Monken Relentlessly Drilling Contested Catches

August 2nd, 2016
Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Adam Humphries talk to Joe

Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Adam Humphries talk to Joe

Things are quite different around the Buccaneers’ receiving corps this season.

Studying the Tampa Bay receivers through training camp, Joe noticed a lot more work on tough catches, contested catches and catches in traffic. Look at Joe’s picture above: Vincent Jackson is going through a drill with a guy on his back and Mike Evans’ hand on his left arm. That’s just one example.

It’s interesting how many different ways new wide receivers coach/offensive coordinator Todd Monken simulates distractions for his troops.

Joe asked the Bucs’ top three receivers about the adjusted change in focus this season.

“You gotta be able to deal with some bodies on you, some arms pulling at you, tugging at your jersey and arms,” Vincent Jackson said. “And so we just try to do small drills that create some obstacles.”

Adam Humphries, the Bucs’ newly ordained No. 3 wide receiver, said Monken is a master at introducing new drills at practice that tie to areas in which receivers might have struggled the previous day, or tie to something he’s emphasizing.

“He’s got a lot of great drills I’ve never done before. So it’s always good to have an arsenal of drills, you know, different looks and ways you’re going to catch balls during games,” Humphries said. “I think it will pay off for us.”

Mike Evans was quite candid with Joe. Evans acknowledged there’s “absolutely” a lot more emphasis on contested catches, though that was a strength of his in 2015, he said.

“But the thing is, my contested catches were great last year, it was just my wide open ones [that were a problem],” Evans said. “So it’s about focus.”

It’s no surprise Dirk Koetter kept his offensive staff in tact but jettisoned wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker. The Bucs were in need of an upgrade. Hayes-Stoker had little experienced and moved on quickly to a non-coaching job with the Colts before Lovie Smith called him to coach receivers at Illinois.

It’s an unknown whether Monken’s methods will pay off, but Joe feels like the Bucs are in much better hands.






26 Responses to “Monken Relentlessly Drilling Contested Catches”

  1. Lord Cornelius Says:

    ME is actually right. Dude made some amazing contested catches last year. Some amazing sideline toe tipping hands over the WR catches / catches in traffic / one handed grabs / etc. For whatever reason it was the wide open ones that he struggled with especially ones that hit him in the chest lol.

    I’ve said it before but I’d rather take the drops and get those big plays than have no drops and no big plays. The guy averaged 80+ yards a game for us during a let down year and typically was still a big reason we could move the ball down the field. I think he’s already a great #1 WR. But it’s just a matter of elevating his game to the next level.

  2. SOEbuc Says:

    Maybe Mike Evans just needs to be reminded of the pee-wee rule that you catch the ball with your hands and not your chest

  3. DallasBuc Says:

    “Contested passes were great last year”
    Hah! It’s the contested passes you didn’t catch which were the problem, not to mention the wide open drops, Clayton.
    I bet these contested pass drills are replete with Mike Clayton-Evans hissy fits and real tears!!

  4. "That guy" Says:

    If you attack the ball in the air instead of letting it come to you, then you will stop dropping passes. Rule of thumb.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The best way to keep from dropping a pass is to catch it!!!

  6. TVD head ball coach Says:

    If you catch the ball you will gain yards!

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    If you hold on to the ball instead of watching it hit the ground and throwing a conniption fit you will catch passes. Easy rule of thumb.
    – “that guy”

  8. JGhoti86 Says:


    Watch this past offseason’s version of game changers on nfl network with Michael Irving! Mr. Playmaker would disagree with you wholeheartedly. It came on after the draft with guys like Pharoah Cooper, Michael Thomas, Braxton Millers and a couple others.

    I think you should watch that video, but if you care for me to explain why that logic is flawed at times, I will.

  9. JGhoti86 Says:

    @ “that guy” as well

  10. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    ‘That guy’ is right DallasBuc. Attack the ball in the air. Learn something besides how to complain. Funny, you’re complaining about Evans complaining.

  11. BigHogHaynes Says:

    I think coach K just wanted to give his friend Monken a hand up to the big leagues…….but it was his choice! New coaches should bring different ways to practice!”

  12. JGhoti86 Says:

    Irvin * and Miller**

  13. DallasBuc Says:

    Other side- I didn’t say he was wrong. Quite the opposite really. What I and others did there was utilize a device known as sarcasm because his point was rather obvious. Go ahead and look it up if you need to. No shame in that.
    And yeah, I’m going to complain about Clayton-Evans’ complaining on the football field when the play doesn’t go his way because that kind of behavior on top of bad play is completely unacceptable from a top 10 pick.
    Maybe you are cool with it. Not this fan. It’s embarrassing.

  14. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    Just reminds me of the mother who tells her child “I’ve told you ten thousand times not to exaggerate.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    its all about focus…..GO BUCS!!!!

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

    dallas you jealous of Mike Evans. Lets me guess you thought you would be a first rounder??? Tell that token laughing man 87 to snicker on that.

  17. DallasBuc Says:

    Jealous of a professional athlete and one that is struggling to perform his main position responsibility at that? This is all you got and you’re running with it, huh?
    You do realize that in order for you to know whether I am jealous I would have to have demonstrated some form of envy which to this point is the opposite sentiment I have expressed regarding Mike Clayton-Evans. But this is your thing…your defense mechanism, to make stuff up about me so you have something to criticize. It’s like clockwork. Hilarious!

  18. LargoBuc Says:

    Lets be real here. Evans had some trouble holding on to the ball, but to call the guy “Clayton Evans” is a bit of a reach, borderline delusional.

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    Did Michael Clayton have trouble holding on to the ball?

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    He’s Michael Clayton like in drops in 1 of his 2 years but not compatible in any other way. He made like 10-15 plays last year more noteworthy than anything Clayton ever did

  21. DallasBuc Says:

    He’s like Michael Clayton in the way that made Michael Clayton notorious. Inconvenient fact for the jock sniffing fanboys to digest. I get it.
    Doesn’t change the fact that he has a big problem receiving footballs as a receiver.

  22. LargoBuc Says:

    Nah that’s a stupid comparison. Evans has did more in one down 2015 than Clayton did his entire career. K maybe Clayton did a little more just bcus of that monster rookie year Clayton had. But Evans in two years did waaaay more that Clayton in six, and it’s not even close. But hey, it obviously dosent matter. Dallas Bucs name game says more about himself than it does Evans or Clayton.

  23. DallasBuc Says:

    I am not comparing careers. That’s you. The striking similarity remains in that ugly little habit of dropping passes. So go ahead and fluff it up all you want be both know it’s true and the comparison is legit.
    Name game? Uh, okay.

  24. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Sad that someone who claims to be a Bucs fan since 1984,brings so much negativity to this site.

  25. Bob in Valrico Says:

    @ BighogH
    Much like Lovie did with his high school coach and his sons.big difference is
    Montgen is a qualified offensive mind that Koetter respects.

  26. DallasBuc Says:

    Valrico Bub- there are positives and negatives with any team. I point them out as I see them because that’s kind of the whole point. I didn’t see any pool rules around here prohibiting negative criticism. You be the best fan you can be and I’ll do me.