Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Getty Images
If Sunday’s dropped passes are eating at Mike Evans, the second-year wideout didn’t let it show Wednesday afternoon.
“If I don’t get the outcome I want I’m just going to keep working,” Evans said from in front of his locker today. “So I’ve just got to keep working. I’ve done some good things. My bad days are 150 [yards], so that’s alright. If I can improve on that then it would be great.”
The 6-foot-5, 231-pound receiver turned another erratic performance during Tampa Bay’s 32-18 loss to the New York Giants that oscillated from impressive to frustrating from drive to drive. While Evans set a career-high in targets (19), tied his best mark in receptions (8) and topped 100 yards for the sixth time in 22 professional games, the six dropped balls he was charged with are reportedly the most by any player in a game in the last 10 years.
“It’s very hard, having a historically bad day when it should’ve been a historically great day,” Evans said. “But I can’t just keep whining about it, I’ve got to just go play. I’ve got to put it in the back of my mind and go play.”
Eight catches on 19 targets comes out to a low 42.1 percent catch rate. Especially with the continued absence of pass catchers Vincent Jackson, Louis Murphy and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the offense relies on Evans to be its primary downfield weapon.
A greater issue, however, is that Sunday’s 42.1 percent catch rate isn’t too far off Evans’ season-long average of 44.4. Evans is tied for 28th with 538 yards and his catch rate is the lowest of the NFL’s top 50 receivers this year. He’s one of only three securing less than 50 percent of his targets. Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson (48.8) and Indianapolis’ T.Y. Hilton (48.9) are the others.
When asked about remedying the drops, Evans said it’s all about in-the-moment concentration. “When it wasn’t raining I took my eyes off a couple of them. That one third down in the second quarter, I took my eyes off of it. And then the pitch at the end, I tried to pitch it and took my eyes off that one, too. So I’ve just got to focus in on catching it before I make a move.”
Despite the low completion percentage, quarterback Jameis Winston has no plans to start checking off of Evans when dropping back to pass.
“I know he’s going to bounce back,” Winston said Wednesday. “That’s Mike. He’s a competitor and it’s rare that that may happen but I know he’s going to bounce back. He’s already put that behind him and we’re going to try to have another productive game this week.”
“My bad days are 150 yards so that’s alright” No! It’s not alright! 150 yards is good on paper but it took a record number of targets to hit that number. With 19 targets, he should be breaking into the 200+ yards category. Hopefully he gets it together and we see VJax and ASJ back on the field soon. Go Bucs!
Clayton never lacked confidence, either. We have enough hi draft picks disappointing on the field that it almost has to be the coaching, or the water. Water here tastes fine to me…
I’m not interested in confidence…just win baby! Al had it right….
All of our first round receivers have a second year slump, it’s part of the the curse. Hopefully Clayton, I mean Evans will come out on top, but he’s fighting demons. What I’ve noticed about Mike this year is he’s letting to many balls get to his body. He stopped snatching the ball out of the air with his hands at it’s high point. Now you see him wait on a ball that goes to his body. That’s a lack of concentration, and confidence. Or as legend says, his hands are turning to stone, part of the curse.
Surferdudes-Except for Mark Carrier
Thank you Surfer, I’ve been saying that since week 2. He has let entirely too many balls get inside to his numbers. Other times I see him trying to run before he gets it. This kids got more talent in one leg than Michael Clayton. Clayton never put up the numbers Evans is after his first season. Evans just needs to concentrate more and catch that ball out in front of him.
It’s the curse of the Scubog player jersey. I also have McCoy and David. Coincidence?
Good article EH, I wasn’t aware Evans had such a low efficiency catching the ball. Up until now my biggest concern with him and ASJ is that neither seemed to be able to stay on the field long since we drafted them. They’re both at the halfway mark of their 3 year evaluation so there’s still time to improve, but they better both stay healthy and productive next season.
I didn’t like Evans “that’s alright” comment either. Alright if you want to be good and not great. Alright if you only care about having a good amount of yards and not wins. Big time players play big in big games. That game was likely our chance to turn season around and was well within our grasp. Having highest amount of drops in that game is not alright. Breaking an all time record for drops by a receiver in a game. All I can say is wow! Hope he can fix his concentration, confidence, or whatever it is. Saying you are confident doesn’t mean you are.
Mike Evans will win some games this year.And I hope Tampa will draft another Evans next year Go Bucs
I’ve also noticed this year that EVERY TIME he misses a catch, he immediately looks to the ref for a flag. It’s pretty annoying, to me that shows he’s not doing any self-reflection and would rather blame others. That’s not the way to improve
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