Justin Evans Waiting For His Shot

August 6th, 2017


Joe ran off to Abe’s Place to pound beers the other day when winning head coach Dirk Koetter said second-year cornerback Ryan Smith is the early favorite to return kicks again this season.

Smith was bad returning kicks last year. Of the 33 NFL players who returned 10 or more kicks, Smith ranked 31st at 16.9 yards per return. It didn’t look to pretty, either.

Joe hoped the Bucs would find a significant upgrade at that position. But it seems they might not have, though Joe thinks Adam Humphries would do a better job than Smith. If Humphries is less involved in the offense this season because of Chris Godwin’s presence, then maybe Humphries can take on the kick returner role in addition to punt returner.

But there is another guy sure to make the 53-man roster with experience at kick returner and young legs to go along with it. That’s rookie safety Justin Evans, the 2017 second-round pick.

He told WDAE-AM 620 this week that he wants the gig.

“[Coaches] know I am [ready]. I’ve been practicing a little bit [at kick returner], so hopefully I can win over that starting job.” Evans said.

Asked if he wants the ball in his hands, Evans said, “That’s how you get paid.”

Evans returned 15 kicks for 428 yards (28.5-yard average) at Texas A&M last year. You can see his 90-yarder vs. Ole Miss below.

Joe expects Evans will get at least one shot at kick returner in preseason. Joe says just “one” because that’s all Kenny Bell got in preseason last year before Koetter pulled the plug on him.

33 Responses to “Justin Evans Waiting For His Shot”

  1. SB Says:

    Guys I have re-opened the JoeBucsFan.com Pigskin Pickem for all of you that want to play again this yr or would like to join us.
    We had over 60 players last yr!!! Lets shoot for 80 This Year

  2. Dewey Selmon Says:

    I would if rather heard him say “anything to help the team win games” then you will get paid.

  3. darin Says:

    You just got paid justin! Go out and ball. Im no fan of smith back there either. Maybe evans or hump. I havnt been out to any practices this year. Anyone else back there so far? Has godwin gotten a look? I think vh would probably be the best on the team, doubt they put him back there tho. Just no josh huff pleeeeeeease, my blood pressure is almost back to good from him in there last year. Go bucs

  4. Capt Kidd Says:

    Dewey, I think he was saying the same thing. In my line of work, you always wanted to be versatile. That’s how you got paid, be more valuable than the next guy. Sounds to me like he just wants to make the team.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    In College….That’s how you get laid
    In the NFL.. That’s how you get paid

  6. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Capt, my mind musta been foggy cause I was in awe remembering the Kenny Bell kickoff return. Reminded me of Morris Owens having a pass bounce of his face mask. Or Neil O’Donahue trying to kick the ball out of bounds.. those were the days.

  7. Mike Evans GOAT Says:

    Bucs vs jay cutler week one!!!!!

  8. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Man he reminds me of Earl Thomas. Even looks like him when he runs.

  9. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    Down gose cutler then.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Cutler week 1 is 3 Ints just waiting to happen.

    In other words – an upgrade from Tannehill… LOL

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Dewey, I’m sure that’s what Justin meant to say. I agree with Capt Kidd, Its sounds like he wants to make an impression on the coaching staff by doing whatever it takes for his team. I’m not sure about anyone else but I don’t work for free😁. if I’m asked to accomplish my positional duties along with additional tasks……I expect to be compensated.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    I hope DJax is taking some reps at both punt and kickoff returner in practice and continues to throughout the year.

    Come January and all the way to Minneapolis that’s who I want to see returning all kicks and punts. (punts especially)

  13. SB Says:

    LOL Pick ……..nice one!

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:

    AGAIN…KO’s have become more important than ever. Today’s talented Kickers have mastered kicking the ball very high and they even flirt with OB.

    Do we remember what happens when our KO returner mishandles the ball at the 2 and muffs it out of bounds…or worse fumbles resulting in a deadly turnover?
    I want a very smart guy with dependable hands back on KO’s. Remember the ball is live, there are no fair catches. Some teams are using their KO teams to create horrible field position.

  15. BringBucsBack Says:

    Shouldn’t a second round pick start at his primary position? If not, then one must question the pick; as we have blown sooooo many second round picks. It doesn’t even sound like he is challenging for a starting Saftey spot.

  16. Truth Says:

    Conte and Tandy aren’t terrible players. Both Wilcox and Evans will battle for starting roles. The advantage that Conte and Tandy have is knowing the system and they will play faster/free to begin with. Whether drafted 1-7 round, We have depth in the defensive backfield from draft and offseason pick up and that’s a plus.

  17. SB Says:

    Noice! We are ten strong on our first day of Membership!!!! Keep em coming guys. It is nice to have an Internet family to compete against in PickEm!!!

  18. SB Says:

    Awesome!!! I see that the reigning Champ St. Aug Buc is in again this yr……….Guys we have something to Shoot at. Welcome back brother and I aim to beat you this yr!!!

  19. StAugBuc Says:

    Winner this year should get Stick Carrier Tshirt

  20. StAugBuc Says:

    I willing to chip in for that. Or something

  21. SB Says:

    Yeah!!! I totally agree……..In fact I will buy the winner this yr a Stick Carrier T Shirt. You guys have my word! NOS will tell you I am good for it!

  22. SB Says:

    Feel free to screenshot the above comment guys. I will totally gift a Stick Carriers T Shirt for the winner of this Years JoeBucsFan.com PickEm!

  23. Dewey Selmon Says:

    @Bringback, Licht has had 4 drafts, normally 1st and 2nd start, but we have come to the point that we can now build depth, with depth, a qb, and a great play calling coach we should be good for a while.next year should be trench building mixed with a cb.

  24. StAugBuc Says:

    Everyone chip in $1.50 or so, someone can win a jersey! I’m in!

  25. StAugBuc Says:

    Maybe a stick carrier jersey that we pass around year to year like the Stanley Cup

  26. SOEbuc Says:

    I’m definitely down to give him a chance. That video shows good speed and strong legs and this kid was a second round pick because he was known for his terrific range.

  27. SB Says:

    StAugBuc Says:
    August 6th, 2017 at 6:51 pm
    Maybe a stick carrier jersey that we pass around year to year like the Stanley Cup

    Now THAT would be epic

  28. SB Says:

    Man we are already at 15 +!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!!! I compete every year but I rarely get to compete against Only Bucs Fans!

  29. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    SB is good for it man. Stand up dude, glad to have met him. We’ll be cahoots in some form or fashion the rest of our days. SB what’s good BIG homie.

  30. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    I’m still not too excited about this pick. But he doesn’t shy away from contact so let’s see if the coaches can polish him up. We do know Mike Smith loves his safeties.

  31. SB Says:

    Nothing you said that I can’t say the same about you Nole! Awesome times to be a BUC!!!!

  32. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Thats 100 percent false my man. You strike me as a good dude. Your buddy on the other hand is an ignorant doosh that doesn’t keep his word.

    Seeing that he flaked out on every single one of his draft day bets. Can’t say I’m surprised really.

  33. SB Says:

    I know that you and he have had a Love/Hate relationship and a bunch of one-up-manship but he is a good dude I think. I met him, had dinner and drinks with him. None of that though has to do with what I said. I am just setting up a PickEm league for us again this yr. and promising a Stick Carriers T Shirt at the end of the Season.