Drops Will Be Taken “Personally”

January 28th, 2016
mike evans 1115

New Bucs wide receivers coach/offensive coordinator Todd Monken talks about improving Mike Evans.

Mike Evans dropped a stunning number of passes last season.

His excuses ranged from wet balls, wrong gloves, a distaste for domes, and more.

The drops went well into double digits. In simple terms, he dropped at least three years worth of balls for a No. 1 receiver.

It cost the Bucs games, and likely cost Lovie Smith his job. It’s a serious issue. As many drops as Evans had, it was no coincidence.

Today, the Bucs’ new wide receivers coach Todd Monken spoke to Joe and assembled local media at One Buc Palace. The former Jaguars receivers coach under Dirk Koetter and the 2015 Southern Miss head coach was asked about his approach to curing Evans’ drops.

Monken had plenty of strong opinions.

“Repetition, that’s all it is — is repetition,” Monken said. “And putting yourself in those positions that you look at, you know, it’s the routine. That’s all you do. And he’s a talented young man that I think is ascending and has everything in front of him as a player.

“And I take that personally. And I hope he does. ‘Where do you want to be? Where do you want to be in a week, two weeks, in a year, five years? What do you want out of this small opportunity that you have that the good lord has blessed you. And so I just want to be a big part of it. But it’s all about routine. He has good ball skills. It’s not a matter of that. I don’t think anybody [says] he doesn’t have good ball skills and the ability to compete for the ball. He wants to do it. He’s talented. I’ve talked to a lot of people about him that coached him in college and here. So I’m excited to get started.

“I take that personally. My job is to make sure he doesn’t drop the ball. That’s it.”

Joe likes the personal approach of Monken. Will it work? Can he get in Evans’ head the way Josh Norman did? Joe hopes so.

36 Responses to “Drops Will Be Taken “Personally””

  1. Patrick in VA Says:

    Hopefully Monken sends Evans in to Mike Smith’s room before the games so he can get a tutorial on how the game will be officiated and he’ll have a better idea of what a legitimate PI call is. You not catching the ball doesn’t mean that interference happened.

  2. Piratic Says:

    That headline didn’t end up going where I thought it was going.
    Joe, your journalism degree is showing again.

  3. Pick6 Says:

    it’s a great mentality as a position coach with his players to think in terms of “i fail\succeed when you fail\succeed” instead of “if you succeed i did my job, if you fail, you didn’t do yours”. i have no insight whatsoever into who coaches in which style, but Monken sure seems like the former. he’s talking like it’s his hands on the ends of mike evans’ wrists

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I absolutely love that approach to coaching……”taking it personally”……if that doesn’t motivate a player to improve, nothing will.

    Lovie’s attitude was sort of….”Oh, he’s a great player….he’ll come around”…..same as “we’re a great team….we’ll come around”

  5. Buc Neckid Says:

    What should be take personally is the missed opportunity to be in the Pro Bowl with his QB.
    If he had half the drops his numbers would have put him in that category.
    Or maybe he just does not like the long plane flight to Hawaii

  6. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I hope it works, but it’s really all on Evans. He has to mature and stop blaming others and accept responsibility for the drops, then put the work in to fix it. Repetition is the key. Practice over and over and over. And over.

  7. Buccaneers Says:

    Well TBBF- I don’t think us fans can truly say what a coaches attitude was towards a player in the locker room but it did seem there was a lack of accountability regarding players making mistakes, highlighted in this articles wit Evans excuses.

    I have no idea how pro coaches communicate with p!Ayers but if Monken talks to his guys with the words he used here it sure seems like the will be held accountable. I hope his stlye works and can eliminate the multitude of errors our players have been commiting.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    For 87

    Evans….singing to Monken:

    But I’ve got something to give you
    That the mailman cannot deliver

    I can’t mail it in
    I can’t phone it in
    I can’t send it in
    Even by your closest friend

    I’m bringing it to you
    Personally, personally, personally, yeah
    I’m bringing it to you
    Personally, personally, personally, yeah

  9. M.Stevbobucfan Says:

    I like that phase also ” i take that personally ” if we had more bucs take their position and screw ups personally I think we may have been playing in the playoffs seems like Jamis is one that has that mentally

  10. TimmyLexus Says:

    Todd Monken is the Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers coach?

  11. Bucco Brice Says:

    It’s all mental improvement with Evans…the crying to officials and worrying about that aspect certainly had an impact on the drops…play hard, fight for the ball and ignore the officials…sky is the limit for him..

  12. Buccaneers Says:

    Dropped balls are a huge issue. Evans will take most of the blame, rightfully so, because he is our top weapon. At to times our receiving core looked like amateurs. We all want to see this team become serious contenders but you are not going to win big games if we drop away big plays like we did. Especially considering our offense is our strength. If the drops don’t get fixed we won’t contend, simple as that.

    This team is setup to have our WRs win us games. We have no chance if they continue to lose us game.

    Also get us a new kicker….. That way if we drop more TDs at least we can put 3 points on the board.

  13. mac Says:

    The problem we have currently is zero depth at the WR position… L. Murphy is old and injury prone, V. Jax is old and was injured most of last year and our back ups range from average to down right awful (Donte Dye)… It would be nice to have other options besides Evans to throw to. If he keeps dropping passes you could bench his ass… But that is currently impossible with this weak ass roster…

  14. DallasBuc Says:

    If he can slap the Clayton out of Evans it would be a welcomed miracle. However, with incompetent Lovie Smith sulking back in the basement after only two years of disreputable service it is fair say this is the season of miracles!
    Go Bucs.

  15. Jerry Tidwell Says:

    It seems to me he makes the tough catches and his drops are the easier ones. Perhaps with the easier ones he takes his eyes off the ball.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike Evans had a bizarre season it looks like. His 1,200 yds looks great, but he was targeted 148 times … and only caught 74 of those … exactly 50%. What’s interesting is when you break down where he was targeted (short-deep, left-mid-right) and you find something really interesting (well, to me anyways).

    Mike didn’t do very well deep (only 44%), but did much better short (54%). What’s interesting is that he did very well in the short middle (65%). He was also targeted a BUNCH on the right side short (47 targets … much more than any other part of the field).

    Maybe he just has better focus on the right side?

  17. The Dom Must Go Says:

    He’s just not that good…. 1st receiver taken 3rd or 4th best in that draft.

  18. James Walker Says:


  19. Howard Cosell Says:

    Howard likes the Koetter hire. It was the right move.Howard was OK w/ giving Lovie another year but not if it meant losing Koetter. In hindsight though, we’re better off w/o Lovie.
    Howard was w/ Joe on wanting Schwartz but (also like Joe) Howard is impressed with Smiths lip service since he arrived. Howard is very impressed with the Monken hire: It shows that Koetter knows he can’t do everything and he’s OK delegating to competent support staff. Make no mistake, it’s still Koetters offense.
    Hell… as Joe knows Howard has been complaining about the Glazers revolving door way before the media caught on to it. Ironically, Howard is very happy with the Glazers since they hired Licht. Howard feels like the Glazers are finally going to make this team a contender. Better late than never.
    Howard is absolutely indignant about the Lovie Smith apologists and Koetter haters. These people are not Bucs fans in any way.

    All in all Howard is thrilled. He can’t wait for 2016 season.

  20. James Walker Says:

    He is the WR coach first, and assisting in game planning as OC second. I bet is very hard to find someone with Monken’s experience who will take the honorary title of OC, but really is the WR coach.

  21. Danati74 Says:

    Ahhh, I would hate to say Lovie lost his job due to all the drops by Evans. Love dropped the ball period.

  22. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    2nd taken

  23. Couch Fan Says:

    The former coaching staff enabled the actions with stupid discipline like “We dont talk to Evans about his drops because we know he’s trying”. Things are changing at 1BP and I’m liking it!!

  24. Dreambig Says:

    So far this coaching staff is talking about all the right things. Sounds like a bunch of real leaders for a change. Can’t wait for next year already! I think we might finally turn things around.

  25. Dreambig Says:

    Schanio made me cringe with each inexperinced college coach he hired. Lovie did the same thing his first year with his coaching hires on Offense. This just feels so much better.

  26. Buccaneers Says:

    Catching a ball that hits your hands is fundamentals, something this team lacks. Dare I say that if we get a coach in here that gets us to play fundamental football then our talent will shine.

    Dont care what nobody says, we got enough talented players to win in this league. But it doesn’t take extraordinary talent to catch a ball, or not miss a table, or kick a extra point……….I could literally write a paragraph or the fundamental things this team repeatedly scewed up last season.

    It’s imperative for this coach staff to fix the fundamentals or they’re just be spinning their wheels.

  27. Kevin Says:

    The one thing that stood out the most with Mike Evans last season was the WAY he was trying to catch the ball. Almost every time the ball was thrown to him he tried to catch the ball against his body. He was obvioulsy less comftorable catching it with his hands arms extended unless he absolutely had to. I think if he practices catching the ball with his fingers from now to September he will be fine. The guy can ball he just needs to get over a bad season, work his ass off and redeem himself like the muscle hampster did!

  28. Dave Says:

    Evans will be fine. He never had drops in college. He’ll bounce back. Especially with VJax on the field too

  29. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    What do you want out of this small opportunity that you have that the good lord has blessed you.

    BINGO!!! If Monken can get this simple but profound truth through to ME’s immature brain he will have succeeded. ME obviously has talent. He doesn’t have bad hands he has been choking…let’s call it what it is.

    He has a fresh start…new coaches…and a chance to put this behind him if he realizes what Monken has told him about one of life’s very fleeting opportunities.

    As the late great Elvis Presley once sang….”It’s now or never”

  30. Buccaneers Says:

    So what if Evans didn’t have drops in college. He was catching floaters from Manzeel. Same with his rookie season catching ducks from McCown.

    Winston throws heaters. Not comparable IMO. He has to prove he can catch Jameis’ throws.

    The one thing he has going for him is that the fan base will quickly forgive a bad 2015. All he has to do is come out of the gates strong and it will be in the past.

  31. SteveK Says:

    The new coaching philosophy is beyond refreshing. I can’t wait for camp to start this summer.

    As a fan of this team, I take the drops personal too, as well as the lack of pass rush and the 70%+ completion percentage against.

    It is time to start playing defense to the strength of the player’s capabilities. I wish Mark Barron was still here, but what do you do? Darrelle Revis too for that matter, along with Michael Bennett and Talib if he could keep his head on right.

  32. Kevin Says:

    My god could you imagine if we still had bennett, talib, and revis on this team….Barron too!

  33. Buc1987 Says:

    Buccaneers…Yup Winston does fire bullets. Just having Jameis alone makes this team pointing in the right direction. Things will eventually work out for us. Jameis won’t let this team fail pretty soon. I see Jameis giving out tongue lashings to WR’s if they drop the ball, just as Tom Brady does with his WR’s. Jameis will take control of this team and the rest will be bliss.

  34. godzilla13 Says:

    One of the best hires is Todd Monken. Like all of the new coaches brought in he is a teacher first and foremost with a ton of experience. How many games would this team have won if not for the dropped passes and penalties? Think back to Evans rookie year. He was money when it came to catching the ball. All the points I was reading are valid. I didn’t see him “high ending” or fighting for the catches like he did the year before. The dropped passes, penalties and complaining to the refs all can be fixed. Godzilla will return this year! We do need another WR. Michael Thomas Ohio State (6’3″ 210) in the second round.

  35. calibuclife Says:

    Hey I would love to read an article about how U think Kenny Bell will fit into the offense

  36. @FamousKoetterBroy34 Says:

    Joe your article are incredible. As someone who knows how to write, you’re very talented. Always good reads. Same as your texts. (Both of you)