Bucs' Jeremiah George all over in Humphries' TD return
The Bucs had their first preseason punt return for a touchdown in eight years Friday night, and Adam Humphries' 73-yard sprint down the Tampa Bay sideline was set up by a block by special-teams player Jeremiah George.
"I know all 10 guys did their job, and it was awesome," said Humphries, who put the Bucs ahead 17-3 in the first quarter with his touchdown. "I know Jeremiah George had a really good block when I was hitting the corner."
George, a third-year linebacker from Clearwater, is trying to make the Bucs' roster largely on special-teams merits -- he's played 41 snaps on special teams but just 16 snaps on defense, including zero Friday night.
He started that play trying to block the Browns punt from the left side, just missing and heading down to block for Humphries, sealing the corner with his hands up in the air to make sure he didn't hold anyone. Once Humphries made it to the end zone, George was quick enough to follow him and be the first teammate to congratulate him.
"It's great, especially coming off last week, where we had an opportunity here and there and just couldn't get it," George said. "(Special-teams coordinator Nate Kaczor) really emphasized working on techniques to avoid penalties. I really wanted to block the punt, but as I came around, it was like a free shot and the lane was wide-open. I looked at Hump and did the math of who could be the most dangerous man and it came down to two guys. Instead of trying to make a blowup shot, I just tried to get inbetween, make a turn and meet Hump in the end zone. It was a great feeling."
George, who blocked a punt against the Bears last season, is part of a logjam of players trying to make the squad as a backup linebacker -- rookie Luke Rhodes (10) and veteran Adarius Glanton (six) have the most tackles, but George has played the most on special teams, which is ultimately where a backup linebacker is most likely to contribute.