Biggest Impact: Mike EvansJune 29th, 2014
It seemed Lovie Smith was determined to overhaul the Bucs passing game when he took over, signing quarterback Josh McCown and jettisoning mattress-in-the-yard, blade-in-the-thigh wide receiver Mike Williams. It wasn’t too obvious the Bucs needed fresh blood in the NFL’s worst offense; that’s for sure.
Then Tampa Bay selected Mike Evans seventh overall and Bucs general manager Jason Licht quickly dubbed the receiving corps the “Dunkaneers,” before comparing Evans to Godzilla in rookie camp. Joe doffed his cap to Licht’s pop culture awareness, as that same week the movie “Godzilla” debuted in theaters.
In a discussion about NFC South topics, Vaughn McClure of ESPN believes Evans will have the biggest impact of all rookies in the division.
Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans should get plenty of chances to show he was worthy of a top-10 selection. His size (6-5, 230 pounds) is enough to give opponents fits. Having a proven big receiver such as Vincent Jackson on the other side should help Evans make a smooth transition. Josh McCown is a smart quarterback who won’t put Evans in bad situations. And Lovie Smith is the right head coach in terms of helping a rookie adjust to new surroundings. Evans has to overcome some of the knocks on him, including that he’s too stiff and doesn’t have great speed. It still will be hard to match up against him one-on-one, though, because the former basketball player will win the jump balls. And he has already impressed coaches with his range.
Pardon Joe if he thinks this jumpball talk is a little lazy. So the Bucs (McCown?) are just going to heave the ball up in the air on every throw as if every pass is a Hail Mary? Of course Evans should be able to win most jump balls, but not every pass is going to be tossed in the air like an alley-oop pass.
It’s almost like some believe Evans isn’t going to run routes, that he is just going to play backyard football on every passing play. The NFL isn’t that simple, folks.