Time To Be Great

May 21st, 2017

Bucs OC not satisfied.

For two seasons, Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was good but showed flaws.

Two of his biggest were concentration — which also led to his second and most dangerous flaw — and catching the damn football.

When winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter took over and hired Todd Monken as receivers coach and offensive coordinator, Koetter gave Monken one specific order: Fix Mike Evans.

Monken did just that. He channeled Evans’ passion and framed his concentration. Evans greatly cut his drops and it resulted in Evans’ first Pro Bowl selection.

Joe asked Monken last week what, if anything, Evans must do to take that next step from strong to elite.

“[Evans has] had a great offseason,” Monken said. “He looks great. He looks like he’s dropped some weight. I think he’s already come a long way in terms of his approach, the way he approaches the offseason, taking care of his body and his approach to the game. He’s always been great in meetings, he’s a very smart player, very competitive.

“I think the biggest thing is his ability to – one is his route running and his run after catch. I think he has more in the tank with him because he does have a natural, competitive-grit side to him that he should be better with the ball in his hands. I think as he gets more and more comfortable – I think last year was a piece of, ‘OK, let’s get better at catching it. Let’s eliminate some of the drops that you’ve had that have led to stopped drives.’

“OK, so we got that somewhat corrected. Now, how do we get to where we can utilize your competitive spirit, your ability to run after catch?”

Barring injury, Joe fully expects Evans to blow up. If Monken can get that much more out of Evans this season, combined with less coverage thanks to the addition of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard, man, the sky really could be the limit.

13 Responses to “Time To Be Great”

  1. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I think statistically his numbers may drop a little. With all of these weapons his number of opportunities will most likely drop a bit. Having said that, he is our #1 and a pro bowler so he will remain our primary target. Everyone has been focused on the new toys, but he and Winston are the engine for this train!

  2. Ace WigSplitta Says:

    Drags and quick slants vs the blitz should help his RAC , plus putting him in the slot a little more.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    You should use the “julio jones” model and see that his numbers will be sightly down. But he will no where be “gang tackled” as much so he will be healthier and have a longer career!!!!!!! If the new TE or DJ can become almost emerge as primary weapon like receiving option then maybe ME13 will be singled a little more and we will see more “YAC”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. SB Says:

    Hard to get YAC when triple covered.

  5. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Mike Evans has a low YAC and a low catch ratio (55.5%). He shouldn’t be target if he’s in double or triple coverage. The QB has to trust other receivers, instead of staring down one receiver. CBs knew where the ball was going, so why even bother to cover the other receivers. Cameron Brate had a catch ratio of 70.4%. Adam Humphries had a catch ratio of 66.3%. Freddie Martino was target only 11 times, but he had a catch ratio of 72.7%. Jacquizz Rodgers was target only 18 times, but he had a catch ratio of 81.3%. Jameis actually had other options, other than Mike Evans.

  6. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Nothing to really add to TDTB or Realist. Agree with both of them.

  7. unbelievable Says:

    Well said fellas. His number of catches prob will go down but his YAC should be way up. Additionally as Jameis gets better with his deep ball, he’ll hit Evans in stride more often.

  8. TheShaz Says:


    The problem with the other receivers except maybe Brate. They could not get open and Jameis threw to them less, or held on to the ball too long and had to scramble about or get sacked.

    Our receivers were not getting separation. Evans due to his size is “Open” unless he is double and tripled covered, and still Jameis thru to him.

    If the Bucs receiving corp is indeed faster in 2017, they should be able to be open more and then Jameis will have to show maturity on spreading the ball to keep defenses off balance.

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    Who ya gonna single??!!
    13 good luck
    D jack say what???
    Oj??? Haha
    Hump can play
    Brate?? He can play too

  10. Oxycondoms Says:

    It’s nice to hear he dropped some weight I always thought that was a trigger for his injuries he would pick up

  11. BucEmUp Says:

    I actually think his stats are going to be slightly lower this season. I dont see.drops being an issue and he may do.more.on a per.play or YAC basis, but with all of the added mouths to feed and run game expected to be better I think his overall stats will dip a bit.

  12. Brandon Says:

    I don’t think his stats will actually drop much if at all. Jameis was not incredibly efficient throwing to Evans last season. He targeted him a ton of times and got decent results but now defenses won’t be able to key on Evans nearly as much and although his targets will likely go down, his production per target will increase dramatically.

    Last season, Evans was targeted a ridiculous 175 times and Jameis only connected with him a little less than 55% of the time. The years before, the QBs connected with Evans just a little over 50% of the time. I think with the new offensive weapons, it wouldn’t be wishful thinking to see Evans catch 2/3, 67% of his targets.

    Think of it this way, Jameis completed 63.5% of his passes that were NOT intended for Evans and only 54.8% of his passes that were intended for Evans. Jameis will get more accurate as he matures but Evans will also get more single coverage with Jackson, Howard, and the other weapons we have on the team.

  13. Pick6 Says:

    we probably witnessed one of the 2 or 3 greatest statistical seasons of what looks to be a great career. that target volume is not healthy for an offense. he will still be an elite receiver and hopefully diminished stats don’t equal diminished success, but it would be bad news for the bucs offense if his QB has to target him 10-15 times a game year in year out as happened last year