Since being selected in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2015 Draft, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries has had to go through a series of adjustments.
First switching from the left side of the line, which he succeeded at while with the Florida Gators the last couple of years, to the right. Then also needing to bounce back from injury as he was sidelined early in Training Camp.
However, he is back on the field heading into the Cardinals first preseason game on Saturday. Much to the chagrin of head coach Bruce Arians who has gone on record that he has nicknamed Humphries “knee deep” in regards to having to kick him in the backside to motivate him, Humphries is making the strides necessary to see action as early as possible.
“I am starting to feel real comfortable at that right tackle,” he said. “It’s starting to feel smooth, it’s starting to match how my left side was so I am able to play fast again.”
Humphries makes note of some of the biggest adjustments in switching from the left side to the right at the tackle position.
“At first, everything feels kind of different,” Humphries explains. “It felt flip-flopped. But now in working through it, I can flip to my right side said as good as I could flipping to my left and it’s starting to feel really good.”
The Cardinals have developed a great veteran presence on the offensive line over the last couple seasons led by Jared Vehldeer at left tackle and the addition of Mike Iupoti at guard. Watching the work from guys like that to perfect their craft on the field and in the weight room has been big with Humpries in learning to make improvements and adjustments in his own game.
“Oh most definitely,” Humphries stated. “I am just trying to soak up things from everybody. From free agents to the starters like Jared, I’m just soaking up everything because they’ve been here. Everything right now is new to me. So I am soaking everything up from everybody.”
With the news coming down this week that right tackle Bobby Massie is to be suspended the first three games of the season, the microscope is focused in on Humpries to step in and make an immediate impact. It also presents an opportunity for him to grab a role with this team and run with it.
But Humprhies is choosing to focus more on the day-to-day work than the big picture at this point in his first NFL camp.
“I’m just trying to get better everyday,” he mentioned. “You can’t really worry about a depth chart or anything like that, you just have to worry about doing what you do perfectly, setting goals and try to achieve them everyday.”
Humphries will see his first NFL action as the Cardinals take on the Kansas City Chiefs for their first preseason game on Saturday from University of Phoenix Stadium.