This SR’s Fab 5 column on the Bucs is exclusively serviced by Discount Garage Doors – the official garage door company of PewterReport.com. If you are in need of a new look for your garage doors or if you are in need of repairs, turn to Discount Garage Doors. Whether it’s a broken cable or springs or a crooked door, Discount Garage Doors can help you out. Click here for a list of locations as Discount Garage Doors services 17 Florida counties and The Villages.

The holiday season is almost here! It’s time to beautify your home for the holidays with a new set of garage doors. Call 866-420-DOOR or visit DGDoors.com to view Discount Garage Doors list of services and garage doors that can be installed to improve the look of your home. And remember, Discount Garage Doors offers FREE service calls. Don’t wait – call today!

Mention PewterReport.com and SAVE 10% OFF your order or service call at Discount Garage Doors!

SR’s Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place and around the NFL.

FAB 1. Bucs Need To Re-Sign Humphries

The Buccaneers have several players that will be poised for free agency in 2019 – some of them are big-name players like Pro Bowl middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, four-year starting left tackle Donovan Smith and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. But there is a pending free agent that shouldn’t get anywhere near free agency. There is a pending free agent that deserves an in-season contract extension right now.

No, it’s not Smith or Alexander – not yet.

The most deserving player of a new contract in Tampa Bay is wide receiver Adam Humphries.

The player known as “Hump” in the Bucs locker room has simply balled out in his contract year and is well deserving of a long-term deal.

With five games left in the season, Humphries has caught 46 passes for 565 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. His 64 targets are third on the team behind Mike Evans (99) and DeSean Jackson (70), and just ahead of Chris Godwin (61), who has 44 catches for 575 yards and four touchdowns this year. Humphries needs 16 catches over the next five games to set a new career high, as he caught 62 passes last year. His 545 yards this season are 86 yards away from matching last year’s total of 631 yards, which was also a career high.

It used to be that if the Bucs needed a first down, they would turn to Humphries. Now, Humphries is doing more than just picking up first downs. He’s picking up touchdowns.

Humphries had four touchdowns in his first three years in the league, but he’s already got four this season, including his first two of the year at Carolina. Humphries’ latest touchdown came last week on a beautiful catch-and-run against San Francisco.

“I think Adam is one of the steadiest and most consistent players on our team,” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said. “The whole (touchdown) thing, four games in a row – I guess the thing that he’s doing is really running after the catch. His runs – that was a beautiful cut back on his score last week. I guess that’s maybe the punt returner in him. It looked like they had the angle on him then he cut it back against the grain. Just a real steady player that is on a team where there are guys that get more targets than him. He’s kind of always in position and rarely makes a mistake.”

For the record, Humphries wants to be back in Tampa Bay. Regardless of who is the head coach next year or who is calling the plays, Humphries has value and should remain a Buccaneer.

“Yeah, I feel like I do fit in well here and want to stay,” Humphries said. “I love the city. I love where I’m at, obviously, and I like the players in the locker room. It’s something that I would be interested in, it’s as simple as that.”

As a restricted free agent, Humphries signed a one-year, $2.914 million this offseason. Because he’s a third-string slot receiver, Humphries won’t break the bank in free agency. He’s not a No. 2 receiver. He’s a valuable No. 3 receiver who deserves No. 3 money.

The guess here is that the Bucs will come in and make him an offer in the $4-5 million per year range in the offseason. Tampa Bay has some leverage because Humphries wants to stay (hometown discount), and it is deep at wide receiver with Evans, Godwin and Jackson, who has one year left on his deal, but not return, in addition to young receivers like Justin Watson, this year’s fifth-round pick, Sergio Bailey, who is on injured reserve, and and Bobo Wilson, who is on the practice squad.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs will be better off with Humphries in 2019, especially if Jameis Winston continues to be the quarterback. The Clemson product is one of Winston’s most trusted wide receivers.

“Yeah, we came in together, we’ve been working four year together, and have a really good connection,” Humphries said of Winston. “Jameis is a competitor. Obviously he wants to make big plays. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes as a receiver we don’t run our best route for him. So that’s not on Jameis, that’s on us.”

On Sunday, Winston was scrambling to his right just outside the red zone when he spotted Humphires wide open across the middle of the field, hunkered down in an open spot in San Francisco’s zone defense. Instead of continuing to run, Winston stopped, threw the ball across his body to the middle of the field where Humphries caught it and raced upfield for a 28-yard touchdown.

That was Humphries’ sixth catch of 20 yards or more this year, which ties his career high set in 2016. Humphries’ 51-yard catch against Atlanta this year, which came a yard away from scoring, established a new career-long reception.

In a contract year, the smallest receiver on the team at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds is coming up big. For years, Humphries has gotten some good-natured ribbing in the wide receiver room about getting tackled at the 1-yard line too often, as was the case in Atlanta and Cincinnati this year. He had a 17-yard catch against the Bengals that was initally ruled a touchdown, only to have it overturned by instant replay that showed that Humphries’ knee was down before the ball broke the plane.

However, a week later, playing in front of plenty of family and friends in Charlotte, the Spartanburg, South Carolina native played the best game of his career, catching all eight of his targets for 82 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers.

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Mary Holt/PR
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Mary Holt/PR

“That was really cool, especially for Adam, who seems to always get the ball inside the five yard line but something happens and he doesn’t end up scoring,” said Brate, Humphries’ roommate for years. “So for him to get two touchdowns in front of, I know he had a bunch of friends and family there, was really awesome to see.”

Humphries laughed about his penchant for coming up short of the end zone a few times in the past.

“I know there are a lot of people that want to see me get in there and are pulling for me, and that’s great,” Humphries said. “I just try to do the best I can catching the ball and heading north.”

Last year, Humphries had to endure the fact that reserve tackle Leonard Wester caught a touchdown before he did. Wester scored on a 1-yard catch on a tackle-eligible play in a 24-21 loss at Detroit. Humphries’ first and only touchdown of 2017 would come a week after Wester’s score with a touchdown against Atlanta on Monday Night Football.

“I asked Chris Godwin earlier in the year in practice, ‘Do you know who has more touchdowns over the past two seasons, me or Leonard Wester?’” Humphries chuckled. “I told him Leonard had one last year and I had one last year and we both have none this year. Leonard Wester was still tied with me for receiving touchdowns at the beginning of the year.”

Now Humphries has four touchdowns and Wester has zero.

In fact, Humphries has as many touchdowns as Brate, Jackson and Godwin entering the rematch against Carolina, a team that he grew up watching and rooting for. While the Panthers will need to account for Evans, prevent the deep ball to Jackson and cover Brate in the red zone, they can’t sleep on Humphries otherwise he could easily have another chain-moving, eight-catch, 82-yard, two-touchdown day on Sunday.

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

“Adam is all the prototypical words for a crafty slot receiver – gritty, intelligent, instinctive, good after the catch, he’s just a good football player, man,” Brate said. “Whether it’s in the run game or obviously in the passing game, he always knows what to do, he always knows how to find a good spot, and has really good hands. I think that helps him a lot, obviously. He can adjust to footballs really well. He’s playing the best football I think of his career right now. Hump’s invaluable. He just knows the offense like the back of his hand, he’s always going to be in the right place at the right time. Whenever he gets a one-on-one matchup he finds a way to win.

“The reality of this business of the NFL is there are only so many people that you can keep together with the salary cap. So I hope we keep him as long as we can, and if he can’t stay here he’ll end up with someone else next season. He’s a really good player. But hopefully he’ll be with us.”

Humphries also brings value on special teams. He hasn’t wowed anyone with his punt return ability, but he fields the ball cleanly, has averaged close to nine yards per return over his career and makes good decisions about when to fair catch the ball and when to let it go into the end zone.

Humphries should get some opportunities to return kicks. After all, he has the longest kick return in team history – a 109-yard kick-six after a missed field goal against Detroit in the preseason – even though it doesn’t count officially.

“It was something that happened and I thought he was going to kick it through the end zone,” Humphries said. “It was something that we work on in practice and I was able to take advantage of it. It was cool going home during the bye week and people were coming up and saying they saw the kick-six. Other special teams coaches come up to me and talk to me about it, and call it the ‘109,’ which is cool. It was a fun play.”

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Humphries credits great blocking from his teammates for his incredible touchdown.

“I went right and then I went left, and as soon as I cut back to kind of go right I saw the holder and the kicker slide and I knew they weren’t going to tackle me,” Humphries said. “That’s when I knew I was going to be in the clear. I had a feeling the offensive linemen weren’t going to catch me from behind! [Vernon] Hargreaves and JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul) threw some great blocks for me, and Lavonte [David] and Adarius Taylor were double-teaming a guy for five seconds. It was incredible. It was a great play.”

Humphries is willing to do whatever he can to help out the team, and that makes him a coach’s dream.

“Whatever they need me to do, I’m available to do it,” Humphries said. “One week we didn’t have a ton of depth at gunner, so we were low on gunners and I took some gunner reps at practice. That’s something I hadn’t done in three years. Honestly, whatever they ask me to do, I’m happy to do it. I’m going to work my hardest to help this team win and do my part to help us out. That’s as simple as I can put it.

“Mentality-wise I want to be the best at what I do. In college, we had ton of receivers and I didn’t get as many targets my senior year as I thought I would because I was the one guy that was really good at blocking on certain plays. That cut down on my number of targets. Whether it’s at receiver, playing gunner, returning punts or kicks, or you can throw me in at corner or nickel. I actually had a PBU in college.”

The Bucs need more guys Hump in Tampa Bay. Get this man a contract extension. He wants to stay here and he’s proven his value with a career season.

Humphries saw fellow receiver Russell Shepard, who was Tampa Bay’s special teams captain and fourth wide receiver, sign a three-year, $10 million deal with Carolina last year. The Panthers viewed as a potential No. 3 receiver, while the Bucs viewed him as a No. 4 and made him a contract offer that reflected that and was obviously less than Carolina’s offer.

Bucs WR Adam Humphries - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs WR Adam Humphries – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Shepard left a great situation and took more money elsewhere. He was cut after one year and is now with the New York Giants after signing a one-year deal worth $900,000.

Humphries has kept a watchful eye on Shepard’s situation and is not eager to leave a good thing behind in Tampa Bay.

“That’s something that you obviously evaluate, and something you talk to your agent about,” Humphries said. “That’s the beauty of watching film is you can see how people are being used on teams and can kind of see what would be good somewhere else. Looking at Shep’s situation, I think obviously he’s more of a special teams guy. I haven’t really thought about free agency a ton right now, so I can’t really speak on it as much as I would like to. But I definitely want to stay here.”

You heard the man, Jason Licht. Make him an offer, Mike Greenberg.

1
2
3
4
5
Previous articleWhat’s Cooking?: Mike Evans
Next articleBucs WR Jackson Out With Thumb Injury
Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

25 COMMENTS

  1. Stat that amazes me the most – Duffner is allowing about 21 points a game, Smith allowed about 34 points a game. That average of points allowed is huge as the Bucs have fewer starters available as they got hurt since Smith left, yet they are giving up fewer points with all the things mentioned in this article. While the coach never make a play as Koetter likes to say, it is also true the coach’s scheming and play calling can make a huge difference on the field.

    +27
    -3
    Rating: +24. From 30 votes.
    Please wait...
    • It makes a big difference who the competition is. Duffner coached his way through the weakest part of our schedule. The remaining five games are all against division foes or teams with winning records and are still in the playoff hunt, and improving late in the season (Dallas and Baltimore).

      Before handing out the medals, wait for the last five games to draw any conclusions.

      +2
      -10
      Rating: -8. From 12 votes.
      Please wait...
  2. As I said before about Santos, his problem is his leg strength – not his accuracy. When he kicked the 41 yard field goal as I mentioned before, he barely made it over the upright – it hit the ground right behind the center goal post. When he does kickoffs, they rarely make it to the endzone and never go through it – so teams return them many times during the game. The Bucs were right to get him – I identifed him looking at kickers earlier in the year as by far the most capable out there with his background, but I noted he did injure his leg and he will have trouble making field goals beyond 43 yards or so. He is a great upgrade for his accuracy but you cannot ask him to kick a 50 yard field goal and expect him to make it. He probably does not have the leg to do it. Is that needed in today’s NFL? I don’t know.

    +9
    0
    Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
    Please wait...
  3. Settle down with the extending Duffner talk, his improvements on the defensive side of the ball only prove that Mike Smith was awful not that he’s the best man for the job. Familiarity has not helped us in any of our previous coaching changes so please stop barking for this guy to get another contract because he’s shown the ability to be competent. Certainly not saying the improvements have gone unnoticed but I don’t trust Licht or Dirk or anybody that they’ve hired. Licht is the same man that let McDonald walk after posting 5 sacks and replaced him with 2 DTs that didn’t combine for 5 sacks last year in his effort to IMPROVE the DL lol. Bradley McDougald is getting Pro Bowl consideration in Seattle while we still have Chris Conte. I don’t care if it was “Mike Smiths’ doing” its the job of the GM to keep good players and find ways to utilize them. I agree we should re-sign Hump largely bc I don’t see the Jameis and DJax situation being resolved without a few deep bomb connections to end the season. I’m not one to bash DJax because I understand why he’s frustrated but agree that storming off the field after a win isn’t the best way to handle it. The main takeaway is that I think the Bucs should see what type of defensive scheme they should employ next season, so make sure the guy we hire to orchestrate the defense has a clear plan that fits what we’ve seen work this season.

    +7
    -8
    Rating: -1. From 15 votes.
    Please wait...
    • well said – as usual.

      +2
      -2
      Rating: 0. From 4 votes.
      Please wait...
  4. NOBODY gets re-signed. This roster needs to be evaluated by new people to build for the future. Then you decide which players stay and go based on a new philosophy. It’s like someone has cancer and you want to treat a sprained ankle. WAKE UP!!! NONE of these coaches or the Front office will be here. Did you not see that 40,000 people were at the game last week? That means this thing is over with this regime or it will go down to 20,000 by the end of the year. I buy tickets you do not. Quit coming up with this hypothetical crap to fill space on this site.

    +5
    -16
    Rating: -11. From 21 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Kwon is a given to be re-signed if possible irrespective of who the coach or GM is – if not and he passes his physical come free agency there are few linebackers that young with untapped potential.. That being said, with the injury the Bucs and most teams will be reluctant irrespective of his obvious talent and heart. Hopefully, Jackson will be cut as soon as possible and of course other contracts could be redone and a few higher priced players will follow.

      +3
      0
      Rating: +3. From 3 votes.
      Please wait...
    • I hope no one gets me confused with you.

      +2
      0
      Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
      Please wait...
  5. Scott you had a lot say about Hump this week, and deservedly so. He is worth his weight in gold. He is just as valuable in a certain sense as any of the starters. The wins are always a team effort after all.

    I just want to emphasize that there were at least two, if not more, saves by Adam that I noted recently. He batted down possible interceptions thrown his way by Jameis just a couple of weeks ago. Those matter also!

    __________________
    Go Bucs!!!!!

    +14
    0
    Rating: +14. From 14 votes.
    Please wait...
  6. Wow after reading that Fab 5 one might think we were in the hunt for a playoff spot. Reality is a bitch. You are what you’re record says you are. Coaching better then Mike Smith did isn’t really saying much. The problem I have with this regime is they make some good decisions, but far to late. Smith, and Warhop should’ve been let go before the season started. We all knew it, we all had been saying it, why couldn’t the G.M. see it? Licht gets paid millions to make the tough calls. Instead of finding a better D.C., and O line coach, he looks for better players to no avail. Scott you point out some flaws in Warhop’s scheming of the run game, but where’s Koetter, or even Monken to step in, and say this isn’t working. I also notice to many times Bucs O linemen standing around before the play ends while Barber gets pummeled. Thank God Kwon didn’t get a big pay day. Watching that rookie from Dallas last night showed me what real MLB play looks like. Actually all the Dallas L.B.’s shined brighter then David, and Kwon have this season, and some of them are back ups, and rookies. We all feel good after beating up lowly S.F.. If this regime is to return, let’s see them win the next two home games, and douse Dallas’s playoff hopes on the road. Let’s see them beat the Ravens in the cold. Then, and only then would I consider bringing these fools back.

    +12
    -6
    Rating: +6. From 18 votes.
    Please wait...
  7. Regardless how this season shakes out and its aftermath some of us are already looking ahead to next year’s team. (At this time the Bucs have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but, yes, the schedule looks insurmountable with our current line up.)

    Here is a possible projection of next year’s starting Defense.

    DE: Jason Pierre-Paul
    DE: Carl Nassib
    DT: Gerald McCoy
    DT: Vita Vea

    LB: Kendell Beckwith
    LB: Kwon Alexander
    LB: Lavonte David

    CB: Carlton Davis
    CB: Javien Elliot
    NB: Vernon Hargreaves
    S: Jordan Whitehead
    S: Justin Evans

    “On paper” things look good, “not too shabby!”. We have a good mixture of experience and youth to look toward. We can continue to add quality depth with our off season decisions.

    Now, back to the next game, I don’t see any reason we can’t win this one with the Panthers!
    __________
    Go Bucs!!!!

    +5
    -8
    Rating: -3. From 13 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Gerald, Kwon and Vernon have each received cheers and jeers over his time here but I wouldn’t be surprised if cost and/or competition force all 3 out the door after free agency and draft.

      0
      -10
      Rating: -10. From 10 votes.
      Please wait...
    • On paper, but in reality:
      1) Kwon tore his ACL…that’s at least a year to get back to anything like he was before (re-arrival in 2020)…plus how many guys ever get back to their same level after an ACL.
      2) Beckwith has potential…but we’ve seen a lot of guys with potential
      3) that secondary still looks suspect…no true #1 CB; Evans showed potential against Pitts (there’s that word again)…then sucked ever since; plus in today’s game suiting-up Elliot and Whitehead is going to create mismatches that good QBs (like Ryan, Newton, Brees) exploit.

      I would say we have some pieces – we need a few more pieces – we need a culture change – and we need leadership from the GM through the whole coaching staff and players.

      +5
      0
      Rating: +5. From 5 votes.
      Please wait...
      • that should be, “new leadership”

        +1
        0
        Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
        Please wait...
  8. Duffner’s results are mainly the result of playing the weakest part of our schedule by far. The last five games features our remaining round of divisional games and playing a resurgent Cowbows and a Ravens team with a winning record.

    So let’s count the chickens before they hatch, and let’s not draw expansive conclusions until the last five games are played, when the results are likely to be very different from playing the weaklings we just went up against in the middle part of the schedule.

    +4
    -8
    Rating: -4. From 12 votes.
    Please wait...
  9. Although your language is a bit harsh suferdudes, it isn’t obscene and I agree a good deal with what you said.
    At the same time I want to remind you how desperate everyone, including PewterReport, wanted to resign and give Mike Smith a raise after his first season here.
    Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t sorry to see Smith go because it looked like he couldn’t adapt to the current game much like Lovie Smith, but those are the facts.
    Before I start calling for anyone to get fired I want to wait until the season ends just like you do.
    But lets say by some miracle the Bucs finish at 8-8 and team Glazier decides to keep both Licht and Koetter, they still need to get a new offensive line coach and revamp the defensive staff.
    The only thing that keeps NFL QBs from completing 70 to 80 percent of their passes nowadays is pressure.
    They pretty much stand back their with impunity and the WRs are no different.
    Since you watched the hated Cowboys game last night like I did, I agree with your assessment of our LB play but also would like you to note how the Cowboys handled the smartest and possibly best QB in the league right now.
    Pressure up the middle has always been Brees’ achilles heel and the ‘Boys provided a lot of that last night. It’s little wonder since the defensive coordinator is one of our old coaches under Dungy who all of the defensive lineman on the team at the time spoke glowingly about. Sorry I forgot his name.
    Anyone who thought Vita Vea was a bust after 5 or 6 games and no preseason is just a complete jackass and was displaying how little he knows about the game.
    As far as the Hump, two weeks ago I started saying the Bucs should waive Jackson next year and give the Hump part of his salary. After his dreadful play against the 49ers, there shouldn’t even be an arguement about it.

    +11
    0
    Rating: +11. From 11 votes.
    Please wait...
  10. Oh, I forgot.
    Good column Scott.
    I would like to remind you though that you were calling for the Bucs to draft Noah Spence as well.
    What in the world is going on with him
    5.5 sacks his first year with a bad wing and now he disappears like Jimmy Hoffa.
    Some of us were concerned about him because of his size at the time he was drafted as far as being a DE.
    Of course the better pick would have been Sheldon Rankins who is in New Orleans and after a couple of years of learning how to play in the NFL (sound familiar) is now playing like a beast.

    +9
    -2
    Rating: +7. From 11 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Two things:
      1) Rankins was drafted in the first round by New Orleans. Spence was taken in the 2nd round by us (27 picks later) – that wasn’t a choice. The choice would have been to take Rankins over VHIII, but at that the time we had nobody to play in our secondary. I seem to recall entirely supportive comments for the choice of the “best CB” in the draft at the time…hind sight is 20/20, at least we didn’t take Eli Apple.

      2) Rankins would be our third first-round DT (GMC, VEA, Rankins)…that’s a lot of high draft capital on one position.

      +6
      -1
      Rating: +5. From 7 votes.
      Please wait...
    • Yeah I was one of them questioning the Spence pick.

      0
      0
      No votes yet.
      Please wait...
  11. Jason, you could’ve drafted Nassib at either 39 or 59 instead of taking Spence & Aguayo!

    +4
    -7
    Rating: -3. From 11 votes.
    Please wait...
    • Are we really going to push to keep Donovan smith? I mean, I like him, but he’s not an elite lt and I’m sure he’s going to want to get paid even though he has been average this year. I wouldn’t resign him if he wants top 10 linemen money, that’s just me or I would try to move him to the right side at least.

      +6
      -2
      Rating: +4. From 8 votes.
      Please wait...
      • didn’t mean to put this as a reply post, sorry.

        0
        0
        No votes yet.
        Please wait...
  12. Scott, A couple of weeks ago, I thought this franchise was on the scrapheap… This week’s Fab 5 is so positive! So, you almost sound like you want to see Koetter & Licht back next year? I still think this team needs a president to oversee the long term situation for the team.

    +7
    0
    Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
    Please wait...
  13. Four out of these five games are going to be tough. We should be able to beat Atlanta as they have gone down hill; maybe we win another of the other four?
    As to the draft, our needs at this point is CB, LB, OG, OT, RB, DT, DE, CB, WR. Safety is the farthest need, just my opinion at this point in time.

    0
    0
    No votes yet.
    Please wait...
  14. WooHoo, nobody mentioning Kareem Hunt!

    +1
    0
    Rating: +1. From 1 vote.
    Please wait...