Austin Seferian-Jenkins has enjoyed a 2017 season that comes close to matching the ability so many knew he had, but was never able to consistently call upon.
In an interview with Manish Mehta of NY Daily News, Seferian-Jenkins opened up about this transcendent year in his life. The first thing he wanted to say was how glad he is to be sober-- something that he says will continue.
"Honestly, this year's been great," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I haven't had any alcohol in 342 days. That's my biggest accomplishment. The season is what it is. Obviously, you want to have more wins as a team. But just having that number - 342 - under my belt … that's the biggest number I've got. That's something that will continue. This isn't a one-year thing. This is a whole lifestyle change."
The Jets were only able to pick Seferian-Jenkins off the scrap heap was because the Buccanneers released him after a DUI in 2016.
"I want to be that guy that you read about now and think, 'Damn. That's the same guy that had all these issues and got arrested?' I'm a completely different person," said Seferian-Jenkins.
Seferian-Jenkins wants to be a role model to young players who have the same problems he had.
"I've learned so much in those other years that I didn't do it right," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I want to show the rookies how to prepare and how to do things correctly. I'm not only doing well for myself, but I'm trying to provide that insight for the younger guys on how to do things right."
The tight end has never been short of confidence.
"It's been a productive year on the field: A career high in catches (50), yards (357) and almost touchdowns (three)," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I'm going to do so much more in the future. I'm only 25 years old. I'm nowhere near playing my best football. I'm still learning every single day. I think my best years are ahead of me. I really believe that. These next five, six years are going to be my best years of football."
Seferian-Jenkins and the Jets close out their season on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Patriots.