“Mike Was Open”

November 9th, 2020

Fingered Tom Brady?

Joe wrote earlier this morning there is something going on between star receiver Mike Evans and park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring, down-forgetting Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

For reasons unknown, Brady is not targeting Evans much unless they are in the red zone. For weeks, Joe thought this was curious but bought in that Evans was so hobbled he wasn’t getting open.

But when Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians recently declared Evans fully healthy and Evans still wasn’t being targeted, Joe’s antennae raised.

It’s more than curious that a quarterback so many people wanted run out of town had no problem finding Evans on a consistent basis but God’s gift to quarterbacks can’t.

To quote Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?”

Joe chalked this up to YouKnowWho willing to take chances that Evans can come down with contested passes and Brady just doesn’t believe in taking those kinds of chances. OK, fine.

Well, without mentioning his name, Arians sort of called out Brady today in a press conference for not targeting Evans. Or at least, he said Brady (without mentioning his name) was the reason Evans wasn’t being thrown the ball last night.

Arians was asked point-blank why Evans wasn’t being targeted. Arians, in so many words, said don’t blame Evans.

“Mike was open a bunch in that ballgame,” Arians said. “He just didn’t get targeted. That’s all. He was open. Mike was open.”

Well, who pulls the trigger on the passes? It surely isn’t Ryan Griffin.

To be fair, Joe doesn’t know if or when Byron Leftwich calls pass plays he may say, “Look for Antonio” or “Look for Gronk” and Brady heeds the advice.

But from the way Arians described it, either his quarterback isn’t looking or didn’t see Evans open, or Leftwich isn’t stressing enough to look for and/or target Evans.

And if Brady is as great at reading defenses as we are led to believe — and Joe does believe this — then it is fishy as can be why Evans, a true star, isn’t getting the ball.

61 Responses to ““Mike Was Open””

  1. Pablo Says:

    He is on the decline plus Brady got his boy here now Gronk & ROOMMATE AB

  2. WiscoJoe Says:

    This is damning and makes me want to vomit.

  3. vic robertson Says:

    brady needs to get right, im thinking. however if bradys replacing evans as a target- thats no bueno- and that kinda issue doesnt bode well for tampa in feb.

  4. webster Says:

    This is stupid. Evans has been open for 6 years. I dont need BA to tell me he is open. I know he is open. All these buc fans now want to jump on mike and call him slow or even michael clayton last night after the game wanted to talk about route running etc. This man has had six 1,000 yard seasons, been an all pro and pro bowler but all of a sudden is j.a.g.? Ofcourse he is open!!!!!

  5. BradyBucs Says:

    Last night wasn’t a ‘didn’t target Mike Evans like he should have’ problem. It was an “Our O-Line sucked” problem.

    There were very few plays when Brady wasn’t instantly under tons of pressure with a collapsing pocket. In that Raiders game, he had all the time in the world to make great throws.

  6. diggler Says:

    Brady didn’t see Mike open bahahahahahahaha ya’ll kill me sometimes.

  7. webster Says:

    @ bradybucs

    Is it that brady was holding on to the ball too long because he was confused or was it poor oline play? I seem to remember when some posters would bring up the last qb was instantly under pressure, the rebuttal was he was holding on to the ball to long. Cant have it both ways. And yes, last night like all year its a evans not being targeted enough problem. With or without time evans is not being targeted

  8. ArmandoG Says:

    Evans is an elite pass catcher – he is not an elite route runner, he never had to be, with his size, strength and wing span, precision routes were not part of his talents and you can witness this by some of JW interceptions last year where Evans rounded out routes and left DB’s front him for the int’s – that said Godwin does run very good routes as does Scooter and AB so someone should be open, except the route tree’s run by this team make no damn sense. no slants, no criss crossing routes, no screens. what is leftwich thinking? if the DB’s are going to pressure off the line, where were the bunch formations to tangle and get someone open and what makes this worse is a OL that cannot consistently play on protection and won’t finish blocks for the run game. Smith has got to go. Jensen is looking old and without Marpet the left side is useless. this is now a mess there are two games of tape on stopping the bucs and everyone is watching

  9. Chuckstutz Says:

    Simple .to me. Can’t find anyone when you’re on your arse looking at the moon.

    Man didn’t have time he was being rushed to throw before he was ready.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    BL shouldnt have to tell brady to hit the open man…..he’s open!!..hit him in the bread basket….

    i saw 3 times where mike was open and brady didnt even look his way….brady looked AB, gronk, godwin, scotty then mike….

    something is wrong with brady…he’s been off with his throws and decision making….3rd and short he throws deep to AB?…that aint brady….he should be thinking 1st down….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Nick2 Says:

    Wait a minute wait a minute Joe I am calling you out on this one. I get it that you put in that it could be that Leftwhich could be the culprit but whats from stoppping Arians to pull Brady aside DURING THE GAME and saying woooah man you’ve missed Mike on this play and that play whats the damn problem??? I dont think Arians should talk about it unless he stops Tom during the game and asks hjim to be more aware if Evans is open because he has been and didnt get thrown to. If he did that and Brady just ignored him thats a big problem but I dont think Arians did that.

  12. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Brady looked awful last night. I hope that was just a bad game, maybe as usual New Orleans rolled out some new wrinkles that threw him off, maybe it was just that his throws were off but I don’t think griffin would have looked much worse.

  13. ATLBucsFan Says:

    The Saints wanted it more. They were more motivated from the very first snap on both sides of the ball.

  14. Capt.Tim Says:

    Evans is a unique talent. He and Brady havent had enough time together, to get familiar with each others game.
    No off season, is the reason this high powered offense isnt high powered.
    They are people, not playing cards. You cant just throw them together, and expect them to play at 100% capabilities.
    Evans is a unique talent. Brady has to learn to trust Evans to get the contested pass.
    Then again, Winston trusted Evans to get the contested pass, threw a boatload of interceptions, and is rotting on the saints bench.
    Evans may need to adapt also.

  15. This Guy Says:

    Our left dresser, I mean tackle had a terrible game.
    The line as a whole struggled and everyone knows you beat Brady by collapsing the pocket.

    Typically you run screens to slow the pass rush, but the left dresser is not able to keep his mans hands down and is the cause for one int. Not often can you credit a statue with an INT but is happened last night.

  16. Texasbuc Says:

    Truth is that jameis got a lot of receivers and tight ends paid with big contracts but he took the blame for the risk.

  17. Robert Says:

    they might want to line up Gronk on ME’s side……me think TB and ME are in a d*ck measuring contest since day one. ME might be the so called team guy, but I think he’s pissed he’s not the only WR out there anymore and it shows internally between the two. TB is more important to the team and the sooner ME swallows his pride and “asks” for the ball he will get it. and he’s dropped his share while wide open. I will say TB needs to get over it to a good extent as well and drop the Gronk 1st look…..but it’s 70/30 TB’s team. soon, and I mean a could weeks and AB will take his place if ME’s does not swallow his pride.

  18. Robert Says:

    the same people sayin ME is the best of all time are the JW folks. ME is great, but replaceable. as are 99% of the players. TB is the 1%. ME’s stats are so good as he was JW security blanket. TB makes average receivers look great……heck Tyler Johnson looks better than ME lately. and Godwin should not have been out there. He needs to rest that hand. can’t say I blame him though as this is a $$ year for him….thats on the coaches.

  19. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Evans was/is a first down machine. His catch radius because of Jameis’s errant throws has prepared him to catch any on a 13 to 15 yard curl or out route. If you need a first down you go to Evans. simple as that.

  20. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    I said this after the Giants game, brady doesn’t look his way Still …not sure why.

    Evolvingbucsfan Says:
    November 3rd, 2020 at 6:44 am

    I saw many plays where Evans was open in the flat or on the sidelines, Brady just didn’t look his way. I watched Evans the whole game, Evans looked totaly healthy and not doubled all game, some, but not all. Somethings up and i don’t like it, Evans is the best receiver on that field and you have to use him more and predictable run game will not win you Playoff games. Brady looked so off and couldn’t get into a rhythm, Bucs almost laid down and got punched in the mouth.

    UGLY W…….but I’ll take it, they better get their head out of there @rse quick because the Aints are up next.

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike was injured all year, but finally started to look right in the Giants game, he was running by guys and getting open. As for Brady not targeting him we need to know what the read is on the plays. Is Evans running deeper routes? If so I think that’s the issue. Unlike Winston, who read plays from deep to shallow, it seems pretty obvious that Brady is aiming more for shorter routes, outside of a few deep shots to someone like Miller.

    Also keep in mind that Evans, and Godwin for that matter, have not actually practiced with Brady that much because of injuries.

  22. 813bucboi Says:


    you have a great point….

    imo, joes trying to find a scapegoat….

    im one of if not the only BL fan on here and even i didnt like some of the calls he made the past 2games…. that said, i saw mike open a bunch last week and mike open a bunch last night and brady didnt even look his way….

    if the man is open ..hit em…no one should have to stress to a qb to hit the open man especially the GOAT….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  23. UKbuccaneer Says:

    It’s hard to got through all your progressions when a second after receiving the snap, you’re staring down the grill of a pass-rusher

  24. adam from ny Says:

    here is wild dance party with club lighting in the saint’s locker room at ray jay on the internet…

    of jameis and payton dancing hardbody and partying it up about beating the bucs and eating W’s…

    BA needs to play this for all the buccaneers today…

    so they can see for themselves…

    it’s going viral bro

  25. adam from ny Says:

    there is a wild dance party**** ^^^^^^^^^^

  26. Hodad Says:

    Any body remember Cam Brate?

  27. Robert Says:

    as UK said “the snap, you’re staring down the grill of a pass-rusher”………

    ME doesn’t get off that quick to begin with, but I do think it’s time to look to him instead of Gronk for the 1’st/2nd read and or giving the jump ball or trust as they say. Gronk has lost more than a step. He might come down with em if they get there, problem is he’s too slow these days to be there….where he used to be…about a step or two off. ME should get the jump balls.

  28. danr Says:

    or it is an indictment on the OLINE not letting brady get to that progression in his read. If mike was getting open on 20 yard routes last night… not very helpful if brady is eating grass before he gets open.

  29. Mike Johnson Says:

    When it rains..It pours baby.

  30. Kimbo Slice Says:

    The person who said Evans doesn’t run precise routes is spot on. I thought they should have traded him if they knew they were going to bring in Brown. I mean you can’t keep him and Godwin next year anyway, and Godwin fits with what Brady likes better. That’s obvious because he’s an elite route runner while Evans is the matchup nightmare. Problem with Brady and him is that Brady doesn’t throw 50:50 balls. He likes everything to be precise so he can get the ball out fast. It’s what has made him the greatest QB of all time and that Belichick catered the offense to him all those years. Most coaches don’t operate like that. He still looks washed up physically though, and I think this is going to get worse over the next few weeks.

  31. The Buc Prophet Says:

    Mike is terrific. I have access/subscription to the All-22 replays and looked at the first half tape. There were three real plays where Evans flat out beat his guy for a big play.

    I mean – left the guy in the dust – was wide open.

    Brady is the G.O.A.T. and ehe’s also very smart. My hunch is playing the percentages factors greatly in his decision making- as it should. The best corner ALWAYS covers Mike. The safety always doubles Mike. Godwin never draws the coverage and is NEVER doubled. Let that sink in – who does that tell you the other teams really fear?

    Brady knows this and continuously makes safer choices. His reads work middle, then deep, then short — you can clearly see that from the tape. He has to focus on Mike as his number one option going forward to see if he’s doubled THEN look to then other options — because if Mike is singled, you throw him the ball. Period.

  32. TampaTown Says:

    BL needs to be available to the media to answer some questions.

  33. webster Says:

    Mike evans has been considered top 5-7 receiver his whole career and some of you yahoos are saying trade him or he does not run percise routes? So your suggestion is get rid of a receiver who is considered top 5-7 at his position in hopes you would find an upgrade? This has to be the dumbest thing ive heard. Did you guys see how much better the texans got when they traded hopkins? Stop being stupid!!!!

  34. Robert Says:

    I got pummeled for screaming to trade ME when they were getting after Brady.

  35. Brad Says:

    He clearly doesn’t have the trust on Brady. He stopped going to him after week 3. Maybe BA was telling some truth last year when he didn’t blames Jameis. Possibly some of those INTs last year were because Mike was reading the plays wrong??Mike doesn’t get separation quickly and Brady moves to the next target.

  36. Brad Says:

    Tampa Town, BL laughed at ‘fans” last week because someone said they thought he runs too much on first down. This week he ran 4x. You couldn’t make this stuff up. We had no plan on either side of the ball. IT’S A BUCS LIFE!!!

  37. Gary Morse Says:

    Situational awareness (sa) is a term fighter pilots use that often determines the outcome of a dogfight, regardless of all other factors. Last night, ONE glaring problem the bucs had was a lack of sa. On second and eight from the bucs’ own 3, in the shadow of the goal line, why would you throw the ball deep in a gusty, wet environment when the odds are against you making that play. You need all three downs to just get you out of the shadow of the ez, unless of course you intend too give the Saints great field position.
    Next blatant lack of SA -Saints inside the red zone, Dean jumps the route and looks like a complete knucklehead. Down 14 zip before you can say what happened. Obviously it didn’t stop there.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    813bucboi … “im one of if not the only BL fan on here and even i didnt like some of the calls he made the past 2games”.

    Welcome to the ‘Everyone Else Was Right All Along Club’ bucboi.

  39. BradyBucs Says:


    You must be new to football. A quickly collapsing pocket has nothing to do with holding the ball too long. Brady didn’t have much time to let routes develop on many plays as the protection was beat off the line.

    There’s a big difference in the pocket immediately collapsing after the snap, and protection hold up for 3-4 seconds first and someone holding the ball and THEN getting sacked after having had that 3-4 second window.

    Jameis Winston was often the later. He had decent pass protection but he’d hold the ball for ages and eventually ALL pockets will break down. The Bucs O-Line last year was in the Top 10 for pass protection. So they gave Winston plenty of time. This was NOT the same issue that Brady dealt with last night. On many plays he didn’t have that 3-4 seconds of pass protection to try and complete a play. Big difference.

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Robert … “I got pummeled for screaming to trade ME when they were getting after Brady.”

    Deservedly so Robert. Mike Evans was not the problem with the Bucs last night. Quite the opposite; he was targeted 6 times & caught 4 of those for 64 yds … considerably more yds than any player on either team. Look no further than ‘We couldn’t pass-protect; we couldn’t run-block; and we certainly didn’t out-think the Saints’.

    Mike has been a Buc now for 7 years. The first 6 years he’s been a BEAST … over 1,200 yds per season average over that period. That’s been over 80 YPG average; say 20-25% of our offense. He’s ONLY 27 years old, and probably has another 6-8 years left in him? And BTW, if he just hits his average over these remaining 7 games, he’d have another 1,000 yd season.

    So you can stop screaming Robert. If it’s Mike’s salary that you’re concerned about, forget it. He’s restructured his contract so many times that we’d have to give away several OTHER several receivers just to pay for the DEAD CAP ($21.5 mil) that trading him right now would cost us. (Hint: $13 mil MORE than what he’s making right now). That’s one of the fun things that ‘saving money’ will do for you.

  41. TampaTown Says:

    Brad: You’re right

  42. Scot pederson Says:

    Until Evans gets 100% healthy he is not open like he used to be. His separation is not what it was.

  43. Clean House Says:

    JW2 for the kneeldown
    Check yo sheet!
    Eatin W’s in prime time

  44. REDZONE BA Says:

    @Clean House

    I am an JW fan! Wish he would have refrained summoning that horrific “Eatin W” meme for so many reasons. Just being happy and dancing in the confines of the Saints locker room – got it – have fun and enjoy. Interrupting Bree’s interview w/that meme illustrates JW still needs to grow. He needs Jimbo whispering in his ear…to be humble.

  45. REDZONE BA Says:

    FWIW – TV talking heads believe “BA calling out Brady not finding ME”, was orchestrated. Assuming true, expect ME to be highly targeted vs Panthers.

  46. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    Mike is always open. GOAT offensive Buc.

  47. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Mike has been a very good WR for the Bucs since they drafted him thankfully instead of Johnny Manziel. 6 1,000 yrd seasons is proof of Mikes value. But everyone that has watched his career in Tampa knows Mike has had his ups and some downs. I am sure everyone remembers Mike fighting with officials and complaining alot after a passes thrown his way. When Dirk brought in Todd Monken, Mike became a true top 3-5 receiver in the League, Also the birth of his child coincided with Mike really stepping up his play and maturity. Mike has been a warhorse for this team. The Mike Evans we see today is very beat up physically. None of us know what Brady is thinking when targeting receivers. Brady has not had the game time with Mike like Jameis. Brady seems to trust Chris more when he is actually on the field. I believe that Brady is not influenced by any personal crap between him and Mike. The lack of chemistry between Mike and Brady has something to do with this. But again the QB will do what he is comfortable doing. Again I do not think it is some stupid personal conflict with Mike and Tom because Tom just cares about winning, and winning bigtime. Those 6 rings tells the story on Tom. Get healthy Mike, you are a very valuable part of the offense. GO BUCS!!!

  48. T REX Says:

    Brady recruited Gronk and Antonio Loser Brown.

    That means Brady didn’t think he had enough at WR or isn’t getting along with our batch of WRs we already had.

    Starting to dislike Brady. A big old baby. He wilted yesterday.

    Arians is worthless. Leftwich is a giant turd. So we had a couple good games.

    Bringing in Brown destroyed the lockerroom IMHO.

    This team is toast.

  49. webster Says:


    Your bias is showing. Jw had many plays where as soon as the ball was snapped he was under pressure but yahoos like you said he was holding on to the ball too long. No yahoos like you simply blamed the qb when other factes of the team sucked. Now you supposedly can see the other facets all not to blame the qb. Like i said, you cant have it both ways.

  50. webster Says:

    @ bradybucs

    And another thing, under jw when the ball was snapped and he was under pressure from the start, jw had some mobility that allowed him to make a play. Brady does not have that in his game and as a result, the offense looks worse at times. This is not to debate jw over brady but its just a fact.

  51. eric Says:

    very simple one QB is willing to stand in there and take the hits the other do not like to even be breath on!

  52. Oneilbuc Says:

    Mike Evans has been a great wr until Brady came and now yall trying to blame him because of Brady . McCown didn’t have a problem getting Evans the ball Jamies didn’t have a problem getting Evans the ball . So why Brady can’t do it or why he haven’t tried to get him the ball is the real question . All summer long all I heard was Brady is going to make Evans better . Because Evans was the one making up for Jamies mistakes .

  53. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Joe, you are reaching/reading into this what’s not there. Brady had a bad day, that is all.

  54. TOM Says:

    I’m looking for Evan’s to be trade bait.

  55. BradyBucs Says:


    Again, you clearly don’t understand football. This isn’t about bias.

    No one ever stated that Winston didn’t have some line protection immediately fail after the snap — which is what consistently happened against the Saints for Brady.

    Winston didn’t throw for 5,000 yards because of his mobility. Most of his passing yards came from inside the pocket because he had plenty of protection when he made those throws. Again, no one is saying he had perfect protection on every snap. But you certainly don’t magically throw for so many yards if you don’t have pass proection.

    Brady has had better overall pass protection during the other games this season. Against the Saints, that wasn’t the case the O-line played terribly. Marpet being out of the game really hurt the line, and Donovan Smith got man-handled all night.

    If you can’t see this difference in protection time in this Saints game vs. most of the other games this season, then you don’t have a clue about football. That’s just simply a FACT. It has nothing to do with Winston’s play last year.

  56. BradyBucs Says:


    Are you really going to keep crying about Winston?

    Brady has clearly been an upgrade over Winston this year. Less turnovers, most points per game until this terrible Saints game where the OL played it’s worst game in awhile with Marpet.

    Brady spreads the ball around where he sees openings in the Defense. There’s a reason his INT rate was super low before this Saints game. He exploits the weak spots in Defenses. Evans has surely been double teamed quite a bit. Also not sure why Leftwich is playing Evans in the SLOT on so many plays. That’s on Leftwich, not Brady, if it’s not allowing him to break free and get open.

  57. BradyBucs Says:

    *Without Marpet

  58. Oneilbuc Says:

    Bradybucs I guess I’m crying about Josh McCown as well . My point is Brady can’t get the ball to him . Evans has always been keyed in a game and both quarterbacks was able to get him the ball . And Brady has not looked good against good to average defenses . He still ain’t showed me nothing against good teams . The Packers game he only had a 166 yards passing .

  59. JayWill Says:

    Hate when people say Winston would whole the ball too long all the time. He was .02 slower than Brady last year & he had to wait on longer routes & avoid pressure a lot bc both tackles would get beat often.

  60. JayWill Says:

    BradyBucs they are not avg more points per game. Brady isn’t the major upgrade. The defense, kicker & Rt have had bigger impacts The games they have won the running game and the defense dominating were major factors in those wins. They would be in the same position with Winston in his 2nd yr with Bruce.

  61. BradyBucs Says:


    So you’re just going to spout inaccurate facts to try and make a point? Before the Saints game they WERE averaging more points. 2020 Bucs avg. 30+ points per game vs. 2019 Bucs avg. 28 points per game.

    They would absolutely NOT be in the same position with Winston. Winston has CONSISTENTLY had turnover problems every year of his NFL career. He wasn’t going to instantly stopping turning the ball over a lot this season. Brady clearly turns the ball over a lot less and manages things 10X better. The “Brady Effect” also got many players to sign here cheap and the others to buy into what we’re trying to do and are playing with a lot more confidence. That would NOT have been the case under Winston.