Koetter: Justin Evans To Start

October 5th, 2017

Starting tonight. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com.)

UPDATED: 7:28 a.m. – The rookie is going to get his chance.

The second-round pick this spring, safety Justin Evans, got 45 snaps on Sunday, by far the most action of his career, And now winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, appearing on “All Access” seen on Buccaneers.com, tells moderator Scott Smith that Evans is expected to start tonight against the Belicheats.

Yes, against Tom Brady.

“I think for this game, Justin Evans is going to get his first start,” Koetter told Smith. “He is getting real close to breaking out. His athleticism has really jumped out in practice. Excited to see him play. First start you are going against Tom Brady, that will be a good challenge.”

Evans was pressed into duty Sunday when Keith Tandy left the game with an injured hip. Already T.J. Ward has been sidelined and slowed by a sore hip. which leaves only fan favorite Chris Conte and Evans as the lone healthy Bucs safeties.

At least when Evans was in the game against the Giants, Joe didn’t notice him embarrassing himself facing Eli Manning.

52 Responses to “Koetter: Justin Evans To Start”

  1. Dreambig Says:

    That tells you what desperate shape were in. Oh well, good luck young man.

  2. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I’m good with it. Tandy earned starter in a long road of hard knocks. Evans clearly has instand upside by being a second round pick in itself. I know, sometimes there are busts, but it’s too early to tell. And as Joe said, he didn’t embarrass during time with Eli. It’s harder to come in and be a DB right off the draft list than many other positions, but it doesn’t mean he can’t shine.

  3. Capt.Tim Says:

    If he can just improve his tackling, he wont let this job go.
    He has great free safety skills

  4. Bird Says:

    That’s why jaquies smith was let go. That have to bring up another safety from practice squad in case another safety gets hurt
    I guess guys just don’t play thru injuries anymore cause of medical staff . No guys like Ronnie Lott cutting off half a finger so he could play in super bowl

  5. Bird Says:

    We need some guys to man up

  6. Bucn Enough Says:

    We will see if he was worth a second round pick…last second round pick whiffed bad. I bet Jason’s butt puckers every time TB goes back to pass tonight…at least Evans can’t miss wide right.

  7. Capt.Tim Says:

    Interestingly, Ryan Smith showed improvement.
    He didnt play last year. This is his rookie season also.

    I think Evans and Smith will flash their talent, and make some rookie mistakes.
    What else could you possibly expect?
    But They will both end up being good players. Meybe better than that.

    Hargreaves is the ine I’m worried about.
    I have loved every Light draft but one.
    The Hargreaves/Spence draft
    I posted that day, that both suffer from the same affliction
    Short and Slow.
    Spence just needs to play the right position, which at 6’2″ 250 lbs , Aint DE.
    Think Von Miller type Lb. otherwise, hes just gonna keep getting hurt by 300 pound Olinemen

    Hargreaves is the same size as Bret Grimes. But Grimes has Springs for legs. He is a unique and incredible talent.
    I dont know ablout Hargreaves. Its still early, and I have my fingers crossed.
    But hes struggling this year. Badly

  8. Easy Denman Says:

    Lol if Tom Brady is reading this he’s telling Gronk to get ready. Good luck young man. Please wrap up though!!

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t know whether Justin Evans is ready to start of not, but fact is Bucs have little choice with Tandy & Ward both banged up. So now Bucs have 3 rookies starting once again … Howard, Beckwith & Evans. Oh and for all practical purposes, Bond is really a rookie too since he was hurt all last year. So that’s 3 ‘rookies’ starting on defense now, all at LB & Safety. What could possibly go wrong against Tom Brady & the Patriots? Admittedly the Pats are having a down year (2-2) but they’re still averaging 32 points a game against some decent defenses (Chiefs, Texans, Panthers).

    Starting to feel like a broken record, but it’s time for the Bucs offense to step up, and do it in a big way. Lay 7 TDs on the Pats, control the clock and minimize turnovers & penalties and we’ll win … in a high scoring game. This’ll either be REALLY exciting or we’ll never be allowed to play on Thursday Night Football again.

  10. Oj "I Got The Juice" Howard Says:

    @ Capt. Tim
    I’ve been saying the exact same thing about Spence. That’s why I doubts about Mike Smith. He claims he is here to scheme around the players and not force them into unfavourable positions. But yet it’s clear as day that Noah Spence is not an overly effective DE in the traditional sense. They need to use him like Denver uses Von Miller and ATL uses Vic Beasley. Everybody thought Vic Beastly was a bust after his miserable rookie year, but he switched positions and led the league in sacks the next year. Coincidence ?? I think not

  11. DBrooks55 Says:

    Capt. Tim I agree with you on VH. He seems to lack confidence bc when He gets beat he resorts to playing 10 yards off the wr and qbs are able to have a field day against him… nothing worse than being on the field and lacking confidence, hopefully I’m wrong.

  12. USMC-BUC Says:

    Nothing we can do at this point except Cheer him on!

    Not his fault about the situation.

    Go out there young man and have fun, play hard, just leave it all out there.

    GO BUCS!

  13. gilhealy Says:

    USMC, exactly. Any other sentiment is worthless. Go get ’em, Justin. Show what you got. Play fast, trust yourself and wrap ’em up.

  14. WyomingBucsFan Says:

    This number 21 is a very nasty player. Long kid with pointy shoulder pads. Uncoils on guys like a cobra. He will soften up Gronk I hope. Go bucs!

  15. Gencoimports Says:


  16. B Coburn Says:

    I suppose in an emergency or for a breather we still have Ryan Smith… also have that special teams ace… name escapes me

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Time 2 Ride son.
    No excuses
    We need a signature win.
    So beat the damn -Patriots!

    Go Bucs!!

  18. Getaclue Says:

    Non story he’s the only other safety available lol

  19. Gnawesome Says:

    been waiting for this, i beat he blitzes for a sack before he bats a ball down or picks a pass off, I’m callin it

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    So Pats will score at least 42…so jameis better be ready to throw and throw….i slightly remember that mike smiths defense was so difficult to understand the communications it took seasoned pros over half the year to get the communication down in the back end, so justin evans head will be spinning and cooks and gronk and the gang will be running uncovered up the seams all night….another national tv embarrassment for the bucs in a game

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Evans has shown incredible speed and quickness….he seems to be in position to make plays….let’s hope his tackling improves….I think he has a chance to be very good.
    Spence needs to be in a 3-4 defense.

  22. Kobe Faker Says:

    Koetter better hold back on his field goal fetish tonight

    we need 7 pts all night long

  23. AlteredEgo Says:

    #21…git a pick 6 !

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bird Says
    “That’s why jaquies smith was let go. That have to bring up another safety from practice squad in case another safety gets hurt.”

    Isaiah Johnson is the only safety on the Bucs practice squad. I don’t know anything about him.

    If they activate him, let’s hope he impresses.

  25. NOSBOS Says:

    I’ll smile if I observe Justin Evans,Conte,McClain,Grimes,VH3,Javien Elliot and Josh Robinson all on the field at same time..

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    They signed TJ Ward for a reason. If they foresaw Justin Evans being ready this season, the would not have signed Ward.

    But…maybe he will surprise.

    I doubt it though. What I do expect is Brady to pick on both him and VHIII.

    Only way we win this game is if we suddenly have exceptional pass defense and we can win a shootout. Even if our pass rush suddenly kicks it into gear, Brady can still produce.

  27. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We’re low on LBs too. We could see Bully activated.

  28. NOSBOS Says:

    Super Sunday came around I didn’t recognize half those dudes on the field. Didn’t matter what their skill level was. Its hard completing passes When so bodies are occupying the passing windows. Go watch it again,see for yourself how long they were forcing brady to hold onto the ball. After a sack you could see it in his face like “where the f@+÷ an I suppose to throw the ball”.

  29. NOSBOS Says:

    Exactly Bonzi,all the more reason to go heavy nickle and heavy dime coverage. H3ll heavy quarters as well.

  30. DallasBuc Says:

    This could get ugly

  31. johnnybuc Says:

    let’s get it!! i don’t know about y’all but i’m excited to see what the young man does. 3 games in and you guys have already written him off like he wasn’t gonna play all year and was a bust. i got news for ya so much has been made about the communication of this defense that no matter how good he is he wasn’t going to start off the bat. same thing with tj ward. maybe in the next few games he’s going to continue to take away snaps from conte and our starting safety spot will be filled by evans and ward. a hell of a lot more upside in that group than with tandy and conte

  32. Pryda...sec 147 Says:

    Let’s go Bucs !!!! Meet up for the Walk be loud all game long our team needs us it’s gonna be tough but not impossible to beat Brady we got this !

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Pressure impacts Tom Brady more than any NFL quarterback.
    Especially A-gap pressure.

    If wanna beat the best pocket passer of this era – Put Brady on his back.

  34. johnnybuc Says:

    and anyone saying it’s gonna be another national tv embarrassment for us…go follow another team gd… always so negative your really that concerned that we’re replacing tandy with justin evans?? so we’re replacing someone who’s smart and knows the system with a guy with a lot more athleticism who’s still learning but your not going to learn unless you play. tom brady is going to get his points that’s obvious but i. have faith that mike smith isn’t going to leave this kid out to dry i expect him to be playing a lot of deep single high zone and a lot of quarters i don’t really expect to see him 1 on 1 very often

  35. NOSBOS Says:

    LUV I’ve seen some awfully mean defenses put brady on his backside a number of times,that dude does not rattle from that. The first time I’ve ever seen his eyes look uncertain was in the superbowl. They totally caught off guard by atlanta umbrella coverage. Broncos pounded brady in the afc championship a couple years ago game came down to wire. giants nascar defense pounded brady game came down to the wire. seahawks hounded him that superbowl,duke stood strong and won that one at the wire. Atlanta’s philosophy had them up 25,they nutted up and gift wrap that game to the pats at the wire.

  36. pabucsfan Says:

    @buccaneer bonzai

    How can you say they singed Ward because Evans wasnt ready? They are two different types of safeties. To me the signing of Ward was about them feeling Tandy wasnt ready to be a full time starter and that showed on field as Ward wound up taking his snaps.

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    The Patriots offensive line has allowed the fourth-most pressures in the NFL
    Brady’s feeling the heat on 43.8% of the Patriots’ passing plays.

    Note: New England offensive line surrendered 3 sacks to Carolina.

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    That’s how the Giants beat him twice.

  39. Lord Corn Says:

    I thought he played pretty solid against the Giants.

  40. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “The Patriots offensive line has allowed the fourth-most pressures in the NFL
    Brady’s feeling the heat on 43.8% of the Patriots’ passing plays.”

    And yet. He still scores a lot.

  41. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Could the Pats be tanking? Brady is getting up there and they’ll need a replacement QB soon.

  42. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Also in that Super Bowl.
    Atlanta was bring the heat in the 1st half.

    Though he didn’t get a sack – That kid from Minnesota De’Vondre Campbell was balling. They ran a whole lot games up front w/ Campbell,Upshaw & Beasley.
    With some nice combo coverages on the backend.

    Then Campbell goes down in the 3rd.
    Atlanta for some odd reason – abandoned the game plan.


  43. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So did Joe Montana aka the G.O,A.T

    But do you remember this

  44. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  45. Buc15 Says:

    So if Conte or Evans gets hurt, who do we putin?

  46. Billy Sunday Says:

    Grimes should be ok in a lot of 1 on 1 coverages, so I say just focus on Gronk seam passes. I can see him stepping up for an incerception and taking it to the house. He is VERY athletic and closes quicker than Tandy so all is noy bad. Hargreaves concerns me much more. Come on Smitty. Bump and run with this guy. Off coverages are for the birds.

  47. orlbucfan Says:

    Still wonder about Smith?? There was a reason why dixie chicks let him go. However, good luck to #21. Go get ’em, JE!! So, old man Brady doesn’t like to be pressured? That’s a strong point of the walking wounded aka defense. No matter, offense has to win the game. Go Bucs!!! Throw the Putz into Tampa Bay!!

  48. Brandon Says:

    I think he’s more likely to embarrass himself trying to tackle than defending the pass.

  49. Bucamania Says:

    I’m ready to see Evans play. We know what Tandy and Conte can do… and it’s not great. Maybe this kid can play? He’s got the skills.

  50. 813bucboi Says:


    I agree….putting those db’s in would make me happy…..


    VHG gets a pick and GMC gets 2 sacks….GO BUCS!!!!

  51. lurker Says:

    “No guys like Ronnie Lott cutting off half a finger so he could play in super bowl”

    which he regrets doing!

  52. Dano74 Says:

    Brady 500 yds tonight