December 3rd, 2017

Rookie Justin Evans

Take the brown bag off your head for a minute and try to see a positive.

His name is Justin Evans.

It’s not easy being a rookie safety for a team with no pass rush, and for a defense that gets gutted and gashed repeatedly. And in a safety room full of veterans who aren’t exactly grinning ear to ear while you get all the snaps and they share.

But 22-year-old Evans has hung in there this season. The second-round pick now has three interceptions after strong center field play today. Evans has burst and a nose for the football. Three picks are no fluke. That total leads the Bucs, and it would lead a lot of teams. Only four safeties in the NFL had four or more interceptions entering today’s action.

Evans’ tackling also has improved significantly through the season. It’s hardly perfect, but it’s better, and he manned up on third down in Green Bay’s final drive of the fourth quarter. His stop near the goal line forced a fourth down and a Packers field goal to tie the game with two minutes remaining.

Rookies should improve as the season progresses, and Evans, who started the year on the bench, is doing just that in a full-time role.

Even ex-Bucs receiver Michael Clayton was raving about Evans on the WDAE-AM 620 postgame show. Clayton likes the total package and said Evans has all the tools you want in a safety, and his progression should be something to smile about.

36 Responses to “Playmaker”

  1. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Love watching him play!!!

  2. Sweep the leg Says:

    I hope Mike Smith gets fired on Monday.

  3. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Me too @ sweep the leg.
    Me too

  4. JimmyJack Says:

    Yes, I do like Justin Evans a lot. He has played good football especially the last two games……Thanks for the try Joe but your attempt to cure the sting of another bitter loss has fell short. At least for me.

  5. SB Says:

    I love this kid!!
    And I love your handle @ sweep the leg
    “Do You Have A Problem With That?”

  6. JimmyJack Says:

    I’ll give my vote of approval for the fire Smith campaign…..So long as his bff goes with him.

  7. SB Says:

    Jimmy…….If you didn’t see that coming when Hundley ran the first time then I don’t know what to say. Smith was handcuffed immediately because he didn’t have the D prepared for that. Imagine that.

  8. SB Says:

    I was referring to Overtime for clarification.

  9. BucTrooper Says:

    Michael Clayton has no credibility

  10. Howard Cosell Says:

    Lol…Watching a video right now on not judging other people (lest you judge yourself)…

  11. Warrenfb12 Says:

    Until he takes a step back like 90% of Jason Licht draft picks (coaching?)

  12. brownbaggingitbucsfan Says:

    I like JE21, he is a somewhat brighter spot on an otherwise void and inept defensive unit, but he needs to play smarter sometimes. I’m sure it was his misplay that led to the winning TD in OT. He ran straight at the pile of bodies, never locating the ball carrier OR more importantly the space the ball player was going to pop out to, leading to the winning play. BARF. Basic’s seem to be lacking from this D unit- Which can only be a fault of the coaches!

  13. Midnightstroker1 Says:

    WE nailed a 2nd round pick?!!!? What!

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Howard shut up idiot……We are judging players not people.

    And that’s me judging you as a poster not a person so spare me your W.A.Y. Rebuttal

  15. Sweep the leg Says:


    No mercy.

    But I do like Justin Evans. Making plays on a terrible defense.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Howard Cosell- “The Shack”?

    Justin Evans is going to be a great Free Safety.
    Also over looked, Is the Ryan Smith is playing better than all of Cornerbacks.
    Grime isnt playing bad, but nowhere near as good as last year.
    Smith isnt playing perfect- hes a rookie
    But he os playing very well- great backpedal and recovery speed.
    And hes 6’1”

    Ive been bitching about playing Will Clarke for months.
    He has the size and speed for DE.

    Hes far more productive than Gholsten, our supposed run stop specialist.
    Gholsten gave up the edge all day long today.
    You cant do that,if you are a DE

  17. Howard Cosell Says:

    I was watching the video for my own benefit. Just mentioning it for the irony against my earlier angry posts. You can do whatever you want. I won’t judge you.

  18. JimmyJack Says:

    Capt Tim…..For What its worth good ole Clark gave up the booty on the game winner…..He was wildly out of position which isn’t much worse then Ayers out there to be fair.

    Clark also got abused on his side last week Something our defense either can’t or isn’t smart enough to adjust to. Either way Clark sucks dude.

  19. JimmyJack Says:

    If that was Clark out ther on the right side last week….I’ll admit I didn’t pay great attention to detail last week. Something I rarely do these days with this time wasting habit of watching the Bucs on Sunday

  20. Howard Cosell Says:

    It works like this: If I judge Jimmy for being to harsh on the Bucs then next week when they lose in horrific fashion and I blow up on JBF then it creates anxiety for me because I broke my own “rule”.

  21. Howard Cosell Says:

    The Bucs have driven Howard into therapy

  22. SB Says:

    Good to c u back Howard. I remember Joe putting you in the Cooler for a while. Like I have never been there………LOL 🙂

  23. unbelievable Says:

    @SB the defense looked like it had no idea Huntley was a mobile QB.

  24. MadMax Says:

    I loved and backed this 2nd round pick when it happened. We needed safety help and he balls. He’s a rook, and he’s still learning. Ive never said a bad thing about him here. Keep it up Rook!

  25. Kyle Says:

    I am sitting here watching the Sunday night game, eagles vs seahawks. Carson wentz is so much better than jameis. I hate to say it but im jealous. Hes so decisive and accurate. Its funny how.things work out, i hope the best for my team and winston but man there are some good young qbs out there. Btw, i am definitley in the GRUDEN MOB!

  26. SOEbuc Says:


  27. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Ohhhh…I too love Minkah…I can close my eyes and see Minkah and Evans as a duo…a deadly one at that….

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Clark made a few mistakes.
    Because he is just now getting playing time. Hes youngGholsten made worst mistakes- and has been playing for years!!

    And Clark had 2 sacks!!
    You think that sucks?

    2 sacks is more than every other DE on our damn roster!!!!
    If he gets two sacks a game- I dont care if he EVER plays the run!!

  29. Jr Says:

    Gruden can help winston. It needs to happen.

  30. JameisWin55 Says:

    Wentz, Goff, Mariota, even Bortles are making playoff runs as young QBs I love Jameis but he has to make some progress next year or hate to say it we may need to find a new QB

  31. tnew Says:

    Happy to say this. I was wrong about Evans. I hated the pick and was only consoled by the fact Godwin slipped to us in the third.

    I said it early and often tho. His ball skills are impressive. He has given up his share of big plays, but he has made them as well.

    We should give Ryan Smith a shout out too. This was a nice bounce back after the Julio Jones game that he was sacrificed in. They isolated an incomplete pass that was thrown to Adams. The announcers were beaming about the precision of the route running by Adams, but Smith showed outstanding reaction and technique on the play. He made the QB throw a perfect ball and he didn’t.

  32. godzilla13 Says:

    Minkah Fitzpatrick would be a great addition not only to line up next to Justin Evans but he can play CB as well. At 6-2 216 he reminds me of Jalen Ramsey. He may be gone when the Bucs pick. There are three DE the Bucs should target as well. DE Bradley Chubb (6-4 277) North Carolina State or DE Harold Landry (6-3 250) Boston College. He produced 16.5 sacks and 22 tackles for a loss in 2016. Some scouts have said that Harold Landry is really special player. DE Arden Key (6-6 231) LSU. In 2016 he produced 56 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 12 Sacks, 3 Forced Fumbles, and 3 PBU. One scout stated “Key is the most-developed and diverse pass-rusher who the SEC has had over the past decade, including Garrett and Clowney.” The Bucs should be able to draft one of these four players which will be a huge addition to this team.

  33. Bradinator Says:

    Justin is my wife’s new favorite “Evans” . She is a hardcore fan from day one of the Bucs. She really likes Evans. Take her word for it she can spot ’em. She’s not always great with the nuts and bolts of the game, but she finds these guys she likes and she’s usually right.

  34. Brandon Says:

    Evans is proving right now to be one of the few times I was wrong about a player. I had stated when he was drafted that he was good against the pass but based on what I saw in college, his tackling ability, or lack of, made him nearly undraftable. I had him as no better than a project 3rd round pick and didn’t expect to see him anywhere near the field this season. I appear to be wrong… of course I said the same thing about Michael Clayton and Cadillac Williams after they SEEMED to prove me wrong their rookie seasons. SEEMED being the key word as in the long run I was unfortunately correct. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one. Evans APPEARS to be the real deal… or will be the real deal at safety.

    Now, this team has a lot of good talent both young and not quite as young… Licht has done a good job at finding gems in the draft for the most part. This team has potential. We need a coach that can unlock that potential and make these guys into a championship caliber team. Look at the difference a good coach made to the Rams, Eagles, and Jaguars. If we bring in the right coach, and Licht can focus on strengthening the DL… we might really be on to something. That being said, I hope we lose out, secure great draft position, and leave no doubt that Koetter, and especially Smith, need to go.

  35. NFLNut Says:

    It wouldn’t shock me to see the Bucs draft Derwin James to pair with Evans which could give the Bucs the best young safety tandem in the league … I’d rather have Bradley Chubb and maybe even a Quenten Nelson or Mike McGlinchey but Derwin James could be a great player as well …

  36. Get right!!! Says:

    Justin Evans was a grand slam home run pick. Dudes a beast. Lays down the wood. Intense! Very impressed.