It's almost too easy to assume that Adam Humphries is the top candidate to occupy that role. The reputation that's been built over these last two seasons certainly adds to the idea that he'll be a go-to guy on money downs.
In 716 snaps over 27 games [five starts], Humphries has caught 56 passes for 410 yards and a touchdown. With 41 receptions last season, he averaged 6.8 yards per catch.
Humphries hopes to add another dimension this year.
"I've been more of a third-down kind of possession receiver. I just want coach to have faith in me to run a 9-route, run a fly-route and [me] be able to finish and be consistent with it," Humphries said.
Whatever role that the offensive brain trust of Dabo Swinney, Chad Morris and Jeff Scott has in mind, Humphries will embrace it.
"I feel coach is going to use me to whatever he needs," Humphries said. "Hopefully, I can have a big step up from last year. It's my goal to improve every year. So, hopefully, that will work out for me."
Things have worked out fairly well so far. At this time two years ago, Humphries was in the midst of surprising everyone, having the best preseason camp by a freshman wide receiver not named Sammy Watkins.
"I was thinking about that before a meeting. I'm like, wow. Time has really flow by," Humphries said. "It feels good being a three-year veteran in the offense. I've enjoyed my two years here so far and I hope to have a lot more."
As a veteran, younger receives like Mike Williams and T.J. Green are looking to Humphries for guidance.
"I got a lot of taps on the shoulder in meetings from the young guys saying, ‘What do we have here? What do we have here?' Just trying to catch up and understand," Humphries said. "That's my job as a veteran player, to get them up to speed. I was happy to do that."
There will probably be a few times this year when Boyd tells reporter how happy he is to have Humphries as a target on third-down. The problem is: third-down Humphries isn't quite as catchy as third-down Brown.
The new comfort blanket?
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