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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014

Bucs Report

A Pro Football Blog by Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman

Go behind the scenes with Buccaneers beat writers Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman as they offer their insights on the latest happenings with the team.

Logjam at tight end? Bucs’ Smith says it’s not a problem

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— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers devoted a lot of resources to their tight end position during the offseason, adding veteran free agent Brandon Myers and second-round draft pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a group that already included veteran Luke Stocker and 2013 standout starter Tim Wright.

Those moves have left the Bucs with a bit of a logjam at that spot. But Bucs coach Lovie Smith says he plans to dress three tight ends for every game this year and that he should have no trouble finding work for all three, perhaps even on the same plays.

“I definitely think so,’’ Smith said this week when asked if the use of three tight-end sets is a growing trend in the league. “You look at the fullback position and you’re kind of limited with what you can do with a traditional fullback (because) normally they’re not great special teams players.

“But your tight end, if you’re that type of athlete, you can do a lot of different things. So in an ideal world, yes, you want an ‘H’ tight end and occasionally trick the defense and put him in the backfield, where they have to defend two-back runs.

“So it does give us flexibility, the more things a guy can do. That’s why Austin Seferian-Jenkins, he’s athletic enough. Of course, he’s got great size and all that, but he’s not like a fish out of water when you split him out (wide), too. And it does make it harder for the defense.’’

The battle for the Bucs’ starting tight end job in an intriguing one, but it’s not like some of the other position battles in camp. With four capable options at the position, it looks like the Bucs will find plenty of snaps for all of those that make the roster.

rcummings@tampatrib.com

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Twitter: @RcummingsTBO

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