Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Getting to Know TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Buccaneers.com sat down with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who just finished up his rookie season.

Photos of Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

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Q: Coming into the NFL last year, what was your perception of the league and what did you learn it to actually be like?
A: "The NFL, you always hear about the great players all over the field. You hear about the speed of the game. It's a professional league, the best of the best play there so it's obviously different than college. I was expecting it to be different. I wasn't really sure what exactly would be different but I wasn't really surprised. The guys were all really good. I think the thing was – it's really a league where people really study tape, they study their opponent, they study teams. It's really a mental game. That's what I really learned so much about – the mental game."

Q: You were injured in your first game and missed two after that. When you first got on the field against Pittsburgh, what was that like, your first NFL game?
A: "I still wasn't 100 percent from the ankle injury but I was still able to learn and get in there and understand what we were trying to do. I understood the playbook for the most part. Even going into the season I knew the playbook. It was just the actual experience of playing against other players."

Q: When you were injured and preparing to get out on the field for your first full game, what was that like? You could study and perform the mental part, but not the physical part.
A: "All you can do is just approach the week like you would if you were healthy and just study and prepare. You go over film, go over blitz pickup and treat it like you would be playing. That's what I did all year. I treated the weeks that I was injured like I would be playing and I kept trying to learn things that way."

Q: What was the biggest transition from college to the NFL?
A: "It's the whole thing. It's not really on the field, it's just the whole thing. There's no school, it's football. It's a different lifestyle. It's different from being a college kid. You don't have to worry about a lot of different things off the field. Football - that's all I'm doing."

Q: You're from Washington. What's it been like living in Tampa?
A: "It was pretty far. It was a five and a half hour flight to get down here so it was far but I was very, very happy to be playing here."

Q: When you finally got put on IR, was it frustrating? How do you approach your season once you've been put on IR?
A: "You can't play so all you can do is just help the guys around you. I don't think anything changed just because I couldn't go out there in run routes. From the metal side, I just kept doing the same things that I would have been doing if I were preparing for a game. I was at the facility every day and at every practice and at every meeting."

Q: This is your first offseason as a pro. What do you have planned?
A: "It's not like college where you have a group up guys and you have to get up real early and all workout together. It's more on yourself and going to your training facility or wherever you're going. I'm going to be training here in Florida and then maybe a little in Arizona. I got to go home and rest my body and see my family so it's been good so far."

Q: What's your greatest non-football achievement?
A: "Doing the children's hospital work with kids and being able to talk to them and brighten their day. I think those are some of the biggest non-football achievements in my life – being able to do that stuff with the children's hospitals in Seattle and in St. Petersburg."

Check out photos of the Buccaneers 2014 2nd round pick, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. (courtesy of AP Images)

Q: If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
A: "Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus Christ and John F. Kennedy."

Q: What's your favorite movie?
A: "Goodfellas."

Q: What's your favorite TV show?
A: "House of Cards."

Q: If you weren't playing football right now, what do you think you would be doing?
A: "I'd probably be studying, finishing up my degree. I'd be getting a business or finance degree or trying to do pre-med or something like that. That's what I thought I would be doing at this point if I wasn't playing football."

Q: Is there a specific player you looked up to as a kid?
A: "Tony Gonzalez for sure."

Q: Your funniest teammate on the Bucs?
A: "Russell Shepard."

Q: You played basketball your freshman year in college. Why are so many former basketball players transitioning into football so well?
A: "It's hand-eye coordination. Just being able to run and be able to catch the ball. It's hard to explain, you just have to be able to do it."

Q: Are there any specific goals you have for next year?
A: "My goal is to be a Pro Bowler and be the best player I can be. Get things going in the right direction and start winning more games and get to the playoffs. We all want a Super Bowl, don't we? We were watching, we saw it. We all want to be there."

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