We'll start today's recap by getting right down to business with the breaking news out of Bucs camp today.
Koetter Names No. 3 WR
After practice, head coach Dirk Koetter told the media that Adam Humphries was the team's No. 3 wide receiver, a statement he was clearing up from a few days earlier when he said spots 3-8 on the depth chart after Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson were wide open.
Now, this may have been news to those who haven't been able to see the practices for themselves, but for those who have -- media and fans alike -- this news didn't come as a surprise. Humphries has been running with the first team in the slot for most of the weekend, and has also received most of the reps as the team's primary kick returner. It's obvious the coaching staff like him a lot.
So what does this actually mean? It's not uncommon to see teams use three wide receiver sets more than two in today's NFL. Sometimes we see teams use a tight end as that third receiver, but more often than not, that third receiver is a slot player like a Wes Welker, Julian Edelman or Jarvis Landry who thrive on the ability to create space using quick, precise routes more than say a long catch radius or straight line speed. If you know anything about Humphries, this is his skill set.
Humphries being locked in as that third receiver doesn't change much of what we already presumed the status quo would be come week one. When the team wants a three-receiver formation, Humphries will be that slot guy. Despite being called the "No. 3 receiver" he's rarely (if ever) going to take the place of Evans or Jackson as a receiver on the sideline; his position as a receiver is much different. There two (some could argue three) different receiver depth charts being formed right now. Here's my take on how those look after the first week of camp.
Back up to Evans and Jackson as the outside WRs
- Kenny Bell
- Russell Shephard
- Jonathan Krause
- Evan Spencer
- Andre Davis
Backup to Adam Humphries as the slot receiver
- Donteea Dye
- Bernard Reedy
- Freddie Martino
I think Kenny Bell is going to be the next man up on the outside, but admittedly it's day-to-day with performances after him. The same could be said for the slot players after Dye. It's all pretty fickle after those first backups.
This Defense Is Shaping Up
After Saturday's first open practice I noted how much more polished the defense looked. We also heard about defensive coordinator Mike Smith already getting creative with lineups and execution. Well, today certainly continued that trend and even took it to the next level with some good production.
Great play by Brent Grimes to force an interception. He's been the best defensive player this weekend. pic.twitter.com/SD18EDQZtS— Trevor Sikkema (@TrevorSikkema) August 1, 2016
This was the play of the day to me. I know people had some questions about the Bucs bringing in an aging corner like Grimes, but early on, he's been the standout player in the secondary. The play above is on a smaller receiver, Donteea Dye, but I love the mentality. I don't foresee Grimes being that player to shadow Julio Jones or Kelvin Benjamin all day, but plays like this should make Bucs fans happy they brought him in.
The linebackers are also starting to click at a consistent level. Daryl Smith, Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are solidified as the three main backers, though I did see quite of a bit of two linebacker formations with just Alexander and David in there. However, in that second and third rotation of linebackers, a new name to keep in mind as camp goes forward is Luke Rhodes.
Under the radar guy who has flashed today: rookie linebacker Luke Rhodes. Shot a gap for a TFL earlier and is doing well in coverage drills.— Trevor Sikkema (@TrevorSikkema) August 1, 2016
Cassanova McKinzy was sidelined this afternoon but appeared to be OK. With the team off tomorrow, I expect him to be back Wednesday.
From the Stands
Today's fun from the stands came from a fan favorite: Doug Martin.
This was the first time Martin had come over for autographs this weekend, and as the crowd yelled for him to come their way, he had the biggest smile on his face. So he decided to hopped the fence and take a seat with everyone as he signed their things. He was able to talk to some of the fans at a more personal level, which included this:
While signing autographs in the stands, a fan told Martin, "Been a fan since '76, but if they let you go, I'd go" pic.twitter.com/Fxq5sJhAN2— Trevor Sikkema (@TrevorSikkema) August 1, 2016
I didn't catch the very beginning of what he said on the video, but he told Martin that he's been a Bucs fan since the team was formed in 1976. He then said if Tampa had let Martin walk this offseason, he would've gone as a fan, too.
Martin laughed and thanked the man for his support. He even got to shake his hand as you see above.
Martin's a good dude. He's a great guy to root for.
Still no Louis Murphy or J.R. Sweezy today, and lineman Caleb Benenoch was on the sideline in a boot and crutches after turning his ankle yesterday. We might not see him for a few weeks.