Once a football team gets onto the field, a player’s resume has little to do with it.
Which is why Cameron Brate is the Tampa Bay Bucs‘ starting tight end.
Brate was undrafted coming out of Harvard in 2014. He failed to stick with the New Orleans Saints before bouncing to Tampa Bay, where he caught all of one pass as a rookie.
Meanwhile, Austin Seferian-Jenkins was a second-round draft pick with tons of ability.
Yet, Seferian-Jenkins is watching Brate play these days.
“I don’t think there’s any big secret [that] Cam’s been working with the first group,” said coach Dirk Koetter. “We’re deep at tight end and Cam’s at the top of the depth right now.
“He’s making plays. He’s making plays, and he’s making them consistently, and he’s improving in the run game. His run blocking is improving. No one’s going to call him (former NFL tight end) Mark Bavaro, but he’s improving.”
Brate caught 23 passes last year. His work this summer has helped him pass Seferian-Jenkins.
“He’s working hard, he’s working at it,” Koetter said of Seferian-Jenkins. “Austin is trying to get better every day. Sometimes, luck of the draw, a guy may not get balls thrown to him some days, or he gets it thrown to him and it’s a bad throw or something like that. But Austin’s working at it, that’s all he can do right now. He’s just got to work. Anybody that’s fighting for a job, that’s all they can do.
“The guys that are playing the best are going to play. So catching up for some guys is knowing what they’re doing, catching up for some other guys is they got to play better, and I’d say he falls into that category.”