Derrick Brooks: “That’s Not Good At All”

January 11th, 2016
Mike Evans gets scrutinized

Mike Evans gets scrutinized

Hall of Famer and Bucs icon Derrick Brooks is always a must-listen on his Tampa-2 show on WDAE-AM 620 with Steve Duemig.

Why would you not listen to Brooks?

And that brings Joe to Brooks’ comments last week about NFL receivers. Brooks discussed the NFL’s further transformation into a pass-happy league, and he delved into the statistic of targeting versus receptions.

“Then you look at the targets per catches. I think that’s the big thing now. If you’re getting targeted, you know, 10 times per game, and you’re catching five. That’s not pretty good. That’s not good at all,” Brooks said.

That got Joe’s attention. Brooks is saying a receiver catching 50 percent of balls coming his way is subpar. Mike Evans caught 74 of 147 targets this season (50.3 percent). Vincent Jackson hauled in 33-of-64 (51.7 percent). Donteea Dye was a miserable 11-for-30 (36.7 percent). Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught 21 of 40 targets (52.5 percent). Hooray for Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate, who both were over 65 percent.

Brooks went on to say he still hasn’t figured out how all the data should be dissected.

“What throws it off is I’m still learning how to look at that stat. I want the consistency of catching the ball,” Brooks said.

Regarding Evans, Brooks said it’s hard to judge the big picture of Evans dropping too many easy balls and then coming back and then catching a difficult deep passes during a 1,200-yard season.

Brooks went on to talk about how Keyshawn Johnson caught 106 balls for the Bucs but was criticized widely for only having one touchdown during that 2001 season. Brooks said Johnson’s numerous tough third-down catches makes it very tough to deliver valid criticism.

32 Responses to “Derrick Brooks: “That’s Not Good At All””

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    I think that’s a bit too simplistic of a stat. It should be adjusted to account for balls that were catchable and ones that weren’t. How many balls get sailed over receivers’ heads that they have no prayer of catching. Similarly, if you’re going to get that granular, adjustments should be made for interceptions that happen because a receiver tips the ball up instead of catching it. There are a lot of ways that these statisticians should be able to give us more useful data since their full time job is based on breaking down game film in to numbers.

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I rememeber growing always hearing that if you’re in the NFL and you can get your hands on the ball you’re SUPPOSED to catch it.

    These stats are hard to decipher…I gotta go all Koetter here and say let’s watch some tape and our eyes do not lie.

    Evans and to a lesser degree ASJ have the same problem..and it’s mental.
    The both have made some GREAT catches…their technique looks fine…it’s not like they have hands of stone. IE It’s just not physical.

    Somebody has to get inside ME and ASJ’s heads to work this out. Time for a really good Sports Psychologist. Not sure they’re not already signing up for that.

  3. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    Patrick in VA Says:
    January 11th, 2016 at 11:07 am
    I think that’s a bit too simplistic of a stat. It should be adjusted to account for balls that were catchable and ones that weren’t.
    exactly. Doesn’t take into account over/underthrows. This stat shouldn’t be considered at all until you can determine how many of those were catchable.

  4. CalBucsFan Says:

    That stat has as much relevance as the QB’s pass completion percentage, no more, no less. So what’s your point Joe, to quote DB?

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What was Sims %….that will tell you how meaningless this stat is.

  6. Nano Says:

    He’ll get better with a real coach

  7. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^C’mon Man!

    The stat is dumb, the problem is real. CATCH THE DARN BALL!!!

  8. NewTampaChris Says:

    I agree with the conclusion. Starting in his second year, Michael Clayton couldn’t catch anything. Evans is not like that. He does make catches, and some tough ones, as well. I don’t have a tape of all of his drops but he dropped some easy ones, while making harder catches in the same game.

    And when VJax went down, Evans was the only legitimate receiver we had. So the “eye test” tells me two things: Evans is valuable and Brate is a more consistent receiver than ASJ.

  9. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Take that catch ratio and add in the number of drops/passes defensed, and you have the answer of how many balls were simply off target. Gotta admit how much i love winston, but he threw a ton of balls toward evans that were uncatchable. Also it doesnt take into account balls simply thrown away towards a wr. A lot of passes were intentionally thrown out of bounds but towards a reciever. Or when the qb is getting hit or pressured as he throws and is an inaccurate ball. It’s not a tell all stat (like just about all stats) but any way you interpret it, 50% is not good, no matter who’s fault it is. The offense needs to work on making that a higher rate.

    Another reason im not drooling over the thought of koetter being our HC. I wouldnt hate it, but it wont make me excited by any means.

  10. Supersam Says:

    Could be one big reason why Winstons accuracy percentage was down. Catch the damn ball!

  11. USMC Buc Says:

    If none of your recieveers have a completion percentage over 50 percent, how do you expect the QB’s to ever get over 50 percent?

    You can’t. My point is the stats are just another way to report on the well known QB completion percentage with the added depth of receiver by receiver.

  12. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    One other thing this stat fails to take into consideration.

    Separation! It’s one thing to hit wide open receivers and for them to catch it…NFL DB’s are incredibly talented however and they have some serious input into that stat.

    Joey Galloway’s whose game was predicated on speed and getting behind defenses was frequently wide open for his catches…I would expect his % to be higher than VJAX or ME who do not get great separation and whose games are predicated on size and muscle advantage not getting separation.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It works both ways…..accuracy affects target % and drops affect completion %….neither were good….

  14. Baz Says:

    Agree with previous posters. Also, when you compare Evans with other good young high profile WRs in the game now, they all have a 50-55% catch rate, primarily from passes “intended” for them. Evans is a damn good receiver and will continue to blossom for our team

  15. Bradinator Says:

    Just count the “drops”. “Targeted” just means they threw it at that guy, but doesn’t track whether the pass was on target OR way off. “Targeted” helps me decide my fantasy roster, it doesn’t do much otherwise.

  16. BuccoDav Says:

    I know I’ll get slammed for this but…
    Has anyone else noticed how similar, with the exception of total yardage and scrambling, JW3 and MG8’s stats are for their first 16 starts?

  17. Destinjohnny Says:

    Why isn’t 55 president of the bucs????

  18. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I always thought Keyshawn was slow and maybe a bit of a jerk. Never questioned his effort. Played really really hard. Probably the most physical receiver in the league when he played. Not the best hands, but better than anybody we have now.

  19. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evans won’t win a foot race, that’s not saying he can’t get open. He was adapting to tighter coverage in his second year. I think the coverage book on Evans is to hang tight with him and then Murphy’s law kicks into gear. He gets rankled too easy. I think he only gets better in year 3.

  20. I Got What I Wanted Says:

    “StPeteBucsFan Says

    Separation! It’s one thing to hit wide open receivers and for them to catch it…NFL DB’s are incredibly talented however and they have some serious input into that stat.”

    I think somebody forgot to tell our DBs that they can contribute. They must be following a different formula because all I ever see is a 9 yard cushion for the opposing WRs to stop their route, have a sip of gatorade, retighten their gloves and then safely wait on the ball to be delivered to them.

  21. tnew Says:

    Bucco Dave. Not slamming you at all but the route tree Jameis is attempting is way different than Glennon’s. I would’ve like to have seen Glennon in a real system with a real opportunity. There was 0 reason for Lovie not to see what he had in Glennon. We might could’ve been great with Glennon and what we had with personnel and adding wisely through the draft. We will never know. What I believe is that Jameis is far superior as a QB. I know he is far superior as a leader. And I believe that while very painful to get to this day, the Buccaneers will be better off than they would’ve been with a successful Glennon.

  22. DavidBigBucFan Says:

    So Joe do the work for us. Show the #of actual targets for Evans and take out all the ones he had no chance to catch then the ones where the db is the reason he didn’t catch it and that will give us the ones he should have caught. Just because a receiver can get both hands on a ball doesn’t mean he should catch it unless he’s Randy Moss or ODB. It’s obvious ME13 hit some kind of sophmore slump but the fact he still put up 1200 yards says something for his ability. Yeah he dropped some real easy passes and I believe what was said that it’s a mental thing because then he turns around and makes incredible catches. I think when he sees it’s going to be an easy catch he thinks about what he’s going to do next before he catches it so he drops his guard so to speak. He needs to have the mentality that every throw is contested so he concentrates on the here and now. When Jackson went down and he was the only real receiving threat and the defenses were rolling coverage towards him and he still got open as much as he did shows he can be a great receiver probably the best we’ve ever had. Like it was said I think his third year will be a monster season.

  23. Turbo Kevin Says:

    Targets vs. On Target Drops there’s your way to measure this more accurately. If receiver got two hands on the ball it was on target. Still room for gray area but much more realistic stat. Evans had several OTD it felt like this season

  24. destro44 Says:

    I think here inn Tampa we feel like 50% is a bad number because we just watched an NFL record 70% of passes get completed against us.

  25. Trubucfan22 Says:


    The biggest and most important stat to look at is the difference in third down conversions they had. Winston was good on third down, not great, but was able to keep the chains moving rather often. Glennon was terrible. You were lucky to see glennon have more than 2 or 3 decent drives a game. He crumbled under the pressure of third downs and mostly relied on a 3 yard pass play on third and 8. I’ll concede that glennon didn’t have much a run game to work with, which left him in longer 3rd down attempts. But Jameis was excellent on 3rd and long. So i dont like to use that as an excuse for glennon.

  26. Hawk Says:

    What makes a lot of stats useless, is the ignorance of the fans. I do NOT mean that in a derogatory way. I mean that WE do not know what play was called, or if the receiver ran the correct route. If ‘X’ receiver is supposed to run a ten yard ‘out’, on a timing pass, but only goes seven yards before making his cut, we will see the ball go high and behind the receiver. The QB turns and throws to a ‘spot’. This overthrow is the fault of the receiver, not the QB. Same thing if the receiver goes 13 yards and cuts. The ball will be low and too far in front. Most fans will complain about the inaccuracy of the QB, when the receiver is at fault. This affects the QBs stats, while not his fault. ‘Targeted’ stats cannot be dissected because the ball was not catch-able. Maybe it was the receivers fault that it wasn’t catch-able.

  27. Buccaneers Says:

    Yeah it can be a dumb stat but does work here. Evans, jax and Jenkins dropped a ton of balls this year. Evans deserves the most blame as he is supposed to be our top threat. And don’t give me all this 1000 yrd two season record blah blah blah bull.

    The guy was an absolute turd on most big 3rd down plays and on big yard endzone looks. The ball literally bounced right off of or right between his numbers at least 5 times this year. Our 6 wins were basically despite this pile of crap. Can’t win when your top received can’t catch.

  28. Kevin Says:

    I think right now Mike Evans just needs to mature a little bit. Hes letting bad calls and defenders get under his skin. Hes gotta be a grown man out there and go to work. Get the job done for you and your teammates. I believe an entire offseason with Winston being in touch with everyone is going to show drastic improvment across the board with almost all of the players. Just sign koetter and let the kwon call the defense while he plays next season

  29. godzilla13 Says:

    Guess who has the best hands on this team? Cameron Brate. Second best? Doug Martin then Charles Sims. Sims is money when it comes to catching the ball. He was targeted 71 times with 51 receptions (71%). Make him a slot receiver when Martin is in the game. Donteea Dye is hands of soap (36.6%).

    Vncent Jackson 62-33 (53.2%)
    Mike Evans 148-74 (50%)
    Adam Humphries 40-27 (67.5%)
    Cameron Brate 30-23 (76%)
    Austin Seferian-Jenkins 39-21 (53.8%)
    Donteea Dye 30-11 (36.6%)
    Doug Martin 44-33 (75%)
    Russell Shepard 9-3 (33.3%)
    Brandon Myers 17-12 (70.5%)
    Luke Stocker 13-9 (69.2%)

  30. White Tiger Says:

    Didn;t we hear the rookie QB a bit earlier in the season imply something about Evans not working hard enough in practice? It was a passing comment, but it was during the height Evans drop-fest. It was definitely the rookie calling out his receiver.

    That’s the only thing this can be, the guy doesn’t practice like he plays, we’ve all seen him take some plays off when the ball doesn’t coe his way…his attitude was NOT that of a professional, he needs to step up his game. Stop whining for a PI call EVERY play – no, don’t TELL me you’re not going to do it anymore – just stop doing it. Take ownership and work to fix it.

    I bet we jettison VJAX this year, unless he renegotiates his contract. Hopefully we get a legit downfield threat to take the top off of some of these defenses.

    But equally – I hope we get a RDE that is a capable burner off the edge.

  31. No better way to say it Says:

    I don’t care for catch rate. I care about real drops and the official number is generous for the Bucs. Evans had at least 15 drops if not more IMO with most all of them being critical. Dye had a couple huge drops as well.. Drops happen but drops in key situations can’t happen and those happened to often for the Bucs.

    Winston would have broke records this year with a more consistent effort from Evans.

  32. Rick in FM Says:

    Talk about stat happy!!! Not to dis Derrick Brooks, but give me a break. Brooks is correct, however, about what does catches per target mean and how do you use it?

    If you have a possession receiver like Wes Welker whose role is to make the short catches for a first down, the law of averages says more of those will be pitch and catch type throws. So, of course a possession receiver will have a higher percentage of targets to catches.

    A deep ball threat, like Joey Galloway or Mike Evans is going to have a lower percentage of targets/throws. It’s inevitable because even without a defense on the field it’s harder to hook up (or another way easier to screw up) on 50-yard throw than a 10 or five yarder.

    To me what’s important is making the play. On the Bucs for example, Cameron Brate is getting it done at tight end while Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is pulling down a big paycheck for not doing much. Think about it. Almost invariably when Brate is on the field and involved in a play something good happens for the Bucs. When ASJ is playing it’s a crap shoot: he might get a big penalty for being an ass; he might drop an easy catch; he might fumble the ball; or he might get hurt and have to take another six to eight week vacation in the rehab/training room.

    To a great extent this is what’s happening with the Bucs, a lack of playmakers or guys who get it done. Gerald McCoy has a big name and all the talent to go with it, but where is the sack at the critical moment that we could count on Sapp to make. Same deal with Lavonte David. Where’s the big pick at just the right time with a good chance of a pick-six like we used to get from Brooks.

    Same thing on offense. Doug Martin is great when healthy and there’s no doubt, but third and two at the opponent’s one-yard line is iffy. The A-Train, on the other hand, third and one, two or three at the opponents goal line was nearly automatic. We love to rag on Keyshawn Johnson, but who would you rather have on third and seven from your 35 Mike Evans, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins or Keyshawn.

    We need playmakers. We got us one at the quarterback spot. I think Jameis Winston is going to develop into one the league’s best Red Zone quarterbacks, for the simple reason that he wants to make the play be it run, pass or hell the guy will probably figure out how to drop kick a field goal – whatever it takes.

    Whoever the next coach is will need to find more guys that wanna and can make some plays if he’s to thrive.