Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston called the Bucs' Adam Humphries a third-down machine. Is he?

After practice Monday, coach Dirk Koetter announced that the Bucs planned to enter the season with Adam Humphries as the team's No. 3 receiver.

The news didn't surprise quarterback Jameis Winston.

"Adam is a great player for us, he's a third-down machine for us," he said. "He's had a great camp, and last year he was one of my best targets."

That's the kind of praise you expect to hear from the quarterback, particularly one who's embracing an expanded leadership role.

Humphries' emergence over the past year-plus — from tryout player to slot receiver — is undeniably remarkable. But has he really been a "third-down machine" for the Bucs? Let's dive into the numbers.

Humphries didn't stick on the active roster for good until the Bucs' Week 8 contest against the Falcons. From then on — a total of 10 games — Winston targeted him 12 times on third down. Those 12 targets were second-most on the team but amounted to just 13.8 percent of Winston's third-down passes.

Of the 12 targets, Humphries caught seven, five of which resulted in a first down.

Winston's preferred target on third down? Mike Evans, by far. He saw 28 passes — 32.2 percent of Winston's throws.

While Evans' catch rate was roughly the same as Humphries', 15 of Evans' 16 receptions were good enough for first downs. Over the same time span, only four receivers across the league reached a first down more often after making a catch.

The point here isn't to compare Evans and Humphries. You'd expect Evans to see the most targets; he's the No. 1 receiver. But when you examine last season's third downs more closely, you see Winston heavily favored Evans. After that, he spread the ball around.

Winston's third-down targets (from Week 8 through end of regular season)

PlayerTargetsReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFirst downs
Mike Evans2816221115
Adam Humphries1276205
Charles Sims975514
Donteea Dye921802
Cameron Brate854914
Source: Pro Football Reference

In fact, the bulk of Humphries' production over the Bucs' final 10 games actually came on first down. In those situations, he caught 11 of 15 targets for 118 yards. Seven of those catches moved the chains and one resulted in his first and only touchdown of the season, a 6-yard score in Week 14 against the Saints.

His eight total conversions (first downs and touchdowns) were second to only Evans, who made 19 catches that resulted in a first down.

Adam Humphries' splits (from Week 8 through end of regular season)

SituationTargetsReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFirst downs
First down151111818
Second down1076605
Third down1276405
Source: Pro Football Reference

Winston's statement is indeed a stretch — at least based on last season's results — but more than anything, it might be an indication of his expectations for Humphries going forward.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.

Comments
Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

Bucs’ Mike Evans gives the gift of perspective

TAMPA — So, this is Christmas.The Bucs are having an awful season. There is no way around it. Star receiver Mike Evans isn’t having a great year, either, not nearly as many catches or touchdowns as last season, when he was selected for the Pro Bowl.S...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp on sexual harassment allegations: ‘Ain’t no #MeToo’

Warren Sapp vehemently denied allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami."Ain’t no #MeToo," the former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer said on the And...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week.
Published: 12/13/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Published: 12/13/17
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

The West Club at Raymond James Stadium was packed on Tuesday night with 75 needy local families who thought they were getting a holiday dinner and stadium tour with Bucs players.The defensive line stepped up to give the families a much bigger surpris...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

The Bucs have promoted rookie LB Riley Bullough — a cult favorite back in August after being nicknamed "Joe Dirt" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" — to the active roster after he spent three months on the team's practice squad.Bullough, undrafted o...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

The Bucs have signed former Hillsborough High and USF linebacker Nigel Harris to their practice squad after a workout Tuesday.Harris, 23, has played for the Chargers and Giants already this season as an undrafted rookie. He had 11 tackles in five gam...
Published: 12/12/17
Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Fifteen years later, Tampa Bay's Great Sports Debate continues: Who deserves more credit for the Bucs' Super Bowl victory, Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? With the Bucs set to induct Gruden into the Ring of Honor on Monday, what do you think? Email your ...
Published: 12/12/17
Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp, a former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has been accused of sexual harassment while working as an analyst with NFL Network, according to a lawsuit.NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor "pendin...
Published: 12/12/17