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Austin Seferian-Jenkins primed for big sophomore year with Buccaneers

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had high hopes for rookie tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins last year, but the second-round pick was hampered by injury and other rookie troubles. Those injuries are behind him, though, and Seferian-Jenkins told the Tampa Tribune that he's fully healthy.

"I really just needed to let my body rest,'' Seferian-Jenkins said. "Going back to last year, what with the (college) season and the combine training I had to do and all that, I never really got that little break that you need. And I was coming off a foot injury on top of that, so this (past month) was the first time in four or five years that I've had a chance to get a rest, so I feel so much better right now because of that."

Seferian-Jenkins managed just 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns in his first season, but did so in just nine games thanks to several injuries. When he was healthy he was a major part of the gameplan, being the team's starting tight end who stayed on the field for most downs as a blocker and receiver.

That's the kind of player Dirk Koetter could certainly use, as the Bucs new offensive coordinator coached Marcedes Lewis to his most-productive season as a pro, and helped Tony Gonzalez finish his career in style. Seferian-Jenkins has the talent to be a productive player in the NFL, both as a blocker and a receiver, and he could be a useful security blanket for whoever the Bucs draft at quarterback.