Mike Evans’ Costly Drops

May 17th, 2016
Comparable numbers jarring.

Comparable numbers jarring.

Joe has long stated that Bucs receiver Mike Evans has ridiculous skills. His footwork along the sidelines is some of the best Joe has ever seen.

But then come the drops. Oh, those maddening drops. The number of drops Evans had last year varies so widely there is no official number, but Joe is OK with using the PFF tribe’s stats (see below).

If not for Evans’ K-Y fingers, the Bucs likely would have beaten the Texans on the road. And there’s no telling how many more games the Bucs could have won if not for drives killed by dropped passes.

Evans’ had a catch-rate percentage of 50 percent. Derrick Brooks says that’s bad. It’s not awful (hello, Donteea Dye) but not good, either.

Just to show readers how those drops were oh, so costly, Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus ran a chart showing the best receivers in the NFL in the second-half of last season. Evans was on that list (you can see it below as well but the link is easier on the eyes), but he had double the amount of drops as the next-worse butterfingers: Julio Jones and Allen Robinson. They had five drops each in their final eight games last season.

Evans must improve in this area. Imagine how fantastic of a receiver he can be if he is able to haul in those passes rather than seeing the pigskin hit the grass?

Focusing on catching the ball and not trying to draw flags would be a good first step.


58 Responses to “Mike Evans’ Costly Drops”

  1. DallasBuc Says:

    If his footwork is so great maybe he shout stick to ballet because he sure as sht can’t catch.
    The only thing that will change my mind is seeing him not drop passes in meaningful games. None of you homers that love to excuse his awful drops are gonna change my mind so save it.
    Catch the damn ball.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Waiting for the ASJ hot tub article…..can’t wait for the season to start….

  3. Scurvy Dogs Says:


    Who cares about changing your mind? You’re not as important as you seem to think.

  4. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    Is there a new WR coach this year?I really hope that this is not a trending down thing like happened with clayton, that would be terrible as this gets going in right direction, he needs to get this right and start challenging beckham as the top WR

  5. I know why Says:

    yes Michael Clayton thanks Mike Evans for becoming the next pass dropping WR. Can we blame Lovie Smith for the 2014 draft now too? How many of you right now want to pay Mike Evans big money in only two seasons from right now? I want to have hope with Winston but feel the team is so much worse around him…and we play a much harder schedule this year. I predict another top 10 draft choice…sad and that will be the 4th time Licht picks in the top 10 in 4 years….

  6. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    It’s strange because coming out of college his hands were his best skill. I was worried how he would develop as a rout runner. I was concerned about his downfield speed… Now here we are and this guy is open every play everywhere on the field. He’ll drop one right in the numbers and then catch one ten feet in the air. If it all comes together for Mike, he could easily be a probowler.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    Scurvy- how “important” I may think that I am is irrelevant to the fact that our star wide receiver bats footballs to the ground like he is in a volleyball tournament. But you got nothing to say about that, right? Just a bit easier and lazier to take cheap shots at me.

  8. tmaxcon Says:

    Evans dropping passes and crying at officials is nothing new. I was at a Texas A&M Aggies party over the weekend and they love mike evans but expressed frustration with his drops and untimely penalties while he was an aggie. Under Lovie the WR group did not have a qualified coach so here’s hoping the new WR / O Coordinator can get through to Evans and help with his technique and more importantly the mental aspect of his game. Bucs depth at wr is downright scary. If that bum Murphy or the future CFL reject Dye make the team the bucs are in a world of hurt. Bucs must give Winston weapons. Reliable / proven weapons. I am ok with letting Humphries and Bell develop but VJAX and Evans need help from a proven vet and not that injury prone never done anything well traveled bum Murphy either.

  9. Scurvy Dogs Says:


    You’re taking cheap shots at a guy who is doing something at a level you cannot do it on and is not around to defend himself (as if he even has to). And on top of that, you take a cheap shot at people who actually believe he can turn it around.

    In truth, your comment was not worth a real response.

  10. WheresYourBuccaneers? Says:


  11. 813bucboi Says:

    damn mike 10 drops from week 9-week17…that’s crazy….I thought he had at least 6 drops in the first half of the season….GO BUCS!!!

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    Scurvy- acknowledging observable facts like Evans dropping catchable passes is not taking cheap shots. His job is to catch footballs and based on observation he fails at his main job. Stop with this line about me not being able to do what he does at his level. That is the laziest argument. Evans cannot to what I do for a living at the level I do it. Neither one of us can do what my wife does for a living at her level. It doesn’t mean any of us are above reproach or criticism if we do not perform our job at the acceptable level.
    Also, I did not take any cheap shots at people who think he can turn it around. All I said was he had to prove it in meaningful games. Stop changing my comments to fit your lousy arguments. It’s cheap

  13. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mike Evans shouldn’t be target so much, we still have other receivers and a TE. I believe that Dirk Koetter will open up the offense this season, now that he’s the man in charge. Mike Evans will not be target like he was last season.

  14. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    DallasBuc….some in this fanbase are cool with the drops and with lovie running cover 2 all day and letting mariotta light the bucs up in 1st ever pro game, some are the “we will get em next time approach” everyone gets a ribbon crowd, problem is we pay these guys salaries through tixkets etc at ray jay so we have a stake in it and sick of evans dropping passes or gmac acting like loses dont m,atter or LVD saying he was down after a penalty or kwon getting suspended, and def sick of 10 years of losing…..time to right the ship and players need to step up and #1 is mike evans

  15. R.O. Says:

    What’s worse is the TDs… Not concerned about 1.4 drops per game. If that TD total goes up we score more points.. Sammy Craptkins had 7.

  16. Scurvy Dogs Says:


    The cheap shot is saying maybe he should stick to ballet.

    You’re right, it doesn’t mean he’s beyond reproach because you can’t do it. It does mean you should show some semblance of respect while critiquing his performance. Also you pretty much took a cheap shot by calling those people who support him HOMERS, which is a disparaging remark the way you used it.

    LOL @ the lazy argument nonsense, whatever you have to tell yourself buddy.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    Dithery- the self-righteous fans love to tell everyone else that is critical of the team, front office, coaches or players that they are bad fans. Been dealing with this nonsense every since I started getting vocal on this site years ago. It’s funny though because for all their sanctimonious rhetoric they can’t ever put together a cogent argument in defense of their positions.

  18. DallasBuc Says:

    Duthsty, not Dithery. Autocorrect is a btch.

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    Scurvy- the footwork ballet comment was a joke and like all good humor there is some basis in fact. Lighten up man. Homers are real and you are clearly one of them. If you don’t like the characterization stop acting like it.

  20. Cobraboy Says:

    For many games when the WR corp was depleted, I thought Evans was targeted way too many times even when doubled, and opposing D’s knew were coming.

  21. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    @ Dallas

    LOL it doesn’t bother me one way or another as to how you view my fandom. In fact, I didn’t even give my view on the subject. I just said no one cares about changing your mind (I could be wrong about that, maybe someone does). I actually agree that he needs to improve for us to make any kind of playoff run now or in the future.

  22. Buccfan37 Says:

    With Evans what you see is what you got and get, can’t complain really, except he needs to take that pill that makes defenders invisible.

  23. WheresYourBuccaneers? Says:

    Gloves maybe? LOL

  24. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Yes….Mike Evans had too many drops……the reason why that is so frustrating is that he has so much talent….we expect him to catch most anything that touches his hands……it is also frustrating that Jameis is off target with many of his throws…..many because of the pressure he faces and receivers not getting open……
    I expect all of these things to improve.

    As far as the ballet comment…….it’s fair game……these are professional athletes who earn millions and are expected to do their job well…….although it’s not my style to criticize that way.

  25. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Duthsty & Dallas- I’m glad others take note of the fact that the players are also responsible for this teams lack of success. So much blame is laid elsewhere.
    I just throw up my hands and go, “How in the heck did he drop that?!” Some of those drops probably cost us a few games. Just think if he catches those! Evans could easily be a top 3 receiver in the league.

  26. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Joe, six (~55 percent) of those eleven drops game in the rain game vs. the Giants……….If he does it again this year, then it’s a trend…..otherwise, I am not too concerned.

  27. LakeLandBuc Says:

    This has nothing to do with ME and his drops, but am I the only one that hope that the Bucs cut Jude and sign Brandon Boykin?

  28. Phil Says:

    Why doesn’t Mike Evans get the same type gloves Odell Beckham uses? If he used them he wouldn’t drop anything.

  29. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Dallas and Joe please reread Feelthepower’s post above. All this talk about KY hands and becoming a ballerina is so overblown. I will be critical when warranted but Mike Evans had one really bad game. If you chalk that up as just a one off that probably won’t happen again then he is not nearly as bad as you think. He makes great catches consistently that most players can’t. By your logic Jameis should play horse shoes and not be a QB because he had a couple of bad games last year. It can happen to even the best of them.

    Joe, please stop referring to the percentage of targets he received to how many catches he made. That has to be the most worthless stay in the world. How is a catch thrown 5-10 feet out of his reach a knock on Evans. You claim not to be a stats guy and then use the worst one imaginable to support your narrative.

  30. DallasBuc Says:

    TDTB- I watched the games and Mike Clayton Evans had more than one bad game. The drops and the crying and complaining every time a DB contests a pass is what we saw consistently all year and it started in the preseason. I don’t need a stat sheet to tell me that my star receiver is unreliable because he can’t catch the damn ball and can’t keep his head screwed on straight between and after the whistle.
    But oh the footwork!

  31. Buccaneers Says:

    @feel the power & TDTB-the above chart clearly says weeks 9-17. Shoot even the article says that the final half of the season was used. I would never ask anybody to do a ton of research for a comment but……jeez, is it asking to much to actually read the chart or article you are referencing?

  32. pick6 Says:

    he may always drop more balls than fans or coaches want to see, but i do not doubt that he will get better and catch more of what’s thrown his way in coming years. that’s exciting for bucs fans when you consider his “disappointing” production in 2015

    another big help would be him avoiding his annual early offseason hamstring injury. those camp reps are probably more valuable for QBs and WRs than any other position

  33. Buccaneers Says:

    Evans needs to catch more passes….simple. I’ll forgive and forget. Heck, that’s what I told myself week after week last year.

    Another season like he had in 2015 and this team will need to look for a true #1.

  34. McBuc Says:

    My post must have disappeared into cyberspace.

  35. McBuc Says:

    That’s two that never made it. I’m not typing it again…

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Evans is a talemt. But it does seem when we need him the most…he cannot be counted on. If he wants to be great in this league, he has to catch more balls and be known as..Mr Clutch! As of now, he’s just a decent receiver with..the word we losing Buc fans love to use….POTENTIAL.

  37. WheresYourBuccaneers? Says:

    and YOU sir are no Austin Safarian Jenkins!

  38. Dreambig Says:

    Mike Evans is quite the mixed bag. Tons of talent and the ability to dominate, tempered by drop passes, too many penalty’s, and his greatest feat of getting kicked out of the last game for bad behavior. I was really pissed at him by the end of last year but after seeing that special on nfl network about his life story I have to give him a pass. I salute the man for overcoming the murder of his father and the crazy world he had to grow up in. I am rooting for him to fix the dropsies and continue marching on towards a better life!

  39. Kevin Schmidt Says:

    He will be just fine. Third year receiver second year system good OC good QB good running game….Evans will break out this year and quiet the critics for good!!!

  40. salish_seamonster Says:

    Too much wind devoted to dropped passes. It’s over. Next season will be upon us in a few months. He has zero dropped passes in 2016. Let’s move on.

  41. DB55 Says:

    it is also frustrating that Jameis is off target with many of his throws…..many because of the pressure he faces and receivers not getting open……
    I expect all of these things to improve.
    Ding ding ding we have a winner! I’d really really love it if we could stop referring to Mike as K-Y hands it’s kinda disrespectfully and uncalled for. Case in point how many passes did he drop when The clown and the clown jr were throwing him the ball? All I know in Madden he just can’t be stopped, at all!!

    With that said, we should have drafted LaQuan Treadwell.

  42. K2 Says:

    It always amazes me the people who call themselves fans and claim they have a right to constantly badmouth our players. I would like them to imagine that a group of people sit around at their work and constantly talk about what a loser they are and repeatedly point out all their faults. Don’t worry its their work…its what they get paid to do. I’m sure that environment would help them do their best.

    Personally, I’m not aware of even one person that was ever made great…by the constant attacks. I wish perhaps they could change the team they cheer for…that way they could constant remind the other team about how bad they are and remind them they have no skills and will probably lose anyway.

  43. Buccaneers Says:

    K2-Any thoughts about Evans?

    I actually see fan critisim my as a good thing for a Fanbase. It puts extra pressure on a player and if a player can’t perform under pressure they are not very useful to gaining the end goal. Some fan bases overdo it which can be counter productive but Tampa fans aren’t that extreme.

  44. K2 Says:

    I would agree with many the Evans has huge upside and too many drops. However, I think that is focus and not a hands issue. I believe we will see a different player this year based on better position coaching.

  45. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t want players who allow any fan criticism to occupy one brain cell.

    I want those brain cells to be occupied by coaches who know what the heck they’re talking about.

    There isn’t an NFL GM who wouldn’t sell their mother to the Arabs to have a young Mike Evans on their roster.

  46. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree with Db55 on Evans comments .He still needs to mature and focus on the easy ones.also think he and Vjax have made Winston look good and saved him from interceptions when he skies the ball. But I have watched both Glennon and Winston hit the defender on the numbers with Evans running down the left sideline.Others were too long or to the Wrong side.but the one Winston dropped in the bucket Evans dropped.Evans also seems to dwell on the passes he doesn,t think are well placed.When Winston and Evans build chemistry TD’s will increase.

  47. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Accurracy is a variable in catch rate ,just as much as drops.Consider,this
    Josh McCown connected with Mike Evans for 8 Touchdowns,and we all know how badly he struggled.So with another year to work together 10 -12 TD,s should be the goal.

  48. Buccaneers Says:

    The only thing that truely matters is thatEvans is our top weapon. Nobody will care about a down season if he gets his hands back next year.

    Off the subject but a big problem is that Mike is not the only players here that needs to step his game up next season.

  49. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    It was his sofomore year. Give the guy a break. The focus SHOULD be on how he overcame the drops to amass more yards than his rookie year. Many WRs struggle in year 2.

    Tampa “fans” turn on players far too quickly. It’s not like he pulled a Michael Clayton. The guy actually improved in some areas. The catches were there his rookie year…so we know they return. Chill people.

  50. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    As to crying to officials, give abreak. WRs are told to do it on the off chance of getting an interference call.e

  51. feelthepewterpower Says:

    uccaneers Says:
    May 17th, 2016 at 3:22 pm
    @feel the power & TDTB-the above chart clearly says weeks 9-17. Shoot even the article says that the final half of the season was used. I would never ask anybody to do a ton of research for a comment but……jeez, is it asking to much to actually read the chart or article you are referencing?
    uh, yes, I saw the chart. The SIX drop game occurred in week 9???

  52. feelthepewterpower Says:

    http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/drops/2014/ – Joe, in 2014….Evans was tied with VJax with 4 drops in 15 games played…with a dude you loved to bash in McCown at the helm. Louis Murphy played far less snaps as the third wide-out and being signed around the 5th game or so…and wound-up with the most drops of any of our receivers at six.

    Easy with the KY Jelly slap….I don’t think you’d call him that in an interview would you??

  53. gotbbucs Says:

    Had a monster rookie season followed by a sophmore slump. Happens all the time.

    ….but, screw it, let’s crucify him after another 1000 yard receiving season. This guy will end up being a 80-100 reception a year, 1100-1400 receiving yards per year, 5-10 TD receptions per year, and then you’ll turn on the next young player with an early career slump. Dumb.

  54. salish_seamonster Says:

    People love to bash. I can only conclude that bashing is what they enjoy about watching the game. Could be Evans, McCoy, ASJ… doesn’t matter. And they feel very justified and rational about it. A rational question might be “what is accomplished by bashing?” Answer? NOTHING. I think we long ago established that Evans dropped too many last year. Why are people still complaining about it? It’s a mystery to me. I’m on to next year.

  55. Buccaneers Says:

    @feelthe power-I apologize. I thought that Giants game happened earlier in season so I looked up the schedule before I said that. I counted it as the seventh game for some reason and also forgot to add a week for the bye.

    I’ve been wrong before and dont care about being corrected. I am just sorry that I said something about your comment that was incorrect. Glad you at least saw it and corrected me.

  56. Bob in Valrico Says:

    DYAR and DVOA include all passes intended for the receiver, both complete and incomplete. Catch Rate represents the percentage of passes to this receiver completed. This is a reference to incomplete passes, not dropped passes: dropped passes are not specified in publicly available play-by-play, and unfortunately we cannot yet correct for this.
    •We cannot yet fully separate the performance of a receiver from the performance of his quarterback. Be aware that one will affect the other.
    •These statistics measure only passes thrown to a receiver, not performance on plays when he is not thrown the ball, such as blocking and drawing double teams.
    •All fumbles are considered equal, whether recovered by the offense or defense.
    •DPI lists the number of plays and yards where the receiver drew Defensive Pass Interference. These plays are incorporated into DVOA and DYAR, but are not included in the totals for Passes or Yards.
    For those interested in what catch rate actually means.While Evans drops affect the percentage,a much larger amount of passes were off target.

  57. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    Look Mikey has proven he can do it his rookie year when he hauled in 74 catches for over 1200 yards and double digit TD’s. And that was with McClown and Glennon throwing to him for crying out loud. And all they did was basicslly lob the football to him down field and let him go get. Now he has a pro bowl QB that has showed he loves to get him the ball, so with a little time and practice, they can build a chemistry together. (cause it showed they didn’t have one yet last season.) And will become one of the best tandems in the league if Mikey can get his head back together.

    I think that’s all it was, Mike lost focus a little, having a very successfull rookie campaign and thought maybe it was a little easier to do it again. And with all the drops and flags, and the lack of timing between him and Jameis he still broke a 1000 yards and had a productive season. So I’m not worried. I think he comes back determined and refocused this year and will have sum chemistry built between him and Jameis, and returns to his rookie form when he was basically “uncoverable.”

  58. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Joe
    it is not Evans catch rate,it is it is more accurately Jameis’s completion percentage which he has the most control of through his Accurracy.Evans drops do affect his percentage but nowhere near the 50% you have suggested this stat represents.
    That said ,I agree with most of your comments on what Evans needs to improve on.Also think Evans ande Vjax make Jameis look good at times when he throws high passes.
    Here’s hoping both players improve and become the best tandem they can be.