When you spend the bulk of your college career playing in the same receiving corps as Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins you end up doing a lot of dirty work.
And so it was for undrafted second-year Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries, who had to get especially dirty in the screen game during his days at Clemson.
“Whenever we threw a screen, I was always the guy who had to block for Sammy and DeAndre and all those other stud receivers that we had,’’ Humphries said.
Humphries isn’t blocking in the screen game anymore. The Bucs have made him their top target in that phase of coach Dirk Koetter’s attack and Humphries has had quite a bit of success in that role.
At least a third of Humphries 18 receptions this year have come on screen passes and he’s turned three of those, one in each game so far, into what the Bucs call an “explosive play.’’
The first was a 26-yard catch-and-run against the Falcons; the second was a 24-yard reception against the Cardinals and the third was a 31-yard scamper last week against the Rams.
“It’s awesome to have the ball in your hands and to have some lead blockers out there to make some explosive plays for you,’’ Humphries said. “It’s kind of new to me, but it’s been fun.’’
Humphries’ fun may soon come to an end. The Bucs have had so much success throwing screens to him that opposing defenses are starting to key on the play, which could force a change in strategy.
“Yeah, he’s done a really good job with (the screens), to the point where we probably need to stop using him because about three times the other night they were calling it out,’’ Koetter said of the Rams.
“They were calling it out looking for it in certain formations so anytime that starts happening that means you’re probably overusing it and you got to figure out a different way.’’