Koetter: Mike Evans “Going Out Of His Way To Look It In”

July 29th, 2016
Different Day 2 for Mike Evans

Different Day 2 for Mike Evans

It’s not the fault of fans and media that there’s a lot of focus on Mike Evans’ hands.

If not for Evans’ butter fingers last year, it’s a safe bet he would have been a Pro Bowl wide receiver and Lovie Smith would be a proud NFL head coach.

So, yes, it was noteworthy when Evans dropped the first ball thrown to him in training camp during Day 1’s festivities on Thursday. But today was a new day, and Evans was catching everything his way.

Dirk Koetter liked what he saw on the field, but he wasn’t the biggest fan of what he heard from the media yesterday.

“Mike got a lot of balls thrown his way today. You could really see Mike going out of his way to look it in,” Koetter said. “I think he read all you guys’ reports that he dropped that first ball in warmups yesterday. He probably had some choice words for you all. You’ve been watching every single drop he has. Keep watching. Keep watching. He gets a lot of balls thrown at him.

“No one likes to see drops, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re never going to drop any balls. I’ve found in my career. The worst thing you can say to a guy when he drops a ball is, ‘Don’t drop the ball.’ Alright, maybe we should coach him on doing it better. Maybe we should tell him to focus on watching it in. I thought Mike did a good job out there.”

Fair enough. And Joe’s glad Evans had a great practice.

There’s only one way, though, for Evans to shake the drops chatter. Squeeze the ball when it’s in his hands, at least at a rate that’s typical of an NFL receiver.

30 Responses to “Koetter: Mike Evans “Going Out Of His Way To Look It In””

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

    He bout to make you eat that k.y. moniker Joe.

  2. Joe Says:

    He bout to make you eat that k.y. moniker Joe.

    Hope so.

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evans will be fine, I’m not worried a speck. I think most of the Bucs players read what fans think here at JBF.

  4. D-Rome Says:

    I think most of the Bucs players read what fans think here at JBF.

    I hope not.

  5. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Why is that you have to insert LOVIE into every other article…….well let me reword that, it seems like you throw cow turds out to the goats, cause goats will eat anything, and I see you know that!

  6. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I dont like all the attention on Evans’s drops. He doesn’t have KY hands.. He has fantastic hands. WR can get that same mental sickness that kickers get. Koetter is right.. The more we harp on Evans’s hands the more it gets in his head. A guy like this that makes spectacular grabs, but drops the gimmes, that’s all mental.

  7. Stpeteburtaicsfan Says:


    I get your sensitivity. You are a Lovie fan who is tired of all the Lovie bashing here.

    But this time you let it pull you off direction. The “Lovie mention” in this case was actually defends your guy. It points out that it wasn’t all Lovie’s fault and in fact if ME had hung on to passes Lovie could still be here.

    While that’s perhaps debatable it’s certainly a possibility.

  8. Waterboy Says:

    I agree with Koetter and hopefully the media won’t get in his head and make the 12 or so drops from last season a mental thing for him. BTW Evans may have lead the league in the number of dropped passes last year but if I’m not mistaking he didn’t lead the league in drop %. Meaning the number of passes dropped based on the total number of passes thrown at him. It’s been several months since I’ve looked at the stats but if I remember correctly Tweety Jenkins had a higher drop rate.

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Not worried about Evans.

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    BigPoppaBuc … “A guy like this that makes spectacular grabs, but drops the gimmes, that’s all mental.” Excellent summary of ME13’s 2015 season BigPoppaBuc. On the tough ones he has no choice but to focus on the ball all the way in. But I lean towards thinking that Mike’s such a competitor that on those ‘gimmes’ he’s thinking about his first move upfield BEFORE the ball even gets in his hands.

    No doubt he’s got to improve his receiving % this year, but with the type of game he plays, I really wonder if it’s even realistic to expect Mike to catch 55-60% of what’s thrown his way. Even Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, two premier possession WRs in my opinion, come in at 65%. Even the great Calvin Johnson, whose game was much like ME13’s I think, barely averaged 55% over his career.

  11. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I too think the players read JoeBucsFan. They always say the outside chatter doesn’t bother them. I say BS, to a certain degree we all care what others think about us. Some of us can brish it off better than others but we care. This site has more traffic than any out there covering the Bucs, so I’m sure some of them drop by from time to time.

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

    They do read this,I said “a storm was brewing in the bay”last year. I later seen Louis Murphy tweet the exact same words. Coincedence. Please.

  13. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Agree with BigPoppabuc and defense rules.and one step further, Jameis is working on his footwork.Hopefully that gives him a little more accuracy.
    Jameis’s attitude and professionalism is refreshing for a such a young
    Another pre season together should help this tandem’s timing improve.
    Lets face it, they collaborated on some damn fine completions last season.

  14. DallasBuc Says:

    Mike Clayton Evans until he proves it otherwise in real, meaningful games at meaningful times.
    There is an expectation that is far from reality after 2015. I would love to drop the Clayton from his name but that’s only gonna happen when he stops dropping the damn ball.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Great point Waterboy. The % of drops is a more telling stat than the # of drops.

    Practically every receiver in the NFL who gets 150+ balls a year thrown at them is going to have at least a half dozen “drops”.

    Yea, Evans had double that and he and we and everyone knows he dropped too many easy catches last year. And unfortunately, a # of those drops came at a very bad time. But realistically, there were a # of other prominent WRs last year who dropped more balls %wise than Evans.

    The dude is an immensely talented WR who did something that only 1 other WR in NFL history has done – back to back 1000 yard seasons at the age of 22.

    22 people – 22 years old! Mike Evans is just getting started. He wont cross the dreaded athletic bridge of 30 y.o. until 2025.

    All of his mistakes and “flaws” are coachable – and as long as ME13 continues to work hard and maintains his love of football and desire to be great – then the sky is the limit for this young man with Jameis Winston throwing him the ball.

  16. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Baseball loves it homerun hitters even if some of Whiff every other time
    they come to the plate.Evans only Whiffed 10% of the time.I expect improvement as these two young players grow together. I am all for focusing on the positive,Its a brand new year. Go bucs!

  17. Bob in Valrico Says:

    should have less than 10% of Winstons attempts and not all of those were catchable,

  18. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Mike Evans doesn’t have to prove anything to you. He only has to convince
    himself and teammates. You possess laserlike vision on Evans 11 drops but are somewhat myopic on the great catches he and Winston connected on
    last year.Winston can improve on his accuracy and footwork.And Evans needs to mature and secure some of the Gimmes he dropped last year.

  19. Buccaneers Says:

    I really dont care so much for the # or the % of drops. Fact is that a lot of those drops were critical………..You cant drop six points in this league. A coupleof times he dropped the six and then the 3 points were yanked which made it even worse.

    I dont think Evans will stop hearing about it so he better just deal with it. But it is in he past and Evans shouldnt worry about what the fans think because we will all be rooting for him onSunday. We know we got one of the best in the game with Evans and we want the best for him.

    Evans can be a huge part of this team succedding, but only if he can catch them sixes when hey come his way.

  20. tmaxcon Says:

    I really dont care so much for the # or the % of drops. Fact is that a lot of those drops were critical………

    Buccaneers nailed it….

    The other key fact that people are missing unlike loser lovie and his wortless coach speak answers Koetter is unafraid to address questions head on. If you don’t think evans will appreciate and respect kotters response you are crazy

  21. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Like the fact that Koetter is realistic.S#*t happens . I think the players will
    see a huge upgrade in the way the coach will go to bat for them.

  22. Buccaneers Says:

    Yeah tmax, accountability was a large issue last year. Hopefully Dirk is an improvement in that area but we also need it comig from the players too.

  23. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ Buccaneers
    Good point Buccaneers I only remember one that should have been 6.But that was a perfectly thrown ball that Winston dropped in the bucket and it went
    right through his hands.also can’t argue with the critical drops that could have extended drives.Hope Evans is his own worst critic and works hard to improve.Koetter has assembled a great staff to get the most out of his young receiver.
    Heres to a very good year for Buc fans in 2016.

  24. Buccaneers Says:

    Bob I distinctly remember 2 big drops. One on the right side and one on the left. Each one was a deep throw that hit Evans right in his chest. Neither was for a TD but both were inside the ten…..maybe not TDs but plays that put points on he board none the less.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    really doesn’t matter anymore to me.Because you and I are rooting for the same thing.Jameis and Evans working together to turn the Bucs into winners again min 2016.
    Been a bucs fan since inception and I think we are all due for a change.

  26. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    How is it that Evans didn’t prove himself as a rookie to be a great receiver but he has 15 freaking drops last year and now he deserves to be called Michael Clayton???? The cry babies and whiners and unhappy people up here are ridiculous. Always finding something to complain about. He is the best receiver in years and all you do is look at what he did wrong. He was the only receiver constantly double teamed yet still got open. Your all little GWH Rudy Humphries and Cameron Brate still didn’t do together what he did all by himself. I hope you people have to put up with someone who only looks at the wrong things you do no matter how much you did right, but of course that will never happen because you’re so perfect.

  27. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I agree with you and we are not alone.Even the best receivers drop balls.with the exception of his focus at times. he put together a pretty good season.Almost a third of Winstons yards passing was due to him.But for every drop there was some pretty excellent catches often when there was no other lagid receiver on the field. Both Winston and Evans will be working hard together this year and should bring a lot of excitement.

  28. Bob in Valrico Says:

    After Tennesee ready ,no way ,no how should Lovie be smiling on our sidelines.
    in 2016.Evans could have caught 2000 yards of passes and it would not have helped.

  29. Buccaneers Says:

    Yeah Bob. Thats all that matters. Most fans know this is a “what have you done for me lately” league……I really dont care about anything except what this team can do this year. I just hope we have the right group of players who can win games. As far as Evans is concerned, I know we dont have to worry about him being good enough. Looking forward to what hes gonna do this yer!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!

  30. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ buccaneers can’t predict when or if we will have the right group of players this year.But unlike the last two years there will be competition at most positions.Lovie had favorites like Mike Jenkins who were given the starting job.
    even missing a lot of the 2014 year training camp.
    what you can count on Jason Licht and staff continually trying to upgrade
    the team.will be interesting to see how some of later round picks turn like Ryan Smith and Vitale.i like the fact, that we have a Gm that thinks ahead 2 or 3 years into the future.2016 could be the start of something, HUGE!
    GO BUCS!