Mike Evans Is The Bucs’ “Engine”

August 13th, 2018

Insight from NFL.com analyst.

In the eyes of one national NFL analyst, the Bucs’ offense will go as far as one player will take them.

And for NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, that guy is wide receiver Mike Evans.

Brooks decided to pick what he calls the “engine” for every team’s offense, what a team cannot do without if said engine broke down.

Jameis Winston should occupy this spot as the team’s franchise quarterback, but you could argue that Evans might be a more important piece of the puzzle for the squad. The big-bodied pass catcher is one of only three players in NFL history with 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first four seasons (joining A.J. Green and Randy Moss). With Evans’ game and production seemingly unaffected by the team’s inconsistent quarterback play, he is the focal point of the Buccaneers’ game plan each and every week.

It is hard for Joe to believe a wide receiver is the most important player on offense (you know, who gets him the ball, for example?), but with Evans it may fit. He’s clearly the best wide receiver this team has ever had.

(Feel free to argue Keyshawn Johnson or Joey Galloway if you wish, but Evans will be a fixture with the Bucs for years to come. Johnson and Galloway were basically part-time Bucs. Evans has been with the Bucs for just as long as Johnson was here. Galloway was with the Bucs for five years but he barely made a dent with the team his first year and his last year with the Bucs Galloway, who Chucky dubbed “The White Tiger,” was a non-factor.)

Sure, Evans has a habit of falling down when he makes catches (those last four words are key), which keeps his YAC down. But nitpicking Evans for that is like heckling Albert Pujols in his prime because he didn’t run out ground balls to second or first with two out.

12 Responses to “Mike Evans Is The Bucs’ “Engine””

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I think the Bucs can get more effective production out of Evans. There has been a gradual change in how the Bucs have used Mike the last couple of years. His average catch has decreased from 16.3 in 2015 to 13.8 and 14.1 in 2016 and 2017 respectively. So too have the number of catches over 20 yards, he had
    21,15,9 receptions in 2015,2016, and 9 respectively. While I write this , I am asking myself, are the Bucs turning Mike into a Tony Gonzalez type of receiver?

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    correction 9 catches over 20 yards in 2017.
    Mike is one of the better receivers in the league on out routes . Team already has two tight ends who can work the middle. free Mike up to work the sidelines
    and fade routes in the endzone.

  3. Ndog Says:

    I love Mike but I couldn’t help but think of all the Jameis is inaccurate nonsense people when Mike just fell to the ground after his catch on Thursday. So again more proof that his lack of YAC has nothing to do with anything other than his lack finish of plays. Again this one trait keeps him from being elite. But it is fixable he just has to fight his urge to go down after the catch.

  4. Grt1 Says:

    Great point Ndog I don’t understand why ME does the fetal position as soon as he catches the ball. I know he’s tough so that’s why it’s puzzling.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t know why Bucky Brooks even broached this subject, because after all, football is a TEAM sport. No ONE player dictates success or failure (evidence Carson Wentz from last year with Philly?). And especially not a WR on a team that’s very deep in WRs AND TEs.

    Mike is very, very good obviously and we’re blessed to have him on the Bucs. He may well be the “focal point of the Buccaneers’ game plan each and every week” (by design) as Brooks says, but we have enough other weapons that could compensate if he missed time for whatever reason. I’d personally think that QB (Jameis & Fitz) is the most critical position. Bucs’ offense will only go as far as our QB takes us. It’s not like we have a dominant rushing attack like Jax or Dallas to compensate for an ‘average’ QB.

  6. Waterboy Says:

    Keyshawn “alligator arms” Johnson was no where close to Mike Evans at least not the Keyshawn that played in a Bucs uniform.

  7. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Mike may be the best player on the team but as usual I agree with D.R. football is a team sport and Joe’s point about the importance of QB is also germane.

    But if our defense shows up and is at least in the top half of the league…and Barber and ROJO cobble together a successful running game…this team will be good whether MIke or Jameis plays. Obviously we’re better when they both play but I guess where I disagree with many here is the absolute essential need for Jameis.

    I’ve joined the dark side. I’d now rather build a dominating defense augmented by a strong running ball control offense with a competent QB. I hate to limit Brad Johnson as simply competent…that’s more Trent Dilfer or Flacco. I think Brad was obviously not flashy but he’s tremendously underrated both with us and at Minnesota. But Jameis is certainly more talented than Brad…now all he has to do is figure out a way to win like Brad…and I now believe just like with Brad’s team it’s must start with our defense.

  8. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Run the offense thru MEME the most overrated player in the NFL? LOL!…TMZ Bucky”

    MEME has the worst catch percentage at 53%. Dude doesnt know what separation is. Molasses comback route running ability cost JW3 half his career ints until they stopped running that play

    “The only way this team go deep in the playoffs is running the offense thru Godwin and OJ with a competent playcaller”

    Kobe Faker

  9. Buccfan37 Says:

    Evans can go down every time he catches the ball for all I care as long as he holds on to the catch and doesn’t get flagged it’s positive yardage gained and who else gains more for the Bucs than big Mike.

  10. '74 Bucs fan Says:

    Kobe Faker could look at a sunset and complain that there isn’t enough orange. Good lord kid, get a life.

  11. webster Says:

    Keyshawn alligator arms? Clearly you did not watch the bucs when he was here. He made his living catching every pass across the middle because he lacked speed to beat anyone deep so the bucs would send his 6’5 body across the middle 90% of his receptions. Yea, you clearly did not watch keyshawn and the bucs back then.

  12. Jeffrey Sams Says:

    Thanks webster