pick because the big, rangy tight end hadn’t done anything of note through two seasons. Now, he has.

The mug shot of his arrest in the wee hours Friday will serve as the symbol of his time in Tampa Bay. And that time is growing short because head coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t a big fan, even before Seferian-Jenkins was jailed this morning for DUI.

Let’s not forget Koetter made an example of Seferian-Jenkins in June, kicking him off the practice field because the former University of Washington standout looked lost.

Nothing’s changed.

While there is still time for Seferian-Jenkins to turn his NFL career around, it appears Licht made a big mistake with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

At that point, Carolina defensive end Kony Ealy was still on the board, along with Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson, who caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015.

Seferian-Jenkins looked good on tape, using his 6-foot-5 frame to shield off defenders while catching 146 passes for the Huskies. He even played college basketball in 2011, showing off his impressive athleticism.

Ah, but the intangibles.

Yes, he could find an open seam. Yes, he could be a willing blocker. Yes, he was a finalist for the Mackey Award as the best tight end in the land.

But Seferian-Jenkins didn’t love football. You don’t love football if you let your teammates down on the brink of Tampa Bay’s home opener, a game the Bucs simply must have with Denver and Carolina on the horizon.

You might hear all kinds of support for Seferian-Jenkins coming from inside the walls of One Buc Place this weekend. Don’t be fooled.

When the microphones and cameras are gone, the real conversation begins.

The real question emerges: What’s going on with No. 87?

Just the fact he was driving around town at that hour ought to raise questions. Whether Seferian-Jenkins suits up or not Sunday isn’t going to alter the defensive game plan of the Rams. He simply hasn’t done enough at the NFL level to give defensive coordinators headaches.

Is he a potentially difficult matchup — too big for safeties and too fast for linebackers? Yes, but he is also averaging only 2.5 receptions per game in just 12 starts as a pro.

That’s not what the Bucs had in mind when they thought they landed a second-round steal. Seferian-Jenkins may have had all the variables, but it looks like he lacks the intangibles.

Less than two days before his arrest, Seferian-Jenkins stood at his locker and spoke about the excitement surrounding the home opener. He talked about how the Bucs will rebound from last week’s debacle in the desert.

“I enjoy playing football,” he said.

Could have fooled me.

16 Responses to “Don’t Be Fooled”

  1. Buccfan37 Says:

    ASJ meant he enjoys the money playing football, and of course the opportunity to showcase his basket case self. Cringe worthy stuff. ASJ drama grows tiring.

  2. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Oh puhleeze Ira. I respect your opinion. You don’t get to be a HOF voter for nothing. I’m just another loud mouthed poster here on JBF.

    But it’s not just IRA. For all of you who EVER freaking post about who we could have drafted I call B S!!! Duh…anybody can point out a great player and selection AFTER the fact.

    Draft picks fail at about a 50-50 rate in the first rounds…much worse the deeper you go into the draft. All the geniuses who point out we could have had Luke Kuchely etc are engaging in hindsight.

    ASJ is certainly looking like a missed shot in what is a great crap shoot. Did Licht not do enough research? Were there red flags about ASJ coming out of college. I do not recall anybody talking about them. I do recall some concerns about his injury..other than that…crickets.

    Hard to argue with your point IRA because hindsight is 20-20.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo feels somewhat responsible for ASJ. Henkins was a customer of Pablo’s table dancing last night until the wee hours. Henkins drank Captain Morgan and coke….Pablo thought for sure that Henkins had a driver. Pablo didn’t ask.¿tiene un controlador, The next time a player visits, Pablo will ask. (Don’t worry, Haboo doesn’t watch Pablo).

  4. unbelievable Says:

    Suspend his arse without pay for the next 2-4 weeks. And evaluate whether he actually has a drinking problem (meaning he’s an alcoholic and simply can not drink) or if he’s just immature and selfish. Proceed to get him help, or get him off the team.

  5. Miko Says:

    There’s really no need of him being around here anymore. Cancer spreads fast. If it means cutting without compensation, so be it. He’s not going to add anything to this team from here on in…

  6. D-Rome Says:

    For all of you who EVER freaking post about who we could have drafted I call B S!!! Duh…anybody can point out a great player and selection AFTER the fact.

    I agree with this point of view. At the time no one was making much noise about picking ASJ. People were saying he had all the talent and athleticism to be the next Jimmy Graham (well, when he was a super star).

    People said the same things about Aqib Talib and Legarrette Blount. They’ve found great success elsewhere.

  7. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Good points St Pete…totally agree.

    ASJ ticked all the boxes GM’s look for in that draft so you can’t blame Licht for his mental weakness once he reached the big stage. Even trained psychiatrists find it difficult to predict such things with regularity. Sometimes you just get a lemon no matter how hard you tried to avoid it.

    Even the great Bill Belichick has missed on numerous draft picks in recent years. So many that even his own fans in New England were questioning his drafting prowess. There’s nothing these guys can do to predict when a player will end up wilting once he’s in the spotlight. It happens sometimes. Just the way it is.

  8. pablo Says:

    Pablo says pablo can speak for himself.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There are many Pablos in the world.

  10. Kobe Faker Says:

    @ drome

    Those other players love to play football

    Many people dont like their job or family business…and do something they enjoy better because

    Asj doesnt really love playing nfl level football…so be it

  11. Tampa Tony Says:

    I’ll wait to judge any of his drafts until after 3 years. Jury is still out on the majority of these players including Jameis

  12. Frank Pillow Says:

    The GM and then coach are completely on the hook for ASJ’s selection- that’s not to say I don’t understand what they were going for, with the so-called “Dunk-aneers,” and all of his physical gifts. But at some point in the evaluation, someone missed the fact that ASJ, apparently, has poop for brains. Either that or they decided the risk/reward was worth it. Lovie is gone (mercifully), so Licht has to own this one.

  13. Vic Says:

    So Ira’s officially called the guy a bust. Thanks, Ira.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    “one reader quickly pointed out that I forgot to mention Austin Seferian-Jenkins.”

    Thanks for the shout out Ira. I guess you do read the comments on your articles. You’re welcome for the softball intro to today’s piece – LOL

    Its definitely a shame that ASJ is more interested in being out late and drinking on a Thursday night than getting some rest and being mentally ready for today’s walk-through. That to me is the worst part of this.

    He let the team down big time with this decision – whether he got caught DUI or not. This game vs the Rams in 2 days is VERY important to this team’s success – but ASJ apparently had more pressing matters to attend to – like partying at 3 a.m. – SMH

    As I pointed out the other day – there’s only a handful of NFL tightends who are even capable of making the TD catch that ASJ made in the Atlanta game. What a shame to waste that level of talent by not making your football career a priority…

  15. BigStinky Says:

    This is too funny, wonder where he is going to end up playing now? Ad him to the list of players that got away from the losing in Tampa. Watch how good he looks playing for someone else, just like Glennon next year. It’s a shame that he had to go out and get drunk ALL night when he should be at One Buc today. Add him to the list: Bennett, Talib, Blount, etc. Will it EVER stop?

  16. iamabuc Says:

    @frankpillow. Fyi, I remember one of the things that Licht saw in ASJ, was that he was a very smart person, academically and about futball. ……..what happened since them, I have no clue!