Mike Evans And Targets

November 12th, 2020

Bucs WR coach Kevin Garver.

Joe is a guy who doesn’t believe in coincidences and who also looks at background happenings that may be a signal of what is coming down the pike.

So in a week where the Bucs got seal-clubbed by a division rival to lose command of the NFC South, a loss so one-sided Bucs fans are starting to wonder if the team has peaked and the playoffs aren’t a slam dunk, rancor is swirling about why star receiver Mike Evans is not being targeted as he has in years past.

Despite leading the team in catches (52), touchdowns (7) and receiving yards (437), it sure seems like Evans is almost an afterthought in the weekly gameplans.

So with all of this Mike Evans/targets/Tom Brady chatter, take a guess who the Bucs made available for questioning from the local pen and mic club? Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver.


In so many words, Garver said if the gameplan of a particular week calls for Evans to be targeted and he is open, Evans will get his share of footballs. The Bucs, Garver said, are not going to force-feed a guy just for the sake of catches.

“I’ve never met a receiver that doesn’t want the football,” Garver said. “If they’re open, they want to get the football. That’s every receiver, that’s every team – you’re going to see that for sure.

“I think our approach [and] our mindset is, if we can have the best 11 on the field, we want the best 11. Again, the way that Tom [Brady] plays the game – and his approach to the game – he’s going to spread the ball out.

“I think if you actually go back and you look at all of our games, you see that. Sometimes it’s Mike [Evans’] week. Earlier in the year against the Panthers, Mike got a lot of balls. Then there was another game [that] Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) got a lot of balls. [In Las Vegas], Scotty [Miller] got a lot of balls.”

Joe was fully buying into the notion that something is going on between Brady and Evans. Especially after former NFL scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah pointed out how Brady was locked in often on Gronk last Sunday when Evans was open.

Joe still feels that’s not offbase. But then when you see Evans, who was hurt through much of September and October, still leads the team in catches, touchdowns and receiving yards, that demonstrates the perception of Brady ignoring Evans may be a little overblown.

18 Responses to “Mike Evans And Targets”

  1. D1 Says:

    ME had 6 targets , tied for most on the team, lead the team in receiving yardage.

    Daniel Jeremiah pointed out a single play, unless there’s another I’m unaware of, that ME was wide azzz open over the middle of the field.

    If that’s the one DJ is referring to then it’s Scotty Miller who TB locked on from the snap. Result was an 8yd completion on a gimme play. There’s no doubt TB read the coverage presnap and that’s why he lasered in on Miller.

  2. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I was of the belief that TB was ignoring ME, but…

    2019 ME had 118 Tgts in 13 games which was 19.4% of total passing attempts
    2020 ME has 52 Tgts out of 336 passes which is 15.4%

    Considering ME has been injured, and doubled I would say that is close enough. Still, I would like to see TB throw ME a few more jump balls. On the occasions that he has, ME usually either catches it or gets a DPI.

  3. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Anyone remember Dragnet with Sergeant Joe Friday. lol Well in the words Joe Friday “Just the Facts Mam” There is a bunch of hullabaloo about the latest on a supposed Brady Gate, or some kind of “Collusion” lol Mike has been beat up all season and he still leads the team in receptions. What?? lol “Just the facts Mam” Whatever.. BTW anyone watch Mike catch the ball on Sunday night and landed and got up funky again. Mike has been banged up for most of the last 2 seasons and you can just see the way he walks around. Mike should be wearing the Red Badge of Courage. I like Mike, he truly has been a Warhorse for the Bucs since they drafted him, Anyone remember back to back 200 yard games in his rookie season. Yea Mike has been a stud, and a beast when T Monken began to Coach him. But again Say What! Mike leads the team in receptions, So this is Brady Gate or collusion, no I do not think so. Brady is a winner, and at 43 he is not here to play head games, he is here to win a championship. So might as well enjoy the ride. This has been the best season in almost 2 decades, and they are legit contenders. GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. chris L Says:

    this whole issue is overblown and joe, you have been making a big deal about this. yeah sure we would like mike to have more catches but that takes it away from somebody else too. who cares if jameis found him? he also found the other team so many times and end of the day we are 6-3. sunday night i will never get over (bears 2018, giants 2019, atlanta 2014, cowboys 2011, greg schiano era, and more) but let’s cool the jets on this.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m starting to see a lot of smoke & mirrors … and oh ya, excuses. Tom Brady is a MUCH different QB than Jameis Winston was in that he doesn’t have ‘pets’ … he spreads the ball around (much like Drew Brees did to us Sunday night?). And Mike Evans isn’t a ‘burner’ like Scotty Miller & some others; he doesn’t typically get gobs of separation from defenders. And when he does, chances are decent that Brady is already running for his life or that another closer receiver is also open.

    ME13 this year (in 9 games) has 34 catches out of 52 targets (65.4%) for 437 yds. That’s 12.9 YPC average.

    Mike last year (thru the 1st 9 games) had 54 catches out of 89 targets (60.7%) for 924 yds. That’s a 17.1 YPC average.

    IOW, he’s only been targeted 58% as much this year as he was last year, and his yds/catch is down significantly. So why? For one thing he’s been hurt for much of this season. For another we have a different QB who prefers to spread the ball around. We also have a number of new receivers (Gronk, Fournette, plus Miller & RoJo have both matured quite a bit in the past year). And oh ya, the gameplans have changed a bunch from last year.

    But there’s another factor in play: Evans’ productivity from last season. Take a look at his 1st 9 games and 70-75% of Mike’s targets, catches AND yards came in only 4 of the 9 games.

    o Game 3 (Giants): 8 for 15 for 190 yds.
    o Game 6 (Panthers): 9 for 17 for 96 yds
    o Game 7 (Titans): 11 for 12 for 198 yds
    o Game 8 (Seahawks): 12 for 16 for 180 yds

    That’s beastly. But those were the 4 games out of the 1st 9 that he was targeted in double-digits. IOW, he WAS the gameplan.

    And oh BTW, we LOST ALL 4 GAMES.

  6. D-Rome Says:

    I didn’t think it was an issue until I read it here on JBF. I still don’t think this is an issue. There’s one ball, one QB, and at any given time at least 4 capable targets on the field.

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Defense Rules….. Very well said. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!

  8. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    The way it is, Godwin and Miller are better at moving the ball down the field, and Evans is better at punching the ball in on the goal line. We can gripe about Mike not getting the ball, but for the 1st time since he was drafted, we have an OC and QB that understand what a weapon he is on the goal line. When Lattimore beat him on the 4th down fade last week, that was the only time all season I recall Mike not winning on the goal line.

    I mean we all saw Evans’ targets going down coming with the loaded offense we collected during the offseason, why is everyone so surprised now?

  9. Joe Says:

    Daniel Jeremiah pointed out a single play, unless there’s another I’m unaware of,

    Same post Joe has a video of Jeremiah documenting how Brady is forcing the ball to Gronk.

  10. Clean House Says:

    Great stats by several poster above!! Thanks!

  11. of course Says:

    The problem is this. Even if Mike Evans looks like he isnt open throw it to him.
    he has proven he can go up and out muscle the defender.

  12. Sport Says:

    I called this as soon as I heard Brady say, ‘I throw to whoever is open’

    ME doesnt seem to get much separation, but wins alot of jump balls. Not Brady’s playing style.

    Injuries to ME and others being out (Godwin) have exacerbated the targets.

    And most of all, this is a non story if we win.

    But we lost in fantastic fashion. So let’s drum up a controversy between our two highest paid players.

    In BA I Trust!

  13. D1 Says:

    Thanks, I found the video. And no doubt Brady was focused on Gronk.

  14. Pewter Power Says:

    100% on the play caller and head coach who have been more interested in making excuses rather than scheming their guy open like basically every coach does for their best players.

    How different can defensive game plan be against the same offense from last year that just switched the quarterback? They can’t even get Scotty Miller open anymore. The outside guys have been completely shut down. We will see it this week because I don’t think there will be any more easy wins for this club. The head coach is senile and the play caller is an amateur

  15. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Anybody think Brady is comfortable throwing to Gronk, yea I think so, 3rd all time QB receiver Touch Downs. Again Defense Rules laid out a strong casebased on actual facts for all to see. Trust baby, its about trust and familiarity. We know Tom’s MO is he is going to spread the ball around, but this is no BRADY GATE. You will fall back on what has been successful. Again 3rd all time combo. lol
    GO BUCS!!!!!

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    The way i see it, the scouting and game plan are the issue. They aren’t getting the looks that they think they’re supposed to be getting out of the formations that they’re putting on the field. If they were, they would be moving the sticks consistently. How else do you explain having the cast of characters that we have on offense and not being able to play pitch and catch on most easy downs?
    For this team to win though, they have to run the damn ball. Brady likes to see his receivers get separation, and news flash, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin aren’t big time separation receivers. Play action is how they can get free more easily.
    You cannot have this much receiving talent on one team and not be able to move the ball. That’s coaching and scheming. Evans needs to be on the outside. Godwin needs to be in the slot. Brown needs to be outside. Gronk needs to be tight. How can you not find a tasty mismatch out of this formation every single play? The only way that you don’t get production out of this formation is if every route breaks at 15 yards and Brady is allowed to have the rush pressure on him.
    Let Brady call the plays at the line of scrimmage. I’m sick of watching him look at his play sheet on his arm and call the play before he sees the defense.

  17. Buccfan37 Says:

    It figures Brady comes to TB as a 43 year old washed up QB and fans here think they hit it big time. It’s highly comical and a gut buster in reality.

  18. T REX Says:

    Saying Brady doesn’t have “pets” as he brings gronk and that piece of human trash with him…brown…is pretty hilarious.

    Yeah, no pets allowed.