Danger, Mr. Evans

May 9th, 2017

Hard hits = penalties. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com.)

Yes, Joe has documented how second-round pick safety Justin Evans is known for both being a bone-rattler and a shaky tackler.

Recently, when appearing on the “Pat and Aaron Show,” co-hosted by Pat Donovan and Aaron Jacobson heard on WDAE-AM 620, NFL Network analyst Charles Davis said he is isn’t worried so much about the latter but he is about the former.

In short, Davis said NFL zebras frown on hard hits.

“Much as we love that enforcer type guy, he gets more flags than ever before even though we think he is making what we believe are legitimate hits,” Davis said. “More [than] in the pros than college.

“The biggest thing guys, all of those Jack Tatum guys back then, they may not be as valuable now as back then. [In years past] if he gets a flag, so what? [The receiver] is gone. Now, well guess what? You are gone. It’s a whole different deal.

“Get him on the ground and be a sure tackler.”

In other words, splashing a ballcarrier looks cool as hell for the folks watching the NFL but the NFL suits and lawyers hate it. The goal now in the NFL is just get the guy to the ground. Don’t need to make SchlockCenter highlights.

Wait, is there a SchlockCenter any longer?

45 Responses to “Danger, Mr. Evans”

  1. Buc1987 Says:

    Dashon part 2? That’s what I feared after I heard his name called. Hope not.

  2. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I understand the fear…it’s legitimate…but I remain optimistic.

    It’s a lot easier to curb a guy’s aggression and teach him to play under control than to instill the desire to hit in a guy who doesn’t really like the contact.

    So far it looks as if at least two guys in this draft class actually enjoy the contact. Evans and McNichols. McNichols routinely fails to run the ball out of bounds instead turning upfield at the sideline to blast a DB.

  3. DB55 Says:

    Word on the street is that Reilly Bullough is even worse. Not only is he a head hunter but he also struggles to wrap up.

    Sounds like Mike Smith a crew have a lot of work to do.

  4. Dubcity06 Says:

    Hes a ballhawk too. Great in coverage. This is being slightly over blown

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    Pete…it should be much easier for him than Dashon, cause Dashon had to deal with the new rules after hitting hard for a few years. I had my season tickets that season. I was frustrating to watch the game. It is the way of the NFL though, but it certainly ain’t going down so easy with some of us fans. I suspect they actually lost a little bit of fans along the way too. Bucs fans were excited when Goldson smacked someone early on in the season. Judging by the crowd noise. Then the flag would fly. Then it would fly next week too, only 2 times this time. I can’t fault Goldson for much of it. His style was his style and I felt during that season the NFL was very ticky tacky for a reason I guess. Implement it with an iron fist. Goldson and his ilk were under a microscope. Whatever.

    I don’t like it this way now. It just doesn’t seem the same to me anymore. I still see ticky tacky calls, although not as frequent. Those piss me off with the new rules and all. Makes me just a hair less trustworthy of the integrity of the NFL. I’ve gone over this in here, perhaps with you. Cause you’re on the other side if I remember. Whatever. I’ll still watch for now. Hell else is on TV anyways?

  6. tnew Says:

    I was worried about this too. But Evans is a bit of an enigma here. While he is a very undisciplined tackler.. annoyingly so, he is very disciplined on the area that he “targets” on the hits. He seems to find the body on the hits and his He is seems very good at avoiding the head shots. I looked pretty hard for examples of head shots on his videos and found none. A quick websearch revealed none in college. I’m sure someone out there can see if he had any in college. He does launch but he leads with his shoulder, which puts in horrible tackling position (almost side-on many times not even trying to wrap almost like a check in hockey) but it does keep him away from the helmet to helmet. This launching could lead to the “defenseless receiver” call. The more I watch the more I like his movement.

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    DB55….Is Mike Smith building his version of “The Dirty Birds”?

  8. Ray Rice Says:

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo that’s why Aunt Geraldine is afraid to hit somebody?… I understand now.

  9. Brett Says:

    Years ago when I read Gaines Adams pre-draft reports, it was hard to get excited about him. He was described as raw and unfinished after 3 college seasons. My initial impressions for what I have read about Evans make me feel the same about him, even though Evans is far from the 4th overall pick.

    A guy who hits hard when the league is penalizing and who misses tackles is scary. Is it Evans fault or the college coaching staff? Anyway, hope they teach him to tackle and not take “defenseless” players’ heads off.

  10. Joeypoppems Says:

    You know, he can cover too. Its not all about his tackling lol.

  11. LargoBuc Says:

    Its sad how sports in general are losing the “enforcer” type players. Hard hitting safeties are neutered as are linebackers and any defender in general. How many times have we been flagged for hitting Drew Brees too hard? So many times have I seen a good clean hit to the torso called unnecessary roughness. Its bull spit. Its making it more difficult for teams like the 02 Bucs, 00 Ravens. 85 Bears to compete with the media darlings like Brady, Brees and Rodgers. Its making it too difficult to put a punk arse b!tch like OBJ in his place. Some of us like defense! We miss Jacked up, my favorite segment on espn sunday night highlights. I was watching the 03 playoff game between the Raven and Titans and there was a segment pre game where Ray Lewis talked about football being a matter of “hit or ne hit”. It was inspiring! And you will never see that again because the media is trying to program its viewers that defense=boring. I miss the early 2000’s watching teams like the Ravens, Titans, Steelers, Eagles, Patriots and most importantly our very own Bucs! I miss watching those teams lay out the competition and if two of those teams met up, you knew there were going to be some cringe-worthy hits and more than a few bloody noses! Just my opinion but defensive battles with bone shattering hits was way more interesting than an offensive shootout. IDGAF what the media says!

  12. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    87 Agree completely in the comparison of Evans and Dashon and why it should be easier for Evans to adjust.

    Another aspect IMO is that Evans actually has far more talent than Dashon. That WAS Dashon’s game. Evans has speed and ball hawking ability…there are plenty of things he can do besides blow people up…his entire game is not dependent on it.

  13. Pepsi Says:

    Anyone saying this is overblown simply hasnt watched real games of him.


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

    Far more talent than Dashon. Actually how about doing this go look at his highlights and come back and tell me how many illegal hits occur. I personally don’t recall seeing any. While your at it watch J.J. Wilcox’s as well, I’m highly impress with how impactful but at the same time clean he makes contact.

  15. DB55 Says:


    Maybe it’s all he knows. You see what Dan Quinn did for the Atl defense. He fixed that def in like 3 months.

  16. Brandon Says:

    Enough talking about Evans rattling bones. Can you people talking about this guy being a Jack Tatum or Goldson please watch some tape. Yeah, the guy doesn’t wrap up… but NO, he’s not a big hitter. Get on draftbreakdown and watch some tape of this guy… he is not a hitter. He won’t even try to lay somebody out unless their back is turned… and when they are facing him or turn up field he throws himself at their ankles. He is a dreadful tackler. His most effective tackle technique is to come up to the ball carrier from the side, hop on his back and go for a ride. Anybody that talks about him being a big hitter is simply regurgitating the nonsense that somebody once spewed without the facts to back it up.

    The dude is a flat out stud in coverage, not lightning fast but instinctive and athletic… but getting guys on the ground has been a serious problem for this guy.

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

    If Justin didn’t draw flags while in school this is a none issue. If you listening My G. Continue BRINGING THAT WOOD.

  18. teacherman777 Says:

    We really missed on

    Nico Marley!!!

    The redskins signed him.

    He’s tiny but one of the best tacklers and quickest players I have ever seen.

    He is gonna be a badass Nickel/FS/WLB.

    Just watch

  19. bucNation Says:

    hopefully he isn’t used in the box much and he shows good coverage skills and we are able to use him as a single high safety with wilcox getting his hands dirty in the box

  20. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Keanu Neal hits harder than all of them and he wasn’t flagged much. Everyone seen the hit that he put on Mike Evans.

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS! It always has. For the “old school” fans like myself and others, a good hit will get me off the couch as much as a long bomb will. The NFL is trying to keep the millennials (SQUIRREL!!!) focused by having more “action” in the game.
    I like this kid’s style, but he will have to clean it up if he is to survive.

  22. Steven007 Says:


    Same with me. It seems like Evans is a hard body hitter, which should be okay. Most of his hard hits are clearly chest area or below. And I agree that his movement seems refined and intuitive. And he actually has ball skills. Hopefully the tackling will improve.

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

    Jbf funny man😊,I wonder how do many of you missed your calling as expert talent evaluators in the NFL.

  24. martinii Says:


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

    Thing is this Jason Licht Dirk Koetter and Mike Smith signed off this young man for a purpose. But armchair GMs know better. Riiigghhtt.

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

    How did y’all feel about the kids Lattimore from Ohio st. Don’t recall anyone here mentioning poor tackling but when he was drafted in the first round John Gruden’s breakdown was filled with missed tackles. But did that stop him from going in the first??? No. That speed and vertical jump prolly had something to do with it. Ya see I’ve never read NFL teams draft only finish products. When you can show me a quote of a GM that feel’s that way post it so I can be enlightened.

  27. Joeypoppems Says:


    The fact that it is a problem is not overblown. The size of this problem is what is being overblown.

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Nole..Deion Sanders was the worst tackler I have ever seen. But he was the best cover guy ever. If you’re a good cover guy, all you need to be is a decent tackler. Earl Thomas makes his living in coverage, not making tackles. Justin Evans will shine playing Center Fielder and he will make tackles. He made 165 tackles in two seasons at Texas A&M.

  29. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Justin Evans is getting a bad rep like Earl Thomas with the missed tackles. Earl Thomas make over a 100 tackles and people scream when he miss a few. Justin Evans made 87 tackles last season. Then they scream when he miss a few tackles. Now he has the label of being a poor tackler, despite making 87 tackles.

  30. tnew Says:

    Lakeland.. was just typing about Deion

  31. tmaxcon Says:


    whens the last time a defensive dominant team won back to back super bowls or even multiple super bowls in say a 3 year stretch….

    It’s a passing league and franchise quarterbacks with weapons and protection win championships. Do you want to be one and done or a dynasty…. franchise qb led teams are a dynasty in the making defensive teams are one and done.

  32. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Evans will be just fine. This kid is special just wait

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    @tmax- um, the NE Patriots!!! We forget how good they are defensively because they make people look silly offensively. You have to have both, or at least be better than average.
    I’m not saying to go back to the run, run, pass offenses of Tony Dungy! If you don’t have good defense you WILL NOT win championships.

  34. SOEbuc Says:

    Yeah it’s pretty sad how pansy ass this league has become when it comes to big hits. IT’S A PHYSICAL GAME AND IF YOU DON’T WANNA GET OR GIVE BIG HITS, THAN YOU AINT GETTING PAYED THE EXTREMELY LARGE PAY CHECKS THESE DUDES GET! And on that note, do they have some kind of concussion/injury clause in the contracts? If they don’t they should.

  35. Bucsfanman Says:

    One does not beget the other. You MUST have both to win consistently.

  36. unbelievable Says:

    This premise is not entirely true…

    The fact is, the teams that are considered ‘good’, and respected, are very rarely called for these hard hits. It’s the teams in the bottom half of the league and / or players who have a reputation.

    We start winning, and doing it consistently, and we won’t be seeing that many flags from the zebras (so long as it’s not a hit to the head of course!).

  37. Joeypoppems Says:

    Even high powered offenses need a good defense Tmax. Saints have a great QB and they were 1 and done. Defense still matters.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    Think you are the only one that has actually watched tape.
    If Evans has somethinh to work on- and EVERY rookie does,
    Its wrapping up and driving thru tackles.
    He has a tendency to bounce off, then get dragged for 5 yards.
    He is a great cover guy. An outstanding cover guy.
    Free safety
    JJ wilcox is a HUGE HITTER. They are hoping our coaching can help refine his techniques, and they can make this former first rounder our STRONG safety.

    Our secondary Coaches are both very good. I know Evans will be great, and have high hopes for Wilcox
    Both our Secondary coaches are Cornerback specialist.
    Still wouldnt mind the Bucs adding a Safety coach to the Staff, just to work with our 4 safeties.

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

    Could’nt have said it any better Lakeland. And I believe the Earl Thomas comparison is a fair one bro. Interestingly my favorite pick from the draft is receiving the most criticism. That tells me all I need to know. The young man is going to be great. They always hate in the beginning and love you in the end.

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

    165 tackles the last two season’s. 😊This ishh be funny yo.

  41. SB Says:

    Off Season…..People have to write articles and other writers have to convey it to their constituents if you will. Nothing to see here. Move along

  42. BigMacAttack Says:

    The national media sucks. Sports, Politics, Fox, CNN, they all suck. Always trying to find a problem where one doesn’t exist. All of these rookies are under new coaches and they are better than any they’ve had before. Let’s give them some time and space before tearing them down for acts they haven’t committed. Charles Davisvis an idiot and needs to STFU.

  43. Reach87 Says:

    I think I will wait and see what he does with the pads on in camp and preseason games. Until then I’ll trust our scouts, GM and coaching staff that he’s a fit for us and will make us better. There is no rookie in the NFL ready to start and be what we want them to be at this point. Go Bucs

  44. Howard Returns Says:

    Howard watches SportsCenter. He likes all the human-interest stories. He likes it almost as much as The View.

  45. Clw JB Says:

    His short area quickness is what we have missing at S position, the guy can jump underneath routes, misdirection plays very aggressively and the long speed to pay deep centerfield on 3rd down – look for Wilcox and Tandy to battle for SS, Evans is the FS battling Conte to start and he should be the starter by midseason -his tackling will get better hopefully, but anyone watching football for any period of time knows the art of tackling has been lost by most in this league…we need him making plays on the ball, something we haven’t had enough of for several years…