Mike Evans Dangerous In Slot

August 17th, 2018

Lethal production. (Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com)

This just could be the Bucs offense of the very near future.

Now regular readers know Joe is not fond of the PFF tribe, specifically their grades. As an NFL scout once told Joe of the tribe’s grading system, “It’s cute.”

However, the stats these guys dig up, you know, like a well-trained orangutan, Joe finds sometimes useful. Consider the following as an example.

Since Bucs coach Dirk Koetter arrived on the scene in 2015 to run the Bucs offense, stud receiver Mike Evans has positively been lethal as a slot receiver. When he catches the ball as a slot receiver, the usual outcome is something very good.

With success like this, Joe might be tempted to use Evans as a slot receiver the vast majority of the time. When the Bucs go with a three-wide receiver set in their personnel package, Joe would have Chris Godwin and DeSean Jackson on the outside.

If a receiver playing a certain position over three years has this kind of production, why not run it until a defense can demonstrate it can stop Evans as a slot receiver? Three seasons is not exactly a small sample size.

26 Responses to “Mike Evans Dangerous In Slot”

  1. AlteredEgo Says:

    Loaded with excellent pass catchers….

  2. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If he keeps falling down after he catches the ball keep him split wide and put OJ Howard in the slot.

  3. jmarkbuc Says:

    Dead on Dewey!!!

  4. Dooshlarue Says:

    Right turn Clyde.
    My, how things change Joe!

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The reason why it is effective is because it isn’t run all of the time…..defenses aren’t prepared for it on a regular basis…

    And, Evans is deadly from anywhere……

  6. Eric Says:

    Moving receivers around?

    Man, what a concept.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Have no idea what the orangutans would say about this, but I think that using Mike in slot a whole bunch more would be a great way to get our star receiver killed by some head-hunter safety who takes exception. Not that any NFL safeties would do that of course. Mike’s 42 receptions in the slot in 3 yrs represents an average of roughly 1 per game that Mike’s played in over that period. Looked at that way, it doesn’t sound like the Bucs use him a huge amount in the slot, and maybe that’s why he can get away with it without injury (catches the defense somewhat off-guard when we do?). Mike has great hands and that big target on the relatively short routes almost sounds like Bucs are using him pretty much like a TE lined up back & in a ways, then letting the WR lined up outside of him drag the LB and/or CB on that side deeper to give Mike a 1-on-1. ME13 1-on-1 with any LB or CB is hardly a fair fight.

  8. Realbucfan941 Says:

    I’m guessing because he’s mostly matched up against teams 3rd or slot corner. Being 5’9″ or so and lower on the depth chart they are simply outmatched. You do it enough though and teams will come up with an answer. I like it sporadic with him and Djax mixing in with backs or a TE. Save him for the money downs though.

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    “vast majority of the time”??? NO

    Occasionally? Absolutely!

    ME, DJax and Godwin should all get snaps out of the slot – as well as Humphries of course…

    Mix it up!

  10. ndog Says:

    But I thought the only reason he had a poor YAC was because Jameis was so inaccurate?

  11. Wausa Says:

    I have wondered why the Bucs have not put Evans in the slot more.
    I also think the Bucs should put OJ Howard in the backfield some and split him out wide as well.

    The matchup advantages the Bucs can create with their receivers and tight ends should be significant.

  12. nate s Says:

    Whatever it takes to make this team better do it!

  13. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Dewey and Jmarkbuc, you ideally want a slot guy to go down after the catch to avoid injury, I don’t know why people including yourself think going down is a bad thing. Live to fight another day. This isn’t Madden 19 this is real football and injuries can’t be just turned off lol. If Evans goes down even for the remainder of game it could have season long impacts for us. Keep goin down Mike, I don’t blame you bro!

  14. Kobe Faker Says:

    “What was the longest pass play in 2017 Buc season”

    The Buc Realist

    “5 yard slant pattern from JW to Chris Godwin for 75 yards vs Carolina”

    Kobe Faker

  15. JabooBuc Says:

    As the great Lenny Dykstra always says “How’s the slot?”

  16. Bucamania Says:

    Yeah I prefer Godwin in the slot. He knows how to catch the ball and run.

  17. SOEbuc Says:


    I agree. Mike is huge so it’s hard for him to just turn 180 degrees and turn on the jets. It’s not like running the 40 at the combine folks. And you know every DB in the back field has a close eye on him every play.

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    *DB in the secondary

  19. Pryda... sec147 Says:

    Forget it buying another ME jersey

  20. Gambelero Says:

    Moving guys around and going multiple are great concepts generally. You get hit low and from a lot of different angles in addition to the head hunting safeties. You also have to seal block linebackers and strong safeties for the running game.

    On the outside Evans rarely gets hit low or by someone he doesn’t see. And he stays healthy and available…

  21. OneBuc55 Says:

    Mike Evans in the slot opens up a lot of possibilities…

    Godwin and Djax outside, with Brate or Humphries on the field as well…Good luck stopping that…This is arguably the most talented team we’ve ever had top to bottom…Imho we just need more mental toughness; If we can learn to close out football games this year were in the playoffs…

  22. RickinFtMyers Says:

    Run it until they stop is an old football adage. Remember, the undefeated 1972 Dolphins. It was Larry Csonka up the middle, Csonka up the middle, and more Csonka up the middle until the other team could stop it. Then it was Bob Griese to Paul Warfield, Griese to Warfield, and more Griese to Warfield until the other team stopped it. Think of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears it was Walter Payton off tackle, Payton off tackle, Payton off tackle until someone stopped it. I know NFL teams have to be more varied than that today but it’s a sports adage to stick with the player that has the hot hand.

  23. SB Says:

    DJax on one side, Godwin on the other and ME13 in the slot!?!?!?!?!
    Jeeeesh. At least 29 other teams in the NFL wish they could boast that!

  24. Tampaspicer Says:

    No way. The slot needs to get YAC and we all know that’s not part of Mike’s game.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Evans is a monster at every position – if refs didn’t allow him to get tackled on every play before the ball got there, his stats would be insane.

  26. Brett Says:

    Didn’t Jerry Rice line up in the slot sometimes, and wasn’t he dangerous for YAC? The way people aren’t allowed to hit this year, it seems like a natural place to put Evans.