Like he’s always done, right tackle D.J. Humphries is making people laugh.
To that point, the Arizona Cardinals’ 24th pick in the 2015 draft gave Arizona Sports 98.7 FM hosts Vince Marotta and Bertrand Berry an on-point impersonation of Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell on Wednesday.
Humphries refuses to stray from who he is at the core, but as he enters a second NFL season with essentially a redshirt under his belt, the offensive lineman believes he’s matured.
“I’m a playful guy. I’m a happy person — that’s me,” Humphries said on the Bickley and Marotta show Wednesday. “It’s not my personality to be stern, tight-faced all the time. But I have to respect your seriousness. I have to respect the fact that you have to do that and learn that, OK, I need to stay in my bubble. Let (a teammate) do his thing, not play so much around these guys.”
The second-year pro took coach Bruce Arians’ Knee Deep nickname to heart, it seems, and feels ready to assume a starting role.
Arizona will be able to judge Humphries’ progress on Friday when it opens the preseason against the Oakland Raiders.
But Humphries’ hope for the season is that the attention won’t be on him.
“My expectation is for you guys to never have to say my name,” he told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “You guys don’t talk about offensive linemen unless they’re doing something wrong. Long as y’all not talking about me, I’m good.”
The public criticism from Arians last season eventually turned into praise.
Humphries is no longer his coach’s biggest target, but the tough-love coaching wasn’t the only catalyst for the offensive lineman to grow. The birth of his son has helped him mature.
“I had to kind of sit back and look at it like, I’m not so much as just playing for D.J.,” Humphries said. “It’s going to come to a point when my son can get on a computer and type in my name. And what’s going to come up? Is it going to be ‘D.J. first-round bust?’ Or is it going to be ‘D.J. 10-time, dah, dah, dah?'”
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