Could Evans Make Bucs History?

July 4th, 2016
Can Bucs WR Mike Evans set franchise mark?

Can Mike Evans set a franchise mark?

Man, the way Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans played as a rookie, Joe thought surely this buy would be a superstar, a PTPer, a Pro Bowler.

Then last year, Evans forgot how to catch. To make matters worse, Evans seemed more inclined to holler at officials begging for flags, and to run smack at opposing defenders, than he was finishing routes and, oh yeah, catching the damned ball. There is no question Evans regressed and players proved they could get in his head.

One could argue if Evans was able to routinely catch the ball, Lovie Smith might still be here.

Despite taking a step (two?) back, multimedia maven Scott Smith of believes Evans could set a franchise record this year.

Touchdown reception season totals, much like interceptions for defensive backs, can be fickle, so Evans really shouldn’t be dinged too hard for that drop from 12 to three. The great Calvin Johnson caught 16 touchdown passes for Detroit in 2011, then just five in 2012, then another 12 in 2013. In his first four NFL seasons, Johnson’s TD totals yo-yoed from four to 12 to five to 12. Randy Moss, one of the greatest deep threats ever, totaled 11 touchdowns in 2005 and 2006, then had 23 in 2007. It happens.

What’s unusual about Evans’ two TD totals is that he played on a much better offense in his three-score season than in his 12-score campaign. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston threw 22 touchdown passes, but he found Charles Sims, Vincent Jackson, Cameron Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone at least as many times as he found Evans. Winston also leeched away six potential touchdown passes with scoring scrambles of his own.

I say things work out differently in 2016, and Evans is the primary TD-maker in the Bucs’ passing game. Winston and Evans didn’t hook up well on the long ball in 2015, which was odd given that it was considered a strength in each of their individual games. They have talked this offseason about building better chemistry together, and I think they will succeed. I also think the Bucs’ offense will be more efficient overall, creating more red zone opportunities and capitalizing on more of them by utilizing such big targets as Evans, Jackson and Seferian-Jenkins. In the end, Evans will fall one short of his own record with 11 TD catches in 2016.

Smith is quick to point out that only three times in Bucs history has a wide receiver recorded double-digit touchdown receptions. Evans did his rookie season.

If Evans repeats that feat, he will become the first receiver in team history with two seasons of double-digit touchdown receptions, which sort of tells you what a miserable history of offense the Bucs have had.

The first thing Evans must do is get his head right. Hopefully, the combination of Dirk Koetter, Todd Monken and America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, can accomplish this.

Foremost for Evans is catching the damn ball!

28 Responses to “Could Evans Make Bucs History?”

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Sort of silly Joe,
    Lovie the defensive guru,still would be giving up a70 % slant pass percentage,putting the wrong players in the wrong place to make plays.
    His decisions to punt, kick field goals and pack it in with time on clock
    robbed offense of momentum frequently.

  2. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I have no worries about Mikey, I’m confident he will bounce back and learn from all the knuckle head stuff he did this past season. As Joe pointed out the long ball is a strength of both him and Jameis, so look for them to be on the same page this season. I’m very excited about the potential of Mikey and Jameis, I think they have the ability to be one of the best combos in the league. Skys the limit for this potent offense. Now if we could just get the defense to come around…

  3. Rrsrq Says:

    Can’t wait til the season so we can stop beating last season to death, especially ME, he had the dropsies, primarily in only a couple of games, still eclipsed 1000 yards and 70+ receptions with defenses keying on him. We can all agree last season was just a Bucs life…, plenty of potential to go with plenty of mistakes, enough to get you hyped but enough to bring you down. Let’s get this season started so we can FF, we all want to see a return to the days of consistently winning, even though it was short lived…

  4. Rrsrq Says:

    BTW, Happy Fourth Bucs fans

  5. Kevin Says:

    If I were playing my second season under Lovie Smith, I would have trouble playing with motivation as well. Lovies gone, Koetter in charge, problem solved. Evans is going to be a complete monster this season

  6. Dave Says:

    As for TDs, I don’t care about a record. I want to see him and VJax and ASJ and Brate and Bell and Simms Alba bunch

  7. ndog Says:

    This was the only thing I did not like about Koetter last year. He openly asked Jameis to hang the ball up for 50/50 balls when going deep instead of leading the receiver. IMO that is the reason Jameis struggled last year with the deep ball. Look at his FSU tape and you will see perfect deep ball after deep ball to many different receivers because he was just allowed to cut it loose and use his instincts for the timing of the throw. Plus 50/50 balls are harder to catch for Evans as well as by their very nature they are contested, whereas the year before he was getting lead down the field. Letting the players play should help this alone.

  8. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Mike Evans catching the ball wasn’t really such a big issue. He did have 1,200+ yards. The issue was scoring TDs…sure, he had some drops, but he still produced.

    He will still produce.

  9. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    If Jameis Winston continues to grow, Mike Evans will become elite this year.

    Really, Winston has more to prove than Evans.

  10. eric Says:

    this guy is terrible get him out of here who in the hell need a 23 wr who has 2 1000 yards season who played more then half the season without another guy on the other side that would get any respect from opposing defenses wr who most likely are practiced squad wr on all most any other NFL team yeah get rid of the bum!

    Get A Damn Clue! yeah he drop 11 passes or what ever but hell he caught his fair share also yeah he has an attitude but most great ones do and I have never seen a star wr who don’t crab for calls! not a one

  11. Bob in Valrico Says:

    plenty of reason for optimism this year.And Bonzai is right about Winston’s growth.
    pretty much everybody believes he has what it takes but he will face some the stiffest defenses in his young career.He will need all his weapons to click,
    wide recievers,TE’s and backs to make plays. Accurracy will be important.He will now have green light to audible so he will have to make good decisions.He moves well in the pocket
    and makes plays with his feet.

  12. JP4 Says:

    OK, the article doesn’t mention the other two receivers who had 10 or more TDs in a season. I figured one of the other two was Joey Galloway, and he had 10 TDs in 2005. I had trouble with the other one, looking up stats on Mark Carrier, Bruce Hill, Kevin House, Keyshawn Johnson – nope, none had more than 9 TDs in a single season in their Buc careers (Buccareers?). Then I found it – Mike Williams, with 11 in 2010.

    That means the Bucs have been SO bad at QB and at WR and at OC that the only 2 other WRs to get 10 or more TDs in a season have done so only once each in the last 11 years. The Bucs went 30 YEARS before this happened for the first time. But hey, how ’bout that defense?

  13. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Well LOVIE ain’t here……..lets hope we don’t have to play the blame game this year!!

  14. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Joe….he was at the bottom with drops his rookie season. Drops six in a rain game in which he changed gloves a few times, and this number of drops this game was the majority of his drop percentage for the entire season. Yet, you’ve branded him with soft hands? He didnt play receiver until his jr/sr yeah in HS, and came-out of college earlier. His ceiling is immense, and he will go through his growing pains like any other receiver. Have to give him time…I agree with Smith, the record is there for the taking!

  15. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    This is what irritates me about those always crying about Evans. What he did as a rookie was phenomenal. You do what he did as a rookies proved he has the juice. If his sophomore slump was 1200 yards 2tds and 12 drops then this young man will be a superstar in TB that’s if they don’t let him walk for no good reason like Michael Bennett and he will break all of the receiving records here. I might be wrong but he will be our first receiver to start his career with 3 consecutive 1000 yard seasons and I do believe he will get at least 10 tds this year. Like Joe said he has to get his mind right. It’s all a mental thing because he has the physical skills to be the best ever!

  16. BigHogHaynes Says:

    ^^^^^ You said that! N

  17. Buccaneers Says:

    I disagree with anybody defending Evans drops…….a #1 wideout has to make big plays in this league.

    Evans drop issue is not just about how many he had it has a lot to do with when they happened.

    Many times last year Winston made a great pass during a crucial moment. Quite a few of these crucial moments resulted in a drop from Evans……we could have changed the complexion of those games in these moments.

    After losses you think back and see errors that ruined our chance of winning. Evans drops were one of the many errors that killed us last year. I expect us to lose more games if these drops continue to keep occurring at crucial moments.

    But now it’s 2016, I will forgive and forget. I just hope I don’t have to watch this team lose games because of stupid errors again………errors that winning teams don’t commit, errors that losing teams become known for.

  18. loggedontosay Says:

    Evans was hurt last and had very little help. Concerning the situation that Evans played last year, I have no doubt about his future. Not like your boy Gerald McCoy who fake being hurt all year because he is to lazy to perform.

  19. Owlykat Says:

    We will have a veteran defensive team for the most part who can adapt to the new defense quickly and get the ball back for the Offense a lot more than they did last year, which means Evans will get the ball a lot more than he did last year and Monken will stop the drops so I expect Evans to be an All Pro this year. This team has better depth at all positions too so if a player gets hurt we will have capable backups to step up and keep us going on all cylinders. I expect us to be the surprise team this year.

  20. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @logged on
    diet,nutrtition and the right conditioning solved the Hammy issue for Mike Alstott suspect that may help Evans also.Other than that have no idea what
    injury you are talking about McCoy injury was real,not sure about Evans.injury ,provide some details.

  21. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @n dog,
    Don,t believe all winstons balls down the left sideline were well placed.Saw passes thrown at defender so Evans had no chance to get to it.also saw a ball thrown way over the wrong shoulder.also saw one well placed ball go through
    Evans hands.would think 50-50 passes should be thrown when receiver is stopped in an area and can face the QB,not on a deep sideline pass.

  22. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Also Koetter made it clear the chemistry between Winston and Evans needed
    to be improved.

  23. Bob in Valrico Says:

    the angle a right handed quarterback throws a pass to right sideline or over the middle is different and easier than the throw across his body.a longtime patriot reporter had an arcticle that Brady was better at short passing game and deep passes to the right or middle.makes sense to me since Gronk seems to be the deep threat on team.

  24. loggedontosay Says:

    Bob in Valrico Says:
    July 4th, 2016 at 7:47 pm
    @logged on
    diet,nutrtition and the right conditioning solved the Hammy issue for Mike Alstott suspect that may help Evans also.Other than that have no idea what
    injury you are talking about McCoy injury was real,not sure about Evans.injury ,provide some details.

    If you are going to respond to something I write, make sure it make sure it what you write is logical because if I am in the mood, I will make appear to be a dummy. What you wrote has nothing to do with what I wrote.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @logged on

  26. Phil Says:

    All he needs are the same gloves Odell Beckham wears.

  27. Bob in Valrico Says:

    will try again for logged on:
    Mike evans tweeked his hamstring in both 2014 and 2015 and was lost to team for 2 or 3 games.They were not season long injuries.As to the Mike alstott
    reference,he suffered those same type of repetitive hamstring injuries.It was corrected trough diet,nutrition and either stretching or conditioning. As far
    Evans being the only receiver when Vjax went down I would agree with you.
    Anybody that watches his highlights over the last two years should be able to see the huge potential he has,
    As to Gerald McCoy’s injury,i completely disagree with you that he faked either a broken hand or a shoulder injury as I saw writhing on the ground
    when he hurt himself.

  28. Tyler Says:

    We actually just had a podcast on RotoViz Radio regarding Mike Evans’ potential ceiling this season. Not only did we look at a realistic projection forecast for him, but also what it would take for him to finish as *the* top wide receiver in the NFL given Tampa Bay’s outlook for 2016.