Premature JocularityAugust 17th, 2014
Bucs fans got a glimpse of the future tonight, and almost immediately wanted a time machine to turn the clock back 30 seconds.
Bucs coach Lovie Smith always touts Mike Glennon as the quarterback of the future. And there he was, in a shotgun from the Miami-42 midway through the second quarter.
Running in the middle was big, tall rookie Duncaneer Mike Evans, the team’s first round draft pick. Glennon hits Evans who catches the ball, runs into Dolphins linebacker Philip Wheeler, bounces off Wheeler, runs to the left sideline and tried to outrun Dolphins corner Brent Grimes (the Bucs could have had him) to the end zone. It seemed he did.
But wait! Something was missing. That was the football. Grimes knocked the ball away just as Evans was about to cross the goal line.
Instead of a Bucs touchdown, it was a touchback. Miami got the ball at their own 20.
“I just used my frame, got in front of the ball, the guy whiffed on the tackle, and I showed by 4.8 speed,” said Evans, jokingly sharing his frustration at getting caught from behind.
“Embarrassing. You know, I want to still win even though it’s preseason. That touchdown could have helped us win. We lost by six, I think it was. But that’s a learning experience, though. I’m happy it’s preseason. Happy I could get that out of the way.
“[The defender] surprised me. I didn’t know it was that close, and he hit my arm and it went out of bounds. I kind of knew it was a fumble. That’s why I didn’t celebrate.”
Everything about the play explained why the Bucs think Glennon is the man and Evans is the start of the not-so-distant future. Everything but the fumble. And yes, as Evans suggested, that was the difference in the game.
“At least it is preseason,” Bucs starting quarterback Josh McCown said. “That’s the best time to learn. At least it wasn’t against Carolina or Atlanta.”
If there was a silver lining to Evans’ gaffe in Joe’s eyes, it was in a game that doesn’t count. Live and learn.