I was a fan of Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ talent level coming into the year, but knew like most did he needed to mature greatly before taking a spot among one of the NFL’s better tight ends.
When head coach Dirk Koetter announced Brate would start the season as the team’s starter at the position I honestly figured it’d be a three-week occurrence and then ASJ would gradually work his way into the starting lineup again.
I’m glad I was wrong, at least from the point of Brate being the full-time starter and all but cementing his spot atop the depth chart.
Finishing in the Top-12 of every significant statistical category – including being tied for the league lead with eight touchdown catches – provides just a glimpse at how important Brate was to the Bucs offense.
As Winston’s safety blanket and the team’s second option in the passing game, it was clear all year the second-year player not only deserved his starting job, but should be a player included in every conversation involving this franchise’s future.