“Can You Stop Dropping The Ball?”

April 6th, 2016
Called out on NFL Network.

Called out on NFL Network.

A former top-shelf NFL running back has placed Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans on notice.

Maurice Jones-Drew, who makes a living as an NFL talking head, appeared recently on NFL Network and was involved in a panel discussion about what offenses he is looking forward to watching this fall.

MJD right away confessed he is a homer and picked the team coached by his former offensive coordinator. That would be the Bucs and Dirk Koetter. MJD thinks the Bucs have the potential for a special offense.

“Seeing these young guys expand,” MJD said. “Seeing what Jameis Winston can do [in Year Two]. Vincent Jackson, he was banged up last year. Mike Evans, can you stop dropping the ball? He had the most drops out of everybody. And Doug Martin… stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing for him.

“The young guys came into this league and made a big splash early. Can they keep it going? Tampa Bay, if they go defense in the draft, offense will be fine.”

To be fair, Joe isn’t sure Evans led the league in drops. Statistics, those you can find, are all over the map because drops are so subjective. Now SportingCharts.com has Evans with the most dropped passes last year at 11, but Joe is confident writing Evans had more than 11.

To be sure, Evans had far too many drops. While he still had a lot of receiving yards, imagine the year he could have had if he didn’t have K-Y hands?

Priority No. 1 for the Bucs’ offense in Joe’s eyes is to fix Evans. If Vincent Jackson goes down and Evans hasn’t cleaned off the K-Y yet, in the immortal words of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket,” the Bucs’ offense will be in a world of sh!t.

39 Responses to ““Can You Stop Dropping The Ball?””

  1. I Got What I Wanted Says:

    I doubt Lovie had a system in place for this type of thing before or during the season last year. Now, its a big deal so hopefully Koetter has a plan. Evans needs to get his head straight, Im more concerned with the flags he draws than the drops.

  2. Phil Says:

    Can’t they get Mike Evans the same gloves that Odell Beckham wears?

  3. phreakybucfan Says:

    I seem to recall most of Evan’s drops coming on balls thrown at his torso where he would catch more with his arms than his hands. The balls were he extended his arms out and was able to catch with his hands he seemed fine on. Of course i smoke weed so i could be misremembering. Just sayin’

  4. ARGH_M8E Says:

    Real quick about >>>Greg Hardy in his interview Adam Schefter name drops Tampa Bay as only team interested other then Dallas last year… Hmmmm I know this has been discussed, but maybe we need to reopen the the conversation. I still think this guy isn’t playing w a full deck, but we could use some crazy upfront, ya? I JUST WANT A F’n PASS RUSH!!! Aghhhhhhh!!!!!!!

    Who’s the draft pick DE most want?


    SHOULD WE CONSIDER GH – A.No? B.Yes? Or C.only if we’re desperate during preseason? Or D.waddiya hate yourself?

  5. nate_tweetz Says:

    This is why I think the Bucs should trade down in the draft and select Corey Coleman in the later part of the 1st round while being able to pick up another draft pick to use to either trade back up or select an extra player. We need a playmaker in the worst way. I do not feel comfortable going into next season with Mike Evans as our number 1. V Jax is old and Murphy is coming off an ACL injury. Do you guys remember how dismal our offense was at the end of the year having to depend on Evans, Dye, and Humphries? Evans needs an explosive playmaker opposite him in order to make him effective. Take Coleman with their first pick and draft defense the rest of the way for all I care.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Mike Evans’ whining to the refs drives me nuts, but I still think fans and sports writers are being too critical of his drops. In 2014 he caught 56% of passes targeted to him (thrown by a QB usually running for his life) and in 2015 he caught 50% (thrown by a rookie QB) … Mike’s average: 52.6% those 2 years.

    VJax is a polished WR and has been a Buc for 4 years now. He’s caught 49.5% of the passes targeted to him over that span, and is a 52% receiver over his entire career.

    Calvin Johnson was kinda in the same mold as Evans and VJax and was a 56% receiver over his entire career. Yet in his first 4 years, Calvin only averaged 52% … about the same as Mike Evans. It wasn’t until his 5th year (2011) that Johnson had a breakout year and carried the Lions to the playoffs. Had the highest reception rate of his career that year: 61%.

    Mike Evans will get better I’m convinced (and so will Jameis) but it’s a process that takes time to build chemistry. Folks need to be a bit more patient and supportive of him.

  7. Mike Says:

    That was Private Pyle and Private Joker that said that line just before Pyle blew his brains out in the “head.”

  8. Tampa Tony Says:

    Bucs need another WR, badly!!!!!

    Can’t rely on Evans to get fixed as he doesn’t see a problem and VJAX is getting older.

  9. Destro44 Says:

    The issue isn’t the number of drops but the when and how. Most of the drops would have converted 3rd downs, and were just lapse in concentration. Mike can catch a ball as long as he pays attention too what he is doing. Most of the drops were passes right on target where he seemed to be running before the catch, ever notice he never drops the tough catch.

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

    Exactly what Destro just said. Main issue concentration. When this kid wants to snatch a football he does it like blinking an eye naturally. Way too much overall talent in this young man for me personally to be concerned with drops.

  11. ATrain Says:

    Evans drops the ball when it is throw to his body and he has to stop and stand as he receives the ball. Evans will catch the ball on the run of dive.

    I believe Evans is scare to take a shot and it worried about getting hit instead of catching the ball…

    Watch his eyes … He will look to see where the hit is coming from instead of the ball.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yes, it was all Lovie’s fault that Evans dropped those passes! Problem solved!
    Boy, that is one brilliant take!
    @Defense- You’re 100% correct. Overall, Evans is a very good receiver. At times it does seem harsh to criticize a guy who at points last year was the ONLY decent target to throw to. However, imagine that he doesn’t drop those passes. We can be a prolific offense if he squeezes half of those.
    He’s a good receiver with the talent to be GREAT. Just work on the hands Mike!

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Bottom line: you can’t count on Mike Clayton Evans to catch the damn ball. He is going to have to earn that trust back from the coaches, players and fans by proving it on game day. All the talk about faith or lack of faith in him or his hands is irrelevant in April.

  14. Rrsrq Says:

    I love the Joe inspires with his nick names, KY hands, you would think ME did nothing to contribute to a record setting offense last year. Yeah, for a number 1 receiver (for an NFL receiver), he needs to catch the damn ball, but maybe for Joe, it works like it did for Charles Sims, or maybe Keny Bell is inspired to prove the Joes wrong, it all makes our team better, but the real question, if he has a lot less drops, will he get a new nickname form the Joes (unlike Dougie the Muscle Hamster) which he hates

  15. tmaxcon Says:

    The timing of his drops coupled with his ranting and raving to refs makes it more of a mental aspect than hands. I’m more concerned with his maturation at this point.


    As much as you scoff at the notion it was not Lovie’s fault the facts prove otherwise. Lovies so called WR coach was not qualified nor did he have the respect of the players that was evident by the persistent mental mistakes. Do some research the WR coach was Lovie’s personal assistant in chicago. Lovie does not get a free pass for his failure to put a qualified and respected coach at every position.

  16. martinii Says:

    I’m by no means an expert but it seemed to me that Mike was thinking about YAC more than he was focused on the actual catch. I think or hope they will correct that problem in the offseason. I can tell you one thing, he sure wasn’t worried about the hit and that to me is the biggest problem a reciever can have.

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    There are drops and there are drops! They all suck but none worse than the untimely drop.

    Drop a first down attempt and it’s not good but not horribly damaging.
    Drop a 9 yard completion that would have gone for a drive sustaining catch and instead turns into being forced to give the ball back to the other team.

    What if that drive is the final one in the 4th Q?

    And so my question to you guys is am I being too hard on ME…perhaps I was just too frustrated last year and I certainly have no stats or video to back it up but it seemed another big part of ME’s problem were the “untimely” (aka choking in impolite circles) drops!

    Feel free to correct me guys just shooting from the hip with a gut feeling.
    I see the truth in both Defense Rules and Tmax’s posts.

  18. cmurda Says:

    Sadly, anybody that watched all the Bucs games last year as I’m sure many of us on here have know that you could practically double that number. There was one game that I counted 6 drops in one game. The “stat geeks” likely only counted 3 of those max but they tend to be very lenient on WR’s. I see it as catches that should have made and weren’t. With M.E. I think the problem is 100% mental. It’s all about short term memory loss when a drop happens and maintaining confidence. Neither of those seemed to happen because M.E. got rattled after 1 or 2 drops. The talent is there but is the mindset. We know based on his rookie year that he can catch the ball consistently so it has to be a mental block.

  19. Cobraboy Says:


    For many games at the end of the year, after VJax, ASJ & Murphy went down and before Humphries caught a clue & Brate was discovered, the entire passing game was limited to short passes to Sims…and Evans all over the field.

    I’d like to see a stat of how often NFL receivers were targeted. Would be no surprise of Evans was #1…despite being doubled almost all the time during that stretch, getting banged constantly…all the time knowing he had much of the weight of the offense on his shoulders.

    I don’t know how many receivers in the NFL could have done as well as Evans…

    He was also hurt or slowed by that hamstring much of the season.

    With some support, he’ll be fine. I just hope the new coaches put a gag order on him: NO TALKING/WHINING/COMPLAINING TO THE REFS!

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

    I’m wit you Cobraboy and with the energy he brings I’m thinking the new coach Monken will be just the elixir needed.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Evans is a stud receiver and will be just fine. Winston to Evans is going to be the most prolific combo in the league over the next 10 years. Relax people.

  22. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- Lovie is an easy target and he has been spurned for all things Buc football. Lets be for real here though; a ball is thrown to a professional football player who plays wide-receiver, hits the player in the hands, and yet somehow the guy with the headset on the sidelines is to blame?!!! Dude! Come on!
    Coaches coach and players play. It is not the responsibility of a coach to catch a catch-able football. The coach has already put that player in position to make the play.
    Look, there is plenty to blame Lovie for. Mike Evans dropping passes is on Mike Evans.
    Like I posted above, he’s a good player that can be great. First and foremost, as any pro will tell you, you must hone your craft, YOU not a coach. If a player is unwilling to get better on his own, how is a coach supposed to help?

  23. 813bucboi Says:

    @tmaxcon…wow…so its lovies fault evans led the league in drops…some people just cant get enough…we now know who’s driving the bash lovie rv…so I guess if we start the season off slow then its lovies fault…players get injured and its lovies fault…Winston throws a pick and its lovies fault…evans drops another pass and its lovies fault…wr coaches teach releases, footwork, blocking, route running, techniques…teaching a player to catch the ball is like teaching a players height or speed…either they have it or they don’t…either you can catch the ball or you cant…athletes that can catch play offense and players that cant catch play defense…evans problem has nothing to do with lovie…it has everything to do with evans himself….he needs to learn how to concentrate on the ball while a cb is tugging or holding him and focus more on the catch rather than the hit or run after….that’s it…hit the jugs machine, work on his timing with Winston and enter ota’s and training camp in shape, and he will improve his all around game…to suggest its the fault of lovie is just ridiculous and sad…GO BUCS!!!

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    @813- Perplexing, isn’t it?!

  25. tmaxcon Says:


    So using your logic why do teams even have coaching staffs. If you don’t think a respected qualified WR would not have had a positive impact on not only Evans but the entire WR Corp you are sadly mistaken. Great players are coachable and work on their craft continuously.

  26. tmaxcon Says:


    The point you are missing is that it was Lovie’s responsibility to hire a qualified respected coaching staff which he DID NOT sorry a WR coach who was his personal assistant in chicago is hardly a respected coach that talented up and coming receiver like Evans will respect. Lovie’s friends and family staff did not favors to the growth of young and veteran players a like

  27. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evans pushes off defenders too much as evidenced by the amount of offensive pass interference penalties he racks up. If he is not open and the ball is on the way his hands will be pushing close defenders away. I like this guy though.

  28. 813bucboi Says:

    @tmaxcon…the point your missing is what @bucsfanman tried to point out…players play and coaches coach…so who was the wr coach when both evans and vjax went over a 1,000 yards?…lovie hired that coach I believe…lovie hired dirk…dirk is a highly respected and qualified offensive coach…dirk was in charge of the whole offense…so by your statement it should be dirks fault that evans dropped those passes…as many have stated, lovie was completely hands off when it came to the offense…he let dirk run that side of the ball…you have your reasons for bashing lovie but remember… once draft day rolls around and we make our pick at #9, this team will no longer have any connection to lovie…it will be dirks and lichts team for the next 4years or whenever he gets the hook, so get all of your lovie bashing out of the way because in a few weeks we/you will have to start bashing dirk or licht….GO BUCS!!!

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    By your logic tmax, we could put you on the field with the right coach!!!
    Look, blaming Lovie in this instance is just taking it too far. It’s akin to a coach being blamed for a kicker missing a kick.
    I won’t continue kicking (no pun intended) this dead horse because frankly, I think it’s dumb.
    If Evans works on his craft he can be a great receiver. It is that simple.

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

    To hell wit that I’m wit tmax on this one if I veiw you as a lame duck coach what is my incentive to go all out for you. And don’t say the money I’m getting that irregardless I meant regardless.

  31. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Nole- He wasn’t a “lame duck” when we were 6-6 and more importantly, Mike Evans is supposed to be a professional.
    Wow! What a narrative! Players bear ZERO responsibility?! OK, well no point in trying to argue that logic.

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    @nole come on….so it was lovies fault for all of winstons ints, dougs fumbles and evans drop balls….wow…lovie wasn’t a lame duck coach…that was the 9ers coach…that’s not an excuse to drop passes…that’s a maturity problem…players like vjax, mankins even Winston didn’t display that type of attitude or immaturity…with that being said….load up the lovie bash rv…its now leaving tampa and headed to chi town..aka draft town…

    like I said, get it all out now because once 4/28 rolls around, the blame goes squarely on dirk and licht….GO BUCS!!!

  33. 813bucboi Says:

    @bucsfanman…I guess players and assistant coaches bare “0” accountability…we’ll see if fans hold dirk to the same standard…or will it be lovies fault next year…GO BUCS!!!

  34. RustyRhinos Says:

    Head Coaches are responsible for W’s & L’s I would also think they would be responsible for bringing in coaches to coach players to the best of their ability, usually a coach who has “coached ” his position before. If for nothing else than to have some knowledge on what players may need to work on to get better at their craft. Also to know some of the pitfalls of the positions they are Coaching.

    Thanks to Coach L. Smith for bringing in our GM and our former OC now our new Head coach.

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

    Take it how you wanna 813,I don’t know mamy times I would be watching the Buccs play last season and have company over and here comments like”it looks your head coach doesn’t care bro”. At first I would shut them down, after awhile I had to agree. If you don’t there is a correlation between the vibe an entire team recieves from the HC then you’re fooling yourself. The team in many cases is a reflection of the HC. Once that locker room collectively said to themselves this guy is a joke last season was over.

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    @tmaxcon &@nole…it is what it is…the season is history and so is lovie…who will you blame if the grass isn’t greener with dirk?…let me guess… lovie….neither one of you answered my question….winstons ints and dougs fumbles were lovies fault too right?…GO BUCS!!!

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

    My bad bro I didn’t know we were playing the change the narrative game. Please inform me on whether or not I’ll always have that option when it comes to our debates. The discussion doesn’t include those two, we’re referencing ME here. You know the guy people are saying is not a true #1 and he KY hands. Trust me bro, when folks go to calling JW an int machine I’ll be the first take a stand.

  38. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ defense rules
    spot on analysis.when Jameis and Evans get in synch good things will happen.
    Truth be told Evans and Vjax have both pulled in high passes that had safeties
    licking their chops and blinking when the ball didn’t fall into their hands.Dunkaneers and Jameis are a good match.

  39. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Lovie is gone,There is no fire under Licht or Koetter to achieve what Lovie should have done last year. I am talking about 8-8 doable with our weak schedule last year.We face about 7 very good defenses this year.