Picking Up The Slack

March 11th, 2019

It’s a very safe assumption that the Bucs will part with nine touchdowns, 1,590 yards and 117 catches from their 2018 receiving corps.

That’s almost like the Steelers losing Antonio Brown.

Of course, Joe’s referring to the exit of Adam Humphries, which Joe reported 24 hours ago, and the imminent sterilization of the Tampa Bay locker room with the ousting of malcontent DeSean Jackson.

Perhaps it would comfort Bucs fans to know that Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both ranked in the top-10 of NFL receivers catching first down passes on 3rd-and-7-or-more situations last season. That’s damn impressive.

Among Bucs receivers, only Evans was among the top-20 in catching first-down balls on 3rd-and-3-or-less. And only Evans was in the top-20 in total first-down catches on third down.

Last season, the Bucs were the best in the NFC on third down, converting a stunning 46 percent. As Bucco Bruce Arians and Jason Licht purge offensive weapons in the name of saving money and the locker room, it’s important to remember that the Bucs spread the ball around quite a bit last year. Humphries and Jackson were quality pieces, but they were just pieces. They’re not Mike Evans and their production can be replaced, and be made less necessary in a more balanced offense.

And Joe can promise you that in the walls of One Buc Palace, one of Bucco Bruce Arians’ major goals is a more balanced offense.

Every single year teams find receivers off the street or out of nowhere to catch 50 balls and five touchdowns, and be reliable for mid-range or less salaries. This year, it’s the Bucs’ turn.

16 Responses to “Picking Up The Slack”

  1. Easy Says:

    Hunter Renfrow in the late rounds to replace Hump.

  2. Bird Says:

    Renfrow has to be after our first 4 picks though.
    To much defense in this draft to not get good players thru round 4.

    I’m ok with renfrow in 5th if still there. I’ve seen him from 4th to 7th round projection.

  3. German Buc Says:

    Did we had any 3rd-and-3-or-less last year? As I recall we never came close to a 1st with our run game and while passing, whether it fell incomplete or we got the fresh set of downs.

  4. Not there yet Says:

    Hump is replaceable and all it’ll take is a late round pick

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again…seriously what is wrong with Watson? Did he practice horribly? We know that Koetter kept Barber on the bench behind Doug way longer than necessary. We know that football coaches in general are not necessarily good at spotting talent on their own teams. See the start of Earnest Graham’s career.

    Watson had a pretty good career at Penn and his physical tools are VERY impressive. I thought he had gone to Penn State before I discovered he was a “Quaker” not a “Nittany Lion”…that could explain why he never even got invited to the Combine. And let’s face it he’s white and nobody expects a white dude to be fast…just ask Chris Collinsworth.

    At his “Pro Day’ Scouts clocked Watson’s 40-yard dash between 4.35 and the mid-4.4s, with the consensus around 4.41 and 4.42. He also completed 20 reps in the 225-pound bench press, which would have been good for fourth among receivers at the NFL Combine, and posted a 40-inch vertical jump.

    Does he have hands of stone or something? Didn’t really get to see him much last year because we had ME..Godwin..DJAX and Hump. It’s no sin for a rookie from PENN to have trouble breaking into that proven lineup.

  6. Joe Says:

    Again…seriously what is wrong with Watson?

    Don’t know if there is anything “wrong” with Watson but please in great detail explain what you saw from this guy on the field of play in the regular season that tells you he can replace Humphries right now, not maybe three or four years from now. Don’t you have to base your analysis off of hard facts and clear evidence and not wishful hopes and dreams?

    If Watson was this sure-fire NFL difference maker, wouldn’t Koetter and Monken have had him on the field more than just special teams?

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Watson is nothing but a question mark.

    No one has seen him produce in the NFL, and people who thing he is going to be great have very little to base that on.

    Being a question mark, it makes no sense to just assume he’s going to be great. He’s as big a question mark as Rojo at this point. That’s the painful truth.

  8. Buc4evr Says:

    I’d prefer to keep Hump, the guy is clutch on third downs. Maybe Amendola as a replacement.

  9. stpetebucsfan Says:


    No One can argue with your point about what have you seen.

    I agree with you there. I haven’t seen anything…almost literally!
    He was targeted just three times all year catching one pass for 5 yards. He was invisible.

    So we have to ask ourselves was that because Koetter doesn’t give rookies a chance unless they’re high draft picks…especially rookies from Penn not Penn State.

    Is it because Watson showed nothing in practice?

    Was it because Watson a rookie from tiny Penn was trying to break into one of the best lineups in the NFL at receiver…ME..Godwin…DJAX…Hump…I’m not sure I honestly blame that on anybody..it is what it is.

    I do not know why he didn’t produce more…but he certainly never got the chance…Same as Barber’s rookie year.

    But I can not argue with you that Watson is a huge unknown. OTOH we’re not asking him to be a star. Perhaps Barber can pick up some slack as a receiver out of the backfield.

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:


    He doesn’t need to be GREAT. Hump was productive and a competent NFL slot receiver…he was never GREAT.

    In Hump’s rookie season he caught 35% fewer passes than last year for about 31% fewer yards. Nobody can be OK…Good or Great without an opportunity.

    Watson only got three tossed to him…he caught one of those for 3 yards. Unlike Hump who had the opportunity to break in when the Bucs WR corps was ME13 and a bunch of nobodies…Watson a rookie from tiny Penn had to beat out ME as well as DJAX…Godwin and Hump.

    If Barber catches some out of the backfield we have enough good targets for JW….ME…Godwin…OJ and the RB…Watson would still be largely depth. And that’s assuming Brate is gone.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Watson has a lot more potential than Humphries as an outside WR. Not sure how he will function in the slot. But he’s a big bodied guy that can run.

    He didn’t get many regular season snaps to judge – but in preseason he looked like he belonged out there as a starting NFL WR. The TD catch in the back of the end zone was impressive body control / hand coordination for a rookie.

    Bobo Wilson is who I’d expect to take over on slot / screen plays that Hump used to run if anyone though. But mostly I think we’ll just see guys like Evans/Godwin used in the slot more, and more OJ Howard/Godwin in general.

  12. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Why continue to pose that question??? “What have we seen” like it didn’t take someone giving undrafted rookie free agent Adam Hump a shot. Simply put like Lord just said Justin’s up side is greater than hump’s.

  13. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Watson is a ? So is bobo but I’m sure they both could get to the 5tds 500yrds joe was referring to off the streets. I think one of them (bobo) maybe can bust out like hump did n if we take a 5th or 7th round receiver we should be fine. Besides I believe Evans and Godwin will be a two headed monster there for whoever’s our 3rd n 4th receiver will not be doubled up on. With that said though I hate to see Hump n kwon go but unfortunately it’s a business n we have no room to keep one at their asking price much less both but this is BAs team now so we shall see what he does #itsinbrucealmightyshandsnow

  14. pick6 Says:

    The TE position could see 30+ more catches at least. Godwin probably fills a fair bit of that void, lets say 20 just to be conservative. I feel confident that the bucs are looking for an RB to catch balls, and maybe you get another 2 catches per game out of that group, so 30+. the you have some less expensive speed merchant who we’ll say catches 20 balls. that’s 100 of your receptions replaced with little effort and without throwing more balls to Evans

    the other 50 or so catches? well, the bucs could stand to drop back to pass at least 3 to 5 fewer times per game which is another 48 – 80 catches off the board

    i think for Arians’ preferences humphries will best be replaced by a shifty pass catching back like a Duke Johnson, and not by another slot WR that gets a high target share of the short and intermediate passes

  15. ncbucsfan Says:

    @Joe: Watson was drafted SPECIFICALLY due to the likelihood that we would/could lose Hump or Djax. Why else would you DRAFT the guy to clearly be #5 at best on the depth chart. That also answers why he wasn’t on the field more!!!! Name another #5 receiver in the NFL that played substantially? I’ll wait……

    Watson has tools is what was mentioned. He can catch well and from his pro-day results he seems to be at least a better athlete than Humphries as well as a younger, bigger and cheaper target that may just need reps and the opportunity to develop a chemistry with Jameis.

    With that being said, I’d still try to draft Paris Campbell if possible.

  16. D1 Says:


    Watson was on the field, offense, 73 plays.
    Of the 73, he was targeted 3 times. 3 out of 73.
    Now why do you suppose that with 2 QB’S , neither of them threw his direction. Maybe the QB’S needed to be reminded of watsons’s combine numbers and high ceiling.
    I’m assuming that is the problem but…

    It was koetter more than likely telling his QB to forget about the wide open reciever and go for that triple covered Evans fellow. That’s the Evans that needed another 1000 yard season and I know koetter was more concerned about that than winning. Great stat to put in the resume.