The Bucs worked their holiday magic yesterday when the defensive line hosted their Seventh Annual D-line Delivers Christmas event. Each year, the defensive line contributes money to surprise local youth with holiday gifts. This year, the total came to $50,000 as 120 children from four different non-profit agencies were given bicycles before being taken on a shopping spree at Target to pick out their own gifts.
They were brought to the East Stadium Club at Raymond James Stadium under the guise of a game night with dinner. But when it’s the holidays and the Bucs are involved, you can sort of bet there’s more to it than that. It didn’t take long before the kids were surprised when defensive line coach Brentson Buckner came out with the microphone to tell everyone he had some friends in tow. The defensive line then came out of a side door and went to take the kids on a tour of the stadium, leading them upstairs before surprising them again, this time with bicycles. The night wasn’t over yet when each child was loaded onto a bus and taken to Target to pick out gifts alongside the biggest elves this side of the North Pole.
To read more on the night, and a really ridiculous Christmas poem I decided to have a little fun with after a too much holiday music, click here.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries was on the Bucs Total Access radio show for the last episode of the year. As a four-year veteran on the team, Humphries covered a ton of bases. He started by talking about the difference he’s noticed between playing in college and now at the NFL level. Humphries played at Clemson or ‘Wide Receiver U’ and actually rattled off every Clemson alum that’s currently playing wide receiver in the league. Initially, he didn’t think he’d be one of them and kind of attributes Clemson’s discovery of him to current New York Jet Charone Peake, who Humphries played with in high school. Peake drew the scouts with his five-star status and lo and behold, Clemson ended up getting a look at Humphries out of the deal and the pair attended the university together. Humphries said going into camp, he had about a 95% chance of being redshirted his first year but actually ended up playing his freshman season. He’s come a long way since.
“Going against the best players in the world, you have to be on your ‘p’s and q’s’ at all times,” Humphries said now that he’s at football’s highest level. “Just the little details that you don’t really have in the college game, there are so many options on certain routes against different coverages and being on the same page with the quarterback is so vital each and every possession. Communication is so much greater and more of a focal point in the NFL than it is in college. A lot of challenges making that transition from college to NFL.”
Humphries also took some time to talk about his quarterback and the improved ball security Jameis Winston has had the past few games. He said Winston really took those early-season turnovers to heart.
“Just taking what’s there and not really forcing anything downfield,” Humphries said about where Winston has improved over the past few weeks. “Obviously, that’s going to cause you to not throw any picks but he’s really taken those turnovers he had early in the season to heart and wanted to improve on that and he’s done a great job with that and just taking what’s there and not forcing anything. He’s done very well with it.”
Another thing Winston has done well? Scrambling to extend plays. Winston has had more rushing yards this season in nine games than any season prior. He’s also able to complete some crazy passes while on the run. In fact, he’s one of the top-rated quarterbacks outside the pocket with a QBR of 124.4 on such plays. Because of this, Humphries says the Bucs have put an emphasis on scramble drills
“A mobile quarterback, like I was talking about with Jameis, he’s athletic enough to get out of the pocket and run,” Humphries said. “For us, if a play is well-covered, it can always turn into an explosive if Jameis gets out of the pocket and scrambles. We can turn a play that we may have covered into a big play if we can just be on the same page with Jameis and work back to him and work scramble drills. That’s one thing that I know offensively we’ve tried to work on and get better at is scramble drill because Jameis is so good at it.”
More random Humphries facts:
-As a slot receiver, he’s often asked to make catches in traffic, subjecting him to some pretty brutal hits over the course of the season. When he knows they’re coming, he said he’s reminded of what his college coach used to tell him: “It hurts a lot worse when you drop it.”
How’s that for a coaching point?
-He’s still renting his bed… four years later. Initially, he rented a bed because he was a tryout player with the Bucs and had no idea how long he’d be with the team. Despite his place being solidified now, he never got around to actually buying a bed. He did say that he’s finally going to get a Sleep Number bed because of a deal the NFL has where he would actually get a free one. Too bad he could have probably bought multiple Sleep Number beds with the amount he’s rented his own for.
-Humphries lives with quarterback Ryan Griffin and tight end Cam Brate, who apparently doesn’t take the trash out. He’s too busy playing Fortnite with wide receiver Mike Evans and the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill to take the trash out of the bin and place outside their apartment door where the trash valet picks it up. True story.