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Dirk Koetter: Austin Seferian-Jenkins earned back his first-team reps

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Seferian-Jenkins was demoted to the second team at some point this offseason -- it's unclear when, exactly, that happened -- but he's managed to win back his first-team spot over the past few weeks. Or at least, he's going to get more first-team reps after a solid performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That's what head coach Dirk Koetter said in his post-game press conference today.

Seferian-Jenkins had three catches for 38 yards on three targets against the Jaguars, a performance that easily outshone starting tight end Cameron Brate. The latter had a grand total of zero catches on three targets, with two of those targets hitting him in the hands, and one of them bouncing off into a defender's hands. That's not what the Bucs want out of a tight end who earned a first-team role by being consistent and reliable. Brate hasn't been demoted, though: Koetter emphasized that the Bucs would need them both this season.

Seferian-Jenkins is a bigger talent than any other tight end on the roster, as no one rivals either his size or his speed. Brate is smaller and not as fast, but a more reliable target on underneath routes -- at least, that what he has been so far. There's plenty of room for both of them, especially given Dirk Koetter's preference for heavy formations, so ASJ's return to prominence doesn't need to come at Brate's expense. More importantly, though, a Seferian-Jenkins who reaches even a fraction of his potential is going to make the Bucs a better team.