“Those Drops Mean Nothing”

February 18th, 2016
mike evans 1213

Jameis weighs in on Mike Evans. Derrick Brooks disagrees.

There’s plenty of pressure on Mike Evans this season.

Unlike some, Joe can’t pretend that Evans’ K-Y hands and myriad excuses for dropped balls were a complete fluke.

Perhaps Joe remains scarred by blocking icon Michael Clayton and his bad juggling act. Perhaps it’s just because Joe doesn’t live in a world of fairy godmothers and dancing cupcakes, where people think Josh McCown is — and ever was — a capable starting quarterback.

America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, has 100 percent belief in Evans. Like a great leader, Jameis is unafraid to go all-in publicly for his inconsistent target. Jameis even took his love over the top while speaking to the Buccaneers Radio Network just prior to the season finale.

Approached with the subject of Evans’ issues squeezing footballs, Jameis got firm, “Those drops mean nothing,” he said.

Jameis went on to defend Evans staunchly, and Jameis said coaches drill him to feed Evans by placing throws within his wide catch radius. “Nine times out of 10, he’s going to catch it,” Jameis said.

The sad reality is Evans caught a higher percentage of balls thrown his way when it was McCown and Mike Glennon at quarterback.

Last year, Evans was targeted 147 times and hauled in 74 catches. To quote Bucs legend Derrick Brooks on receivers who only catch 50 percent of what’s thrown their way, “That’s not good at all.”

Joe is rooting hard for Evans. The Bucs desperately need him. But it sure would be soothing if the Bucs snagged a wide receiver in free agency next month.

45 Responses to ““Those Drops Mean Nothing””

  1. Bucsfanman Says:

    “Those drops mean nothing”?! Um, how about drive killers that lead to losses. Nobody’s perfect, but catch the damn ball!!!

  2. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evans is married now, that should settle him down some and he will be better able to catch the balls thrown his way, or right to him. I’m guessing.

  3. martinii Says:

    Most important message in this article is Jameis is a leader and has his teammates back. Look Evans dropped some balls big deal, he was a 1000 yard receiver and for much of the season was all we had. Double coverage, teams game planned him, and never once did I see him slow up because he was about to get creamed. Kid has balls and Jameis knows it. Get off his case.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    The drops do mean something – but I’m not overly concerned. A good # of them were lack of concentration in the moment – as in taking his eyes off the ball at the crucial moment to see where surrounding defenders are and thinking ahead to his next move before securing the catch.

    ME13 will be fine. He’s got loads of talent and just needs to focus on securing the ball before diverting his attention to anything else. Good coaching will fix this “problem”.

    If not for all the drops by Evans in one game last year, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it.

  5. 305Live Says:

    @Bucsfanman, what is he supposed to say? As a QB and the new leader of the team, it would be a terrible move for him to rip his #1 WR in the press. Of course he’s going to say “those drops mean nothing”, because he damn sure can’t say “Mike needs to focus, he’s costing us games dropping the football and quite frankly he’s not working hard enough..”
    The media would have a field day with that quote!

  6. Bob in valrico Says:

    A target does not mean it’s a catchable ball,wasnt batted
    Down. using this stat to say that Evans dropped 50% of
    Passes is ridiculous.This tells me that both Mike Evans
    And Jameis need to get on the same page and spend
    some time learning each others tendencies as he did with

  7. biff barker Says:

    Plenty of drops, no excuses. Some falls on the QB too.

    Yup drive… killers!

  8. Tnew Says:

    Nobody on Joe Bucs Fan has ever been critical for ME not making the tough catches. It is something he is really good at. When he goes up to grab a ball he usually comes down with it. Drops on easy catches and not fighting for the ball are the two things that he needs to work on.

  9. Lord Says:

    Put me down in the crowd that isn’t that worried about ME hands. Most all his drops came in a couple games. The catches per targets also isn’t all on ME. He isn’t running easy high percentage catch plays that often and Winston and him weren’t always on the same page.

    Ppl talk drive killers but how many drives were sustained and created because the guy made clutch sideline catches and contested deep balls? He was our only passing weapon many games and still dominated in stretches

    I’ll take the bad with the good while expecting improvement.

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Lovie dropped the ball for 2 years in a row, Look what happened to him!!!

  11. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    In high school a teammate of mine had been plagued by the dropsies all through spring practices. Him and I stayed after practice for an hour every day where I flung tennis balls at him as hard as I could. Started out dropping nearly all of them but after a couple of weeks he was snagging nearly 100% of them one handed. After that, the regulation sized football looked like the size of a beach ball to the guy and he earned the reputation of best hands on the team

    My point is, this is correctable if you’re willing to put in the work. But it needs to be corrected.

  12. Clodhopper Says:

    The way I think of it is, he is a great WR in the middle of the game because the drops dont mean much. But I always think about that Super Bowl with the Steelers and Cardinals a few years ago. At the end with the game on the line Rothlesburger throws that TD to Holmes that looked 6 yards out of bounds but Holmes brought it in to win the game. Difficult throw and difficult catch. But what QB in right mind would trust Evans to make that catch? I certainly wouldn’t. That kind of trust needs to be re-earned

  13. pick6 Says:

    i guarantee you those drops piss jameis off, but he is a leader and he is committed to being positive about and around his teammates. it seems like he is on the record saying almost every guy he throws or hands the ball to has the potential to be the best ever. he’s not deluded, he just understands the power of encouraging others to believe in themselves

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    @305- Of course he should have his back, no question. The guy’s a beast and a good player. In no way should what I said be interpreted as Evans is a bad player. For Evans, and summarily the Bucs to be GREAT, he needs to find a way to correct the drops. No drops=more yards=more plays=more TDs=more wins. Imagine if all 11 improved.
    I’ve got faith in him. I just want to see less drops.
    Don’t tell me those drops didn’t make you crazy!!!

  15. Bucs SB with Jameis Says:

    I was living in Galveston when ME played his first yr of football Ever. That was only 5 years ago. Heck even I have played more organized football than ME. Patience guys, the kid is gonna be just fine.

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There seems to be a constant barrage of Mike Evans “K-Y”…..Michael Clayton articles…..every time we turn around……talking about the draft…..Jameis….FA….Evans is always mentioned.

    At what point will it stop….because he, and everyone else will drop a ball in their future….

    Sure, he drops some balls….but is there anyone, including Joe that wants to get rid of him?…..Lets just build on what we have and Evans will come around.

    It’s been a while since we bashed ASJ…..Let’s make sure we trash him significantly before spring training.

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    No question Evans could have caught more of the easy passes with better focus,no excuses.
    deep sideline pass is one of the lowest percentage passes to complete.Since Evans is the only one to run them that is one of reasons for the low target percentage.
    Both players have to work together to fix them.
    Evans should use big body to bump defender instead of shoving him.When he does put his hands on defender,they often grab his arm or hand.Now he has gotten
    ahead of his defender and the pass was either too short or too long a number of times.Given the short amount of time Evans has actually played football,the new wide receivers coach could really help Evans.
    Winston will get best results if he hits Evans in stride going long and I think its something he will not only work on but improve because he wants to be best.

  18. biff barker Says:

    Frankly, I expect the whole team is going to be better this season.

  19. NickTheKnife Says:

    Some pretty good receivers on this list. Mike Evans had a problem with drops but he made some huge catches.Clayton never sniffed a second season like Evans so dont even try to compare the 2.
    Rank Player Pos Team Receptions Drops Targets Targets % Drop %
    1 Mike Evans WR TB 74 11 148 50.00% 7.40%
    2 Amari Cooper WR OAK 72 10 130 55.40% 7.70%
    3 Ted Ginn Jr. WR CAR 44 10 96 45.80% 10.40%
    4 Brandon Marshall WR NYJ 109 10 173 63.00% 5.80%
    5 Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 105 9 177 59.30% 5.10%
    6 Martavis Bryant WR PIT 50 9 92 54.30% 9.80%
    7 Michael Crabtree WR OAK 85 8 146 58.20% 5.50%
    8 Julian Edelman WR NE 61 8 88 69.30% 9.10%
    9 Julius Thomas TE JAX 46 7 80 57.50% 8.80%
    10 Devonta Freeman RB ATL 73 7 97 75.30% 7.20%
    source http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/drops/2015/

  20. pick6 Says:

    everybody wants randy moss and OBJ type instant all-world play, so it gets overlooked that most WRs don’t really grow into themselves until their 3rd season. on top of that, mike evans is much newer to football in general than your typical top 10 draft pick WR (started junior or senior year HS, then went to the johnny schoolyard football edition of the Aggies). i think there is more cause to expect upside from evans than nearly any other WR in the league in 2013. not that he will be the best, but that he will be the guy who most noticably jumps up a tier in 2017, sort of like deandre hopkins did this season

  21. pick6 Says:

    *in 2016, not 2017

  22. pick6 Says:

    also, i meant 2016 not 2013 earlier in the post. where’s my mid-afternoon coffee?

  23. Mike Johnson Says:

    watched all of the Buc games this past season. And Evans dropped a lot of balls that were easily catchable. Some were at very critical points in the game. He’s gotta be more consistent next season. A lot more consistent.

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I also agree that the percentage to Evans is misleading…..many of the passes his way were thrown away…..or too high. Jameis’ completion percent was 58 and to Evans it was 51…….when you consider all the screen passes to Martin & Sims that improve his completion percentage…..the throws to Evans are more in line than it appears…
    I suspect that Jameis’ accuracy will improve and Evans will also have fewer drops…..when those two things happen….we’ll really have something special.

  25. OAR Says:

    “Those Drops Mean Nothing”…..yea, interceptions, fumbles and penalties mean nothing too.

  26. Joe Says:

    Lovie dropped the ball for 2 years in a row, Look what happened to him!!!


  27. Trubucfan22 Says:

    They mean nothing moving forward. when it comes to Winston’s confidence in Evans, it has no effect.

    Yeah, he dropped a ball. move on, and throw him another one the next play. You can’t get down on a guy in the middle of a game. It is Jameis’ job to execute the plays, regardless of who he is throwing the ball to.

    Obviously if we are going to take the next step, Mike needs to make those plays and not drop balls. But Jameis isn’t going to get down on Mike. It won’t effect him at all going forward.

  28. Kstoges Says:

    guy you know how many great recievers go through slumps or struggle with drops early in his career guys evans hasent hit his prime yet he’s 22 just watch he’s seriously going to be a good one

  29. tickrdr Says:

    Bob in valrico Says:
    February 18th, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    A target does not mean it’s a catchable ball,wasnt batted
    Down. using this stat to say that Evans dropped 50% of
    Passes is ridiculous.This tells me that both Mike Evans
    And Jameis need to get on the same page and spend
    some time learning each others tendencies as he did with
    Good post, Bob!
    Just an FYI:
    That Sporting Charts site linked above lists dropped passes per team by season.

    The Bucs had:
    2015: 25 dropped passes
    2014: 24 dropped passes
    2013: 24 dropped passes

    As JW’s accuracy and timing improve, the drops should improve.


  30. James Walker Says:

    I worry more about the 10 penalties than the drops.

  31. DavidBigBucFan Says:

    Clodhopper have you seen some of the ridiculous sideline catches Evans has made in his short career? Are you serious? Evans was the true receiving threat on the team last year and a number of his drops were from concentration problems but for Joe and others to call him the 2nd coming of Michael Clayton are truly comical and also irritating. Evans had more catches, yards and tds in two years than stone hands had in his whole career. This 3rd year is the one he puts it all together. More catches, yards and touch downs.

  32. DavidBigBucFan Says:

    Yeah realist if only you would drop Lovie`s. He’s gone so let them go. What do you want for them to cut Evans then? Evans is a much better receiver with all his drops than Lovie is as a coach.

  33. Bob in Valrico Says:

    AKA statsdr,appreciate the heads up.

  34. tickrdr Says:


    IMHO, most of the the rest is just………………opinion.


  35. Dave Says:

    He never had this problem in college or as a rookie. It is correctable and will pass. He is a top WR.
    His drops aren’t as bad as people think if you look at a lot of the other top WRs. Not all have Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald hands. People tend to forget that VJax has been frustrating over the years with his drops on basic catches.
    No excuse not to improve on this drastically though.

  36. Kevin Says:

    He will be fine. There will be a drastic upswing with this team next season. I cant wait to watch it happen

  37. Kevin Says:

    I cant wait to take him in my fantasy leagues next season!!!!!!

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “Sure, he drops some balls….but is there anyone, including Joe that wants to get rid of him?…..Lets just build on what we have and Evans will come around.”

    Exactly man. Peeps need to knock this shyte off.

  39. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    “Perhaps Joe remains scarred by blocking icon Michael Clayton and his bad juggling act.” – Joe

    Huge difference between the two.

    Even with the drops, Mike Evans STILL got 1,051 yards in his rookie season, and improved to 1,206 yards his second season. Many WRs have horrible second years, but Mike showed he has the staying power, even with the drops.

    Michael Clayton, on the other hand, had a great rookie year (1,193) and then followed it with a horrible second year (372). Clayton proved himself a fluke. Just like Shaun King, who had one good year of starting. Both were flukes.

  40. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My follow-up post just disappeared… 🙁

  41. Bucs SB with Jameis Says:

    I am having a toast to Bonzai speaking the gospel.

  42. godzilla13 Says:

    A big reason Mike Evans is going to be successful this year is our new OC/Wide Receivers Coach, Todd Monken. Monken happens to be a terrific receivers coach with a proven track record of helping his players reach their true potential. Monken spent four seasons (2007-10) working as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his time with Jacksonville, Monken coached Reggie Williams, who set the then-team record with 10 touchdown receptions in 2007, as well as Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas, both of whom had career-highs in receiving yards under Monken. Everywhere he has coached the Receivers have improved. Evans did not have the problem with dropping passes in college or his rookie year. It is a scary thought to think how good he is going to be. Not only will the dropped passes go away, look for the stupid OPI penalties to be few and far between. We still need one more big time playmaker either in the draft or FA. I would like to see us draft Tyler Boyd Pittsburgh in the 3rd round or go get Javone Kearse Seahawks in FA.

  43. Tbbucs3 Says:

    If Will Fuller is there in the 2d round, take him.

  44. Lamdog Says:

    Solve it the Bucs way: Trade him.

  45. mike10 Says:

    Look man, we gotta just root for this guy to get better, and get his $hit together!! 7th pick! He needs to figure it out.