The Ghost Of Michael Clayton

August 23rd, 2015
Former Bucs DT Booger McFarland reminded Bucs fans of another receiver who had an outstanding rookie season, and then fell off the map.

Former Bucs DT Booger McFarland reminded fans of a Bucs receiver who had an outstanding rookie season and fell off the map.

Joe just loved the fact Mike Evans, with downright slop for a quarterback, developed into one of the top receivers in the NFL as a rookie.

Joe lays awake at night not only wondering what Evans still can be, but with “America’s Quarterback,” Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston, now throwing to him, just how lethal that combination could be.

So too does former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland. But while co-hosting the Bucs’ “Training Camp Tour” edition of the SiriusXM NFL Radio series with Zig Fracassi last week, Booger invoked a dreaded name that will make Bucs fans break out in the shivers when discussing Evans.

That would be blocking icon Michael Clayton.

“We have seen a big-time receiver come through here. And make plays. And disappear,” Booger said. “I don’t think Mike Evans will do that but he still needs to go out on the field and prove it.

“He just lost it. I think from a work ethic standpoint, he started to go downhill a little bit. The NFL game is a business. When the players take the game from being a business to that of a game, you lose the edge that you used to get you there.

“Michael Clayton wanted to be an NFL player all his life so he busted onto the scene. It was great. Now all of a sudden he got comfortable. ‘I’m here. I’ve arrived.’ And the edge that he took to get here, no longer existed. Because it was a game. This is a business. This a job. This is a J-O-B. And by the way, we don’t get weekends off. It is a job. It is a grind. As a player, you have to approach it that way.”

That’s pretty damned good insight there. Joe has heard former Bucs great Warren Sapp often say he got to One Buc Place (he played for the Bucs when they had a glorified trailer park for a facility so spare Joe the narrative the Bucs need an indoor facility to win) at 7 a.m. each day. Sapp treated the NFL like a job and Joe is sure that rubbed off on players like Booger.

Only time will tell if Evans can take the next step. It will be a challenge. Remember, other teams get paid and defensive coordinators have had all offseason to monitor tape of Evans and figure out a way to slow him down.

13 Responses to “The Ghost Of Michael Clayton”

  1. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    One thing that gives me more hope for ME and his work ethic is his off season behavior. He hooked up with arguably the great NFL receiver of all time to further sharpen his game.

    In addition to that evidence ME is now surrounded by people who get it. VJAX of course is still here and now add workoholic Fameis to the mix…even guys like Logan Makins and some of the other vets seemed to have come to camp this year with a new attitude and in great shape. ME will have plenty of leadership to help steer him down the proper course,

    And lastly there is the example of his former QB. Johnny Football came perilously close to tossing his entire career out the window before it even started. Hopefully ME learned from his old teammates experience.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Not gonna happen. If it does it’s because playing for this team is so depressing there is just no hope. It’s up to James to keep everyone motivated.

    Imagine if Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees went down for a season….you think everyone on that team would still be as hyped and driven to succeed. I think not.

    It’s up to Jameis…

  3. Louis Friend Says:

    Anything is possible, but Evans taking the path of Clayton just seems unlikely.

    ASJ makes me wonder more than anyone from that draft class. The guy has all the tools/size/strength but will he put it together and do it consistently? The other guy is Herron, who seems to be getting better about holding onto the ball, but he needs to keep it up during games.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Sure opposing defenses can “plan”. And if they double team Evans – then VJax or ASJ or Murphy/Bell will either be open or have mismatched single coverage. Advantage Bucs!!

    Teams can game plan all they want – but when your cornerbacks are 5-11″ and 6-1″ and you are trying to defend against THREE 6-5″ athletic receivers with Jameis Winston under center deciding which to throw to – Um Good Luck.

  5. Bucnut2 Says:

    Pickgrin, the vikings did pretty well against the dream team. I like your thinking but JW isn’t there yet. I hope he will be but right now what he has is POTENTIAL.

  6. Dreambig Says:

    Come on Bucnut2 that was just a preseason game. The first practice of the year where the Bucs got to hit someone else. That game had little reflection on real life. I don’t think we will know much until the first game.

  7. Danr Says:

    mike evans showed me ALOT in that one preseason game.

    He played soft. WEAK for the ball. was more interested in flopping for the penalty than playing to the whistle. 100% effort (heck 75 percent effort) for the ball would have have prevented the interception. Maybe not gotten the catch, but prevented the interception.

  8. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    And so according to some posters we should write the team off or some of it’s players because of ONE preseason game?

    This was against Minnesota which will be the major challenge to Green Bay in that division. Minnesota already has a game under their belt, a victory at that over Pittsburgh. Teddy Bridgewater has played lights out for the first TWO games this year.

    Some or our players played only a series or two. Forgive me if I wait until the first four games of the regular season are complete befoe I begin to make any real judgements on this team. Until then there is every reason to be optimistic.

  9. WINdycitybuc Says:

    “Big-Time” receiver is really a relavant term when discussing our past WRs. A big deal was made of Clayton during his rookie year because he was the most recent WR to eclipse 1K receiving yards since Mark Carrier. That’s the only reason Clayton was a “big deal”. He also did that while Tim Brown & Joey Galloway were here, so he had some high profile veteran assistance, as well.

  10. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I’m still trippin on just three years of organized football and you found yourself in the NF freaking L😮. Really,that means your special your gifted well beyond the average shmo. Duke hasn’t even really learned the game yet. Now that’s scary😱.

  11. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    And I’ma give him a pass about that not liking FSU thing cause he my boy. But truth be told in 2013 we would’ve given anybody from the sec the business.

  12. Lakeland Buc Says:

    I’m looking for a big season from Robert Herron, he has the total package. The size, the speed, he runs good routes. And he’s like 7-11, he always are open. But he has to catch the ball and this offseason he has impree me by catching the ball.

  13. Danati74 Says:

    ME is going to kill it this year. Talk comparing him to M. Clayton is just BS preseason talk. Jeez what a stupid article. I hope Herron sticks to the roster, cuz we are deep at receiver. Thats more of an article.