Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins reported for his first spring in Florham Park with a tangible, newfound energy.
"I feel like a different person on and off the field," Seferian-Jenkins said. "The weight loss has been tremendous and I'm just really happy I have the opportunity to show the Jets taking a chance on me is going to pay off. I'm just trying to work every single day on the team like everybody else."
The four-year veteran lost close to 30 pounds in the offseason in an attempt to maintain his health as he only appeared in seven games (two starts) after the Jets claimed him off waivers (TB) in September.
Perhaps a result of his new frame, the 6'5", 261-pounder impressed throughout minicamp, displaying good hands and improved speed.
"I think a lot of that has to do with the weight loss and I think that's kudos to Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty and [offensive coordinator] John Morton," Seferian-Jenkins said. "Coach Morton has definitely made an emphasis to use the tight end and it's on the tight end room to make sure we do the best we can to take full advantage of those opportunities."
Seferian-Jenkins is part of a unit that includes Eric Tomlinson, Jason Vander Laan, Brian Parker and fifth-round pick Jordan Leggett. ASJ predominantly ran with the first team in minicamp, but took some second team reps as the offense was constantly rotating its personnel.
Additionally, he'll be on the sideline for the first two games of the regular season as he was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy. However, he's permitted to practice with the team throughout training camp and play in the preseason.
"It's been good for me," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I understand that offense a lot more than past offenses. It's very similar to what we ran in college. Coach Morton used to be at USC and likes the West Coast offense and all that different stuff. I ran that in college and I definitely know this offense better than any other offense I've played in."
The Washington product recorded 146 catches for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns in four years for the Huskies under head coach Steve Sarkisian, who worked with Morton at USC in 2007-'08.