Koetter ends 'mystery,' names Humphries as No. 3 receiver
At the end of practice Monday, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter eliminated all the suspense over which player would be the team's No. 3 receiver behind starters Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.
“Let’s just end the big mystery about this No. 3 wide receiver. Adam Humphries is going to be our No. 3 wide receiver,'' Koetter said. "You talk about the definition of consistent players, there’s Adam Humphries’ picture right there. Consistently strong player. Adam is going to be our slot receiver. And the battle for four, five, six and beyond, there’s some really good competition. Kenny (Bell) is one of the guys in that mix.
"I haven’t told him yet, so whoever is the fastest running about you guys can go tell him.''
A year ago at this time, Humphries was an undrafted rookie from Clemson who had been signed from a tryout camp. He finished with 27 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown.
“I just came out here with an edge,'' Humphries said. "When I came out here last year, no one knew me. I didn’t know anyone out here. I just tried to work hard and get noticed. It’s good to come in here this year and be a guy the quarterback can rely on and earn that No. 3 spot.''
His rookie season didn't start well for Humphries. He was the intended target on quarterback Jameis Winston's first NFL pass which was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
“I’m not surprised by that at all,'' Winston said of the news that Humphries had earned the No 3 spot. "Adam is a great player for us, he’s a third down machine. He’s had a great camp and last year, he was one of my best targets. I mean, you think about the first (pass) of the year, me and that guy bounced back from that quickly and had a great season together.
“That’s just how it is in this game. You’ve got to get back up and try again and I trust that guy with all my heart and I know coach Koetter trusts him and this team trusts him. That’s a big thing for him I’m sure when he hears that, he’s going to work even harder.''
Of course, at 5-foot-10, Humphries is more well-suited in the slot than outside, so if either Evans or Jackson go down, they may need a bigger recever to replace them such as Kenny Bell.
"That will be another problem for another day,'' Koetter said. "Adam can play outside. He did so last year. The great thing about Adam is you never have to know. He doesn’t need reps out there. He’s not ideal as an outside guy, but football players come in all shapes and sizes. He’s no different.''
While Humphries learned he had already won the job when approached Monday by the media, he said it won't change his effort.
"Obviously, it’s early in camp and we’ve still got a lot of work to do,'' Humphries said. "That’s good to hear from the head man, but you’ve got to keep the edge and keep working hard every day. I’ve got to earn the spot every day no matter what he says. I can mess up or I can keep getting better and that’s what I’m going to do.
“I just put my head down and work. Whatever he says is good.
That’s the biggest thing, having a short memory and if you do mess up, that’s not a bad thing. You can correct it and get better. Mistakes are good some times, especially during camp.''