Bucs receiver Mike Evans holds himself to a high standard.
Bucs WR Mike Evans hauls in a 34-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/PR
After catching five passes on Friday for 115 yards and a 34-yard touchdown, a highlight reel-type grab, Evans acted somewhat casual about his performance post game, like it should be expected. He was more interested in talking about the Bucs’ no-huddle, up-tempo offense and crediting Jameis Winston’s ability to throw deep passes while adding that Tampa Bay needs to continue that strategy into the regular season.
For someone who caught 74 passes last season but just three touchdowns, Evans said his personal goal for 2016 is to find the end zone more often. Head coach Dirk Koetter likes that mentality.
“Mike wants to be great,” Koetter said Saturday. “The numbers are the numbers. I think two or three guys in the NFL have had 1,000 yards in their first two years. But Mike, he knows he left plenty on the table. He knows how talented he is.”
Koetter mentioned that some of Evans’ missed opportunities in 2015 were the fault of coaches for not drawing the up the right plays to maximize his ability. Jameis Winston last night defended his No. 1 receiver similarly. Only he put it on the quarterback.
“I missed a lot of opportunities with Mike last year, especially on deep-ball throws,” Winston said Friday. “I have to be more consistent with that. That’s why I’m saying I’m trying to get better every day.”
Koetter and Winston believe that if they put him in position and release the ball in his direction, then Evans will become the wide receiver he expects himself to be.
“It’s our job as coaches to figure out how to best use Mike, Vincent and everybody else,” Koetter said. “You have these special talents at different positions. And we have to get Jameis and Mike on the same page.”
Said Winston, “When I’m able to complete him the football, that’s what happens (five catches for 115 yards) … the two passes I threw him (Friday) gave him a chance. That’s what he does – he’s a deep threat guy.”
To maximize Evans’ talent as a deep-ball receiver, Koetter may revert back to the former first-round pick’s college days and try to incorporate some of Texas A&M’s style into the Bucs playbook.
“Shoot, Johnny Manziel went back there, scrambled around for 10 minutes and Mike caught it,” Koetter said. “That was their offense and they were great at it. We have to take advantage of that.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t see Winston running around like Manziel. Roll outs yes….running around …. NOT!!
Just target Evens more in the red zone.
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