Mike Evans May Take A Little Time

June 9th, 2014

Bill Polian weighs in

Yes, Joe knows we live in a microwave, fast food, text-messaging world. We want, need, crave instant gratification. Anyone remember when a fax machine was thought to be game-changing technology?

So, in part driven by the fantasy football crowd, fans want immediate results. They don’t care that a guy is in only his fourth year of organized football and may be a rookie. Bulls(p)it! Catch touchdowns. Now!

Much easier said than done.

So Super Bowl-winning general manager Bill Polian has one word for Bucs fans when it comes to rookie wide receiver Mike Evans, so he told Booger McFarland recently on WHFS-FM 98.7. The word is the bane of modern society:“patience.”

“I thought it was a great pick,” Polian said of Evans. “Maybe I have been around too long and see Lovie through Tony Dungy’s eyes. I think everything they did was great and Evans is a great pickup. He will struggle early because route-running is not a strong suit of his. He came to football late after being a great basketball player in the Houston area.

“And he was — my son Brian who is now at Nevada was on the staff at Texas A&M when he first began to play along with Johnny Manziel. And I remember seeing him as a skinny guy, a long, beanpole kind of a guy who could get up there and [catch] jump balls and had great hands and was pretty competitive. I go to the pro day this year and I saw him then, and boy oh boy, has he grown up. He is a big stud right now and he can still get those jump balls.

“He is highly competitive. He will block, which fits perfectly with Lovie’s style of football. And he is only going to get better running routes. He does not have the great feet and ability to drop his hips because he is a very long guy. But he can run by you, he will out-jump you and he will knock you flat on your back. So the rest of it is just polish.”

This is the second person in recent weeks who said Evans isn’t a great route-runner; former stud wide receiver James Lofton said the same thing. Like Polian, Lofton also stated that shouldn’t matter in the long run.

Just seeing Evans in one practice really opened Joe’s eyes. He was a monster among boys; a Godzilla. Then again, he was playing largely against camp meat, not veterans when Joe was watching.

Time will tell if Evans can live up to his reputation in his rookie year. If he does not, Joe hopes fans cut him some slack.

51 Responses to “Mike Evans May Take A Little Time”

  1. Luther Says:

    I like the Godzilla nickname over all the others that I have heard. I expect big things from him this year.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’ll be patient but WR and running back are positions where talent can make an immediate impact.

    He may not be a great route runner but imagine defensive coordinators when the Bucs hit the red zone with VJAX, Evans and ASJ going up for the jump balls in the end zone. And when the defense drops we just swing it out to Sims or run a draw with Martin.

  3. knucknbuc Says:

    Calvin Johnson 2.0. Mike Evans gonna kill it this year. Can’t teach throw the ball up and get it. That’s why Mike Evans will be a stud his rookie year.

  4. Tampabaybucsfan Says:

    Godzilla be good wit me

  5. Macabee Says:

    This guy is the least of my worries this year. Next!

  6. PRBucFan Says:

    Nope, “The Tower of Terror”

    Godzilla is kinda corny lol, no offense Joe.

    Used way too often IMO

    But you probably don’t care, just like I could careless what anyone thinks of my nickname for him 😀

  7. Dwight Says:

    Most 6’5 wideouts aren’t great route runners. It comes with the territory. Their weapon is their frame.

  8. unbelievable Says:

    @ Dwight, agreed.

    I don’t think anyone is expecting him to lead the league in touchdowns his rookie year, but there are certainly expectations for him to make an impact and play a big role in our offense. I think he will do just fine.

  9. Harry Says:

    I think he will get his opportunities in the end zone. Vjax will be the primary target for the D to stop, thus leaving Evans, Wright and ASJ open. You don’t have to be a great route runner in that scenario. But no matter how he does this year, I am thrilled the Bucs drafted him.

  10. PRBucFan Says:

    I agree maybe he won’t have the most yards out there but I feel like he’ll be up there in TD’s.

  11. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “So, in part driven by the fantasy football crowd, fans want immediate results.”

    I would go so far as to say people wants results before the results can even be known.

    poster: “I give Licht a grade of D so far”

    :rolls eyes:

  12. BucksOnDeck88 Says:

    Didnt the Bucs get sued over a fax machine?

  13. buccanstopit Says:

    OK, I’ll temper my expectations from 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns, to 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns, VJax is on the other side. Then throw in ASJ whoa…Greatest Dunk Show on Turf.

  14. robert8 Says:

    also the second person to say he has gotten bigger! and faster!

    makin me nervous. hope he’s just a late grower and not what I said before. we don’t need any suspensions, much less our top pick!

  15. Louis Friend Says:

    Some of you guys are going to be slamming this kid for not taking the league by storm. But for the rest of you who have brains – here’s some comparison numbers from the best receivers in the game and their rookie seasons:

    Calvin Johnson rookie season – 48, 700 yards, 4TD’s
    Larry Fitzgerald – 58, 780 yards, 8TD’s
    Dez Bryant – 45, 560 yards, etc…

    Even the great ones are pedestrian at best as rookies. Cut this kid some slack.

  16. Louis Friend Says:

    And by the way, one of the all time great rookie WR campaigns was had by Michael Clayton, “the best blocking wide receiver” in the NFL. Proving that even a fast start doesn’t mean anything.

  17. Andrew 1 Says:

    What’s a fax machine? Anyways, I think the numbers we can realistically expect from Evans in his ROOKIE year (barring injury, knock on wood) are- 60 catches, around 500 yards receiving, and 4-5 touchdowns. Anything more than would be a plus imo. After his rookie season though, I expect him to blow up.

  18. Jim Walker Says:

    I have never seen a player do a 180 turn like Clayton did. He went from superstar to pedestrian almost overnight.

  19. CocoaBchBuc Says:

    You nailed it Louis!

  20. kevin Says:

    The only reason I see Evans being limited this season in his stats would be a te heavy passing gameplan. Other than that and injury hes gonna make the falcons feel stupid for trading all those picks for julio. I like godzilla.

  21. PRBucFan Says:

    I will say around 700 yards and 10 ish TD’s.

  22. PRBucFan Says:

    And *gag* on the Godzilla mention. lol

  23. Andrew 1 Says:

    Damn 700/10 are pretty high. Idk we’ll see, its possibly I guess.

    People like to compare him to Calvin Johnson, but I think he compares more favorably to Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery’s rookie number weren’t that impressive- 24/367/3. Granted its was only through 10 games, but still it looked like the guy was trying to get acclimated. He sure as hell did though, because the following season he posted 89/1,421/7!!!! I just think people need to temper their expectations for Evans a little bit this season.

  24. Dwight Says:

    He’ll be better than some people thought and worst than some people wanted. There!

  25. Johnny Dejay Says:

    Those uniforms are still hideous.

  26. PRBucFan Says:

    I hear ya, I just think Tedford has big plans for him and excels at planing around players strengths.

    I was HUGE on Alshon coming out of USC, having watched a great many of his games in person living in Columbia at the time. I was disappointed with how little was said or expected of him as a rookie and coming into the draft.

    I just think Mike is not one that’s coming out of nowhere or rather with as low expectations as he had, they plan on using him early and often.

    But I hear ya for sure.

  27. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Dwight

    I Don’t think anyone was arguing just, but fair enough.

    @ Johnny Dejay

    Sadly, I agree. Hope its something we can get used to.

  28. Andrew 1 Says:

    Helmets look awesome though…

  29. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    OK somebody brought up unis. I’m with most of the crowd. I like the chrome helmets but the numbers…not so much.

    But the worst uni disaster is the freaking Lightning. If I wanted to root for that uni I’d move to Toronto. I’m a Lightning fan not a stinking Maple Leaf fan.

    The Lightning had the coolest unis in the league with the black in them. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And if it’s cool don’t suddenly go retro Toronto and ruin the entire look!!!!

  30. owlykat Says:

    A 6’5″ WR doesn’t have to be a great route runner to succeed. VJax will show him the ropes so VJax can also get open.

  31. barton1017 Says:

    Could someone please list all the 2014 drafted players that the Bucs have signed? Thanks and LETS GO BUCS!!!!! BUC IT IM OUT!

  32. Swaggy64 Says:

    One difference between Evans and a lot of rookie receivers is that he is almost a lock to win a starting job and get target opportunities from day one. This is, unfortunately, because after him and VJAX there’s not much proven quality depth. Louis Murphy, Owusu, and Lavell Hawkins just can’t match his skill set, even if they are a little faster.

  33. Eric Says:

    Julio Jones ripped it up as a rook.

    6th overall pick.

  34. buccanstopit Says:


    We don’t have a credible #2, so he will start from day one. Your post is good with numbers stated until you drill down a little bit.

    Calvin Johnson- in his rookie season had Jon Kitna as QB. Hurt his back and had a shortened season taking Vicodin to play.

    Larry Fitzgerald- had 3 starting QB’s that season. The great Shuan King, a young JOSH MCCOWN, and the unforgettable John Navarre.

    Dez Bryant- fractured his ankle and didn’t play a whole season.

  35. Eric Says:

    I don’t wanna hear about the blocking abilities.

    Still have nightmares about the icon.

  36. buccanstopit Says:

    Calvin Johnson played all games, just on Vicodin- Oct, Nov, Dec.

  37. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Evans can learn the routes, he can’t learn to get taller!

  38. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Evans made Johnny boy!

  39. buccanstopit Says:


    Maybe that’s why we drafted him and not JF. Sorry Joe, but I’m happy to have Evans, and not the Vegas partying, stttttruggggggling QB in Cleveland. Ironic that Broadway Joe supports him, maybe he wants a kiss on national television.

  40. Buc the Haters Says:

    @ PRBucFan

    I like Godzilla bro. I don’t think it’s corny. Jason Licht came up with that one the same weekend the movie came out… Anyway, I definitely think Evans will have a big year this year. He has the perfect skill set and physical attributes to overcome his weak route running skills… In a few years, when he is a polished receiver, he truly could end up being as dominant as Megatron. Bucs are BEASTIN.

  41. Jim Walker Says:

    I see him having a 500+ yard 8TD season.

  42. BOBBY C Says:

    Mike Williams 2.0, Kelvin Benjamin would have been a better pick, and could have gotten a qb to go with him, going to be a long year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Kevin Says:

    Mike Williams 2.0 Naaaaaaa. Don’t see that

  44. willie d Says:

    Eric Page will have as many highlights as Evans, pay the toll

  45. Luther Says:

    Kelvin Benjamin will be a bum….overweight and suspect hands. So glad we didn’t pick him.

  46. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’m voting for the “Godzilla” nickname.

    If Calvin Johnson can be Megatron (a video screen or an evil transformer), then Evans can be named after a very big monster. Big monster, big plays. A disaster for other teams.

    But he better earn the nickname.

    I’m not worried about route running. He’ll be running up the sideline most of the time.

  47. PRBucFan Says:

    Don’t care what y’all say.

    That nickname is cliché as hell, and it’s just not a football name period ahahaha, it’s about a damn giant lizard for heavens sake smh.


    It’s really not catching on anyways, so I’m not worried. Maybe with selective JBF fans lol.

  48. PRBucFan Says:

    It probably has to do with the fact that I don’t view Godzilla as bad ass as some do lol.

    For some reason that movie did really well in the box office too and I watched it cause of the hype it got. I came out disappointed, probably did so well because of the “name” itself. That and because “Walter White” is in it :D.

    Personally, when I think big lizard, knocking down buildings.. I just think corny.

    But hey it’s just me ahaha

  49. Bruce Says:

    But Johnny football wasn’t a throw it up for grabs kind of quartbac.

  50. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Call him what you want, but as long as Vince Jackson stays healthy, the combo of him and Evans alone, will prove to be too much for our opponents to cover.
    As long as Lovie does not handcuff Tedford, we could have one of the better offenses in the NFL.
    I think this is the year Tampa returns to the playoffs.

  51. St. Louis Bucs Fan Says:

    I thought a nickname had to be earned????