Is The Slot WR Specialist a Thing of The Past When So Many #1 WRs Play in the Slot; Did Titans Make a Mistake Paying Adam Humphries Just For That Role? – BlackSportsOnline
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NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 06: Adam Humphries #10 of the Tennessee Titans evades Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills after making a pass reception during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium on October 6, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Buffalo defeats Tennessee 14-7. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)


Is The Slot WR Specialist a Thing of The Past When So Many #1 WRs Play in the Slot; Did Titans Make a Mistake Paying Adam Humphries Just For That Role?

When the Tennessee Titans won their game of free agency tug-o-war, and kept Adam Humphries from settling down just outside of Boston, it truly felt like the team made an active move to address their lack of overall skill at the wide receiver addition.

Along with the addition of AJ Brown, the WR room looked stacked with talent, and the necessary prowess to make this offense churn. But so far, only 1 of the 3 pieces of the WR puzzle have truly given others the reason to hold confidence going forward. Brown’s stellar 2019 rookie season has him now set to rise as a WR1 in this offense, and should be the the main focal point of this offense come this fall, well outside of Derrick Henry.

However, Humphries didn’t get the best of chances to truly make a name for himself in his new home of Nashville last season.

As a slot receiver in a run first offense, Humphries didn’t nearly get the same amount of opportunities he received in Tampa Bay. There’s a contrast between the amount of need for a slot receiver in a pass happy offense like Tampa Bay’s, and a run first offense like Tennessee’s, nevertheless, the lack of opportunities gets me thinking a bit.

What’s the plan for Humphries moving forward?

I only ask that simply because of the quality Humphries brings to the table, and the amount of money the Titans forked over to bring the ex-Buccaneer to Music City. I think that question generally depends on one outlying factor though, and that factor falls squarely on the shoulders of OC Arthur Smith.

Smith has discussed his desire to expand upon the passing offense this fall, and to find a little more balance in the passing game, not just rely on Derrick Henry’s success to open up play action, which the Titans love to use. These days, play action can 100% be used without the overwhelming success of the run game, but I’m assuming you get the idea.

Once you start to dissect the idea of expanding upon the passing game with this Titans offense however, you’re left with a pretty difficult job in terms of spreading the football around. AJ Brown obviously needs his targets in the passing game, as well as Corey Davis, and you can’t forget about Jonnu Smith either.

So where does that truly leave Humphries in this offense?

Are you still relying on the occasional target on a manageable 3rd down? Or are you truly setting yourself up to have Humphries more involved in your offense, in his 2nd year as a Titan? It’s a legitimate question to ask, considering Arthur Smith’s other previous comments, in which he described his plan to take some of the load off of Derrick Henry.

Bringing Darrynton Evans on as a change of pace back, truly gives this offense some more playmaking ammo, and certainly adds an element of explosiveness in the passing game as well. Why does that all matter to Humphries?

Well, if we’re thinking about Evans’s addition in a normal way, you’re imagining Evans primarily being brought in on passing downs. More passing downs for Humphries, means more PT, which he didn’t get a lot of last season, even when he wasn’t missing games due to an ankle injury.

I obviously can’t sit here and begin to accurately say what Arthur Smith’s plans are for Adam Humphries, but I’d generally tend to believe that he needs to have one. The Titans were hit with a horribly timed wake up call in the AFC title game, when their offense lacked creativity, and didn’t have a consistent way to have success throwing the ball down the field without play action.

I’m not saying this team needs to change their identity, not at all. I’am saying that this team needs to up the potency of their passing attack, and incorporating Humphries a lot more, could truly make a big difference in the Titans’s road to taking down the AFC’s elite.