Last Thursday, third-year tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was sent off the practice field early by Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter, who was conducting the last of the Buccaneers' 10 allotted "OTA" practices, downplayed the event but did say that Seferian-Jenkins "did not know what he was doing" during an unspecified drill.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers reconvened for the first day of the mandatory mini-camp that will cap their offseason program, and Seferian-Jenkins took full responsibility for his early exit from the previous workout.
The Buccaneers' 53-Man roster.
"We have a certain standard here at One Buc that needs to be upheld, and I didn't uphold my end of the bargain," he said after a morning walk-through. "And I was asked to leave, and I left, and it completely falls on my shoulders for not being prepared to do what I needed to be doing.
"I'm ready to get to work and I'm ready to hold up the standard I'm capable of, what you expect of me, what the fans expect of me, what the coaches expect of me and what my teammates expect of me. What happened was not okay and it won't happen again."
Seferian-Jenkins spoke with Koetter a few hours after Thursday's practice and said the two got on the same page in terms of what is expected from the young tight end, who has shown significant potential during his first two seasons while battling frustrating injuries. If he was frustrated in the immediate aftermath of being sent off from practice, Seferian-Jenkins quickly realized that Koetter had done what was necessary. The end result is a player who promises to be more focused as the Buccaneers head towards training camp and a season bearing high expectations.
"I was asked to leave, like I said before, and Coach was one hundred percent right in doing what he was doing, and I stand right behind my coach and what he did," said Seferian-Jenkins. "It's tough. You love the game, and unfortunately I was not prepared. I'm going to be prepared, I'm prepared and I won't let it happen again.
"Like I said before, there's a certain standard that has been set here and we're trying to continue to raise the bar. How I do that is meet the standard, come to work ready, prepared and ready to do what I'm asked to do, and everything will be fine."
Between leaving practice and speaking with Koetter on Thursday, Seferian-Jenkins sent out several tweets, some of which led to exchanges with Buccaneer fans that he now regrets.
"At the end of the day, it was a lapse of judgment," said Seferian-Jenkins. "Obviously, it was not a good day. Like I said, I got sent off the field, I was frustrated, and I took it out. I took it out on the fans and that's not fair to them at all, because all they want is a winner, all they want is for me to be successful and all they want me to be is great. So they're just pushing me to be great and I need to respect that. For any of the fans I offended, I'm sorry. I can't wait to get to work and be the best tight end I can be for you guys, so you can support me."