Mike Evans Hints At Changed Role

December 2nd, 2022

Explains his off game.

Joe had no earthly idea why a star quarterback and a star receiver who clicked so well the past two seasons suddenly seemed like complete strangers on the field.

Tom Brady and receiver Mike Evans were a lethal duo. Evans was known for getting open using his physical strength and his body size to create separation. Evans has never been a burner but once in a while, he can surprise a corner (*** Joe waves at Jalen Ramsey ***).

Yesterday, Evans confessed that last week during the “Mistake by the Lake” in Cleveland, where he looked all out of sorts, Bucs failing offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich decided to use Evans almost exclusively on go-routes. Those are routes where a receiver primarily runs a straight line down the sideline.

“I had a lot of go-routes, a lot of fades and go-routes,” Evans said. “And [No.] 23 (Browns CB Martin Emerson Jr.) played it [well], he was over top, soft-press and we just didn’t connect.

“I definitely caught one, but it didn’t count, and the other three, I’ve got to get a little more separation like I usually do.”

Yeah, nothing like taking the best receiver in Bucs history and asking him to do something he wasn’t always asked to do.

Joe gets that perhaps Leftwich wanted to surprise the Browns defense, and Joe cannot fault him for that. But guess what? You neutered your best receiver in the process and he clearly wasn’t on the same page as his quarterback as a result.

With the Bucs offense struggling, how about playing to guys’ strengths and not trying to get cute?

58 Responses to “Mike Evans Hints At Changed Role”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Maybe Leftwich is an egomaniac-
    Trick plays that don’t work, not letting Brady and receivers practice one on one, changing Evans’ role…

  2. Hodad Says:

    Even worse is when Lefty uses him on a quick receiver screen. Mike’s just not built for that type of play. A smaller quick twitch speedy receiver like Devin Thompkins, whatever happened to him?, is better suited for that. Just more examples of our staff not putting players in the right position to win.

  3. Winky Says:

    Just not in sync

  4. Winky Says:

    They should try Mike at center.

    That’ll surprise everyone

  5. HC Grover Says:

    Bowles Blunder of the 3rd magnitude.

  6. Jeffs Dad Says:

    We only have like 6-7 plays tops in play book it seems to me

  7. Ed Says:

    Dirk Koeter knew how to use Evan much better than Leftwich has.

    Evan learned from Vincent Jackson how to win on the sidelines on jump ball and tippy toe sideline routes. He is also a good option in slants.

    Its all about setting up the corner for the go route. If you don’t throw the sideline out to Evans and the corner adapts to him running down the field, there is no element of surprise.

    Byron needs to spend more time adjusting and changing his offense than staying with the same crap that can’t even score 20 points.

    Leftwich or Bowles has wrecked this offense and there isn’t any mojo out there on the field. Gronk has left the building, stop throwing to Brate, he is always covered, Otton isn’t fast but in a race vs Brate he’ll destroy him and he is also a taller target with long arms and soft hands.

  8. D-Rome Says:

    Maybe Leftwich is an egomaniac

    All coaches in the NFL are egomaniacs. I’m pretty sure it’s a requirement for the job. Remember all the bad coaches during the lost decade that would NEVER change anything they were doing. Mike Smith was the worst defensive coordinator I’ve seen on a Bucs sideline with his soft coverages and he NEVER changed. He had to get fired. Dirk Koetter never changed. Lovie Smith never changed. Gruden, Dungy, Schiano never changed. None of them changed. They never adjusted from what they believed was right and they were all fired for it.

    This is why I do not think Todd Bowles is going to last more than two years. He will never change. Byron Leftwich will never change. Perhaps the NFL needs more Jeff Saturday hires to kick down the collective arrogance of NFL head coaches several pegs.

  9. Andrew Marchetti Says:

    Great weather conditions for a deep ball game plan for Mike. These coaches are MFing idiots

  10. Lt. Dan Says:

    Evans says, …”and we just didn’t connect.” He should of said, “Leftwhich just didn’t correct.”

  11. TDavis Says:

    He made a couple of comments about getting more separation and I think that’s actually concerning. Consistent 2-3 yards of separation is a luxury in the NFL. A number one receiver needs to be able to make catches even with defenders close and even when there’s actual contact.

  12. Smashsquatch Says:

    Fire Lefty and allow Brady to act as his own OC.

  13. Bobby Says:

    It’s fair to point out Evans got a hamstring injury within first week or of this season. Also, hamstring injuries have plague Mike these past 8 seasons. But with Mike in his 9th season, it’s far to wonder if maybe has lost a step in his speed. He was never a burner as you pointed out in your article writer. But he could still do go routes no problem. This doesn’t mean Mike can’t still continue to be a great receiver for Bucs going forward. Just means they can’t put him on go routes. I’m sure the team and coaches have already noticed the step loss in speed and have had internal discussions. By the way I’m going to be ready for more downer Bucs articles next week. I’m feeling confident the Bucs are going to get handled by Saints defense, no Tristin Wirfs on field. That is a massive loss and I don’t see Brady and Bucs overcoming that loss. Bucs lose against Saints, sucks, but it’s going to happen.

  14. CChead Says:

    Blowes and Lefty have destroyed this team. This offense is stagnant and don’t see anything changing. Let Brady call his own plays. He has seen more and done more than both these 2 ass clowns combined.

  15. Lamarcus Says:

    I never heard an OC getting the blame for the QB and Wrs out of sync. This is new. How about they are not working together as much or at all or like they use too? Brady practice habits has changed this year and it shows

  16. Anonymous Says:

    It’s frustrating that Brady’s last year is being wasted by inept, dreadful game plans and coaching. The rest of the NFL teams considering Leftwich and Bowles should be thankful. They have witnessed their low ceiling coaching levels at the expense of Brady’s last year and our Bucs team. At this point Im practically checked out on the season, apparently like our entire team. I know there was a ton of injuries that forced Leftwich and Bowles to actually coach, develop and handle real time critical thinking but they have underperformed consistently in every single big decision instance. I can’t recall ONE impressive head coaching in game decision. A solid Defensive game plan, with one weeks preparation doesn’t count because that is what Bowles has tons of experience in. I look forward to a new beginning and the draft. I hope Jason makes the right move with the coaching staff and overhauls the staff with a more modern minded coach.

  17. Robert Says:

    ME loafing…nothing new.

  18. Red Skeleton Says:

    Byron’s biggest problem this year is he is trying to plan what he wants the team to be rather than who they are. He is not scheming at our strengths which is why he is resorting on more trickery. Trickery is what weak and usually losing teams do!!!

  19. D-Rok Says:

    It’s actually creative to try and change things up and be unpredictable with more go routes. I like the idea.

    But first, it MUST be practiced to perfection and if it works great in practice, only then does one (OC) change the plan.

    Sounds like they just said, Hey Mike – let’s try this out and see if it works in the game.


  20. JD Says:

    @d-Rok. Good point about practicing to perfection b4 you implement it in a game.

    Practice makes permanent – perfect practice makes perfect!

  21. BucU Says:

    Obviously the Saints will win Monday Night. Almost everybody can agree on that. That’s 5-7.
    Then they’ll fly out to San Fran and obviously lose that game. That’s 5-8. Then the red hot Bengals come to town and put up 35 on this team and blow us out.
    That’s 5-9.
    This season will always be remembered as a coach who tool a SB ready team and drove it right off a cliff.
    That’s gonna be Bowles legacy.

  22. Goatfarmer Says:

    Brian Flores or Eric Bienemy.

  23. Craig Says:

    Evans should be the ultimate outlet receiver.

    Line him up wide, let him find the first down marker, and use his body to shield the ball to get a first down.

    He is not fast enough or a good enough route runner to do what Leftie wants. That is why he and Brady seem out of sync. Leftie is trying to cram him into the wrong shaped hole, and it is warping the whole offense.

  24. WillieG Says:

    Shouldn’t go routes be for speed guys most of the time?

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    Leftwich is literally an idiot, this is yet more proof of it.

    The fact this idiot still has a job has literally tanked the Bucs season.

    And for what? Why are Bucs keeping this dullard around who has literally cost them the last year of Brady’s career (at least in Tampa it’s his last year).

  26. NEfan Says:

    Lamarcus good one, really. Do you think for ONE minute Bill Walsh would F with Montna and Rices mojo? The guys practice timing routes on their own! This is a new low, what OC changes the #1 wr’s position and focus for ONE game? Ya a play or two. Can this get any worse?

    Ate the reading this Belleclown? The WR DON’T LIE!!!

  27. NEfan Says:

    Can fans sue for coaching malpractice???

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    WillieG Says:
    December 2nd, 2022 at 10:46 am
    Shouldn’t go routes be for speed guys most of the time?


    Evans lead the league in average per catch a few years ago. It’s not all about speed on the deep ball. If you got a big target who will just go up and get the ball, regardless of coverage, then they can get a ton of yards. It’s the one area where I wish Brady was more aggressive — because what makes Evans special is that he’s always open in one and one situations. Winston would just throw balls deep to him and if Evans was one on one, he was going to catch it or knock it down 99% of the time. The only exception, off the top of my that I remember, is the Arizona game vs Patrick Peterson who I believe just got a better jump on the ball and intercepted it. But the overwhelming vast majority of the time, if Evans is one on one, you don’t worry about the coverage, just place the ball high, and good things should happen.

    With that said, Leftwich is an idiot. If, as Mike said, the other team is just playing a safety over the top, then Evans is never going to see the ball as Brady won’t (and shouldn’t) throw the ball deep vs that coverage. If stupid Leftwich made no adjustments, then that’s on Leftwich being his typical idiot self.

  29. NEfan Says:

    It’s no wonder he was exhausted and he even had to play into a useless OT. Hahaha, hahaha. Thanks Again BA! See you after the next win.

  30. Lamarcus Says:


    Newsflash: Brady and Mike Evans been off all year. Just not one game. Ok cool Leftwich change his route 1 game…how about the rest of the previous games?

  31. Your Mom Says:

    In the case to fire Leftwich, this might just be the top piece of evidence.

  32. HC Grover Says:

    Clown Lefty is clearly just plain dumb.

  33. Statisticly Insignificant Reader Says:

    “With the Bucs offense struggling, how about playing to guys’ strengths and not trying to get cute?”
    This applies to some players on both offense and defense as well.

  34. firethecannons Says:

    how about adjustments at any point in this game still cannot believe Bowles got Wirfs and Winfield hurt with playing for overtime which never had to happen at this point the only thing that matters is either the playoffs or seeing Bowles and leftwich take a one way uber outta town permanently

  35. NEfan Says:

    Lamarcus, have you EVER played the game??? What makes you think an offense would have a successful passing game if a team CANNOT run??? Just look at the two games the Bucs had somewhat of a rushing game, Dallas & Seattle. Did the O look like they struggled in those games??? Did you ever hear the terms 8 in the box on first down and rush 4 drop 7 on second & 3rd? The only routes open unless a DB doesn’t do their job are the underneath routes. Get back on your little yellow bus, these posts are beyond your comprehension.

  36. Davenport Says:

    No reason to add yet another Leftwich is incompetent post. We all know what’s going on there.

    All we can do is hope that the Glazers to do the right thing when this nightmare of a season ends.

  37. Rod Munch Says:

    Davenport Says:
    December 2nd, 2022 at 12:17 pm
    No reason to add yet another Leftwich is incompetent post. We all know what’s going on there.


    WRONG. We need every ‘Leftwich is a moron’ post out there.

    You’re also wrong on firing these morons after the season. If we’re going to suffer through Brady’s final year here, why would you fire either of these idiots when you’d want to tank to get the #1 pick? No two idiots better qualified than these two idiots to Tank with Trask ™ in 2023.

  38. Rand Says:

    The one ingredient missing that Brady is so good at are the slant routes. He’s accurate and can get rid of the ball quick.

  39. Coburn Says:

    I was beating this exact drum following the loss… Not only does it become too predictable but asking a receiver to run it too often is exhausting.. every incompletion whether it’s to him or anyone else means he has to run all the way back for the next snap. It adds up and I’d imagine why he disappeared in second half. I think thaya been a trend.. not just this one game either. Need to get him crossing the field a bit more and coming back to qb..

  40. Coburn Says:

    As another poster mentioned Mike under rkoetter was money running out to sideline and making tip toe catches or sitting on mark and using his big body.. sowmtimes running back to help out Jameis or even some slants. He barely even sniffed a go route when he came into the league. They even brought DeSean in to be that deep threat. Don’t waste his talents just doing that one thing

  41. NEfan Says:

    Lamarcus, I can’t hear you!!! Crickets, I thought so. Hater

  42. ClwJB Says:

    The OC just doesn’t know how to game people open consistently

    Using big body ME on all go and fade routes is just stupid

    His best play is the 15-20 yd dig- let that soft stay high and come back under the coverage

    Of course ham sandwich is too busy scheming his next G/T trap for 2 yards to see the coverage and adjust the route calls

  43. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Evans never had that stretch the field elite speed. He was fast enough and big enough to to be a big outside shoulder catch down field threat. He’s slowed down a bit and is always playing through nagging injuries. It might be time at this point in his career to be lining up for intermediate throws and slants. It would be fun to watch him lineup in the slot or tightend and run a slant against a linebacker in coverage.

  44. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Evans should be taking on a Keyshawn Johnson type roll.

  45. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Craig Says: yes. Totally agree. Just get him routinely in position to move the chains. Then IN THAT GAME once the D adjust, then you run the go route.

  46. Merlin Says:

    Brady over threw him on every one of those incompletions. They were the right call and Brady didn’t execute

  47. ChiBuc Says:

    I don’t blame BL for trying something new, but it really emphasizes what a horrible OC/coach BL is.

    -Scheme to player’s strength: FAIL
    -Recognize when something is not working: FAIL
    -Make adjustment: FAIL
    -Step fwd and take responsibility: FAIL

  48. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Bill Bellichick exposed Brady’s kryptonite to the rest of the league. When Tampa played the Pat’s at home. Bill’s defense used the over the top safety. It scares Brady to try a deep throw fearing the ball gets tipped and could become an interception. Other teams have copied it. It’s stifled the long pass. But Leftwhich keeps sending Evans on Go routes.

  49. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Leftwich failed to grasp that Evans is beginning to age, so what little speed he has is starting to disappear.

    To be honest…I think Mike could play a Gronk role from time to time…except that he needs his 1k yards.

  50. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    I think Brady not going deep as much has more to do with the offensive line.

  51. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @JeffreyLane Brady still went deep. I have no idea where you got that narrative. They bracketed Godwin

  52. LakelandSteve Says:

    This wasn’t happening just in the Cleveland game but for a few games before that. About the time Godwin started feeling better, Byron decided to use Evans as a decoy. Just run the same damn offense you have run for the previous three years. It’s almost as if Byron said to himself I’m going to show everyone how smart I am and totally change the passing game. He has shown EVERYONE how smart he is alright.

  53. JimmyfromNY Says:

    Melon stop making excuses for Evans. He was locked down by a number three corner Brady missed one throw the one in overtime the other two at Evans didn’t b battle through contact . As matter of fact last one in overtim the ball landed 2 yards away from him without him extending his arms , he’s been a quitter this entire season. He actually told you that after the Carolina game. Absolutely awful this season always concerned about is getting 1000 yards to keep his stupid streak going. Either straight Outta bounds or right down never looking for extra yards.

  54. steele Says:

    Evans misused, assigned wrong kind of routes. Evans not comfortable, mentally and physically, out of it. All true.

    Coaches are wasting talent.

  55. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    Bill Parcells famously said that you are your record.

    On offense, the lack of TD’s from TB12 and ME13 is one of the reasons why the Bucs, including TB12 and ME13, are a losing and bad football team, especially on offense.

    Surprisingly, TB12 and ME13 are connecting at the same production rate of the past 2 seasons for total yards and completions this season at their current pace.

    TB12 and ME13 connected for 27 TD’s and over 2,000 yards the past two seasons.

    TB12 and ME13 production of TD’s this season has greatly decreased.

    ME13 is to blame for some of that drop in TD production.

    TB12 is to blame for some of that drop in TD production.

    TD’s are where the relationship has changed between TB12 and ME13. Not the yards or completions/receptions. The Bucs don’t score TD’s anymore when they are in the red zone like they did the past two seasons.

    Throw in: injured OLINE, Licht’s failure to fix the injured OLINE, Licht free agent signing Gage was a failure, Licht overpaid for Julio instead of getting an OLINEman, Leftwich is a horrible coordinator without BA’s influence, and Todd Bowles is a coach who coaches scarred and timid and that is how his teams play.

    All of those are reasons why the Bucs are a bad football team because they are what their record says they are.

    Arguing against what your record says you are is dishonest and making excuses. You can’t get better if you are dishonest and make excuses for your record because that means you’re unwilling to adapt and change to fix things.

  56. NEfan Says:

    Belleclown, 1st post I actually agree with your analysis. Good job Grasshopper, you’re learning.

  57. BelleGladeBuc Says:


    You disagree that Massachusetts football prep talent and training is inferior to Florida prep football talent and training?

    I posted that many times.

    If you disagree with that , then you don’t know football.

    Per Max Preps (they and Hudl are the Bible when it comes to prep recruiting by the way for ignorant fans like you @list)

    Florida (Raymond James Land) = 177 NFL Players
    Massachusetts (Foxborough Land) = 9 NFL Players

  58. Joe Morello Says:

    Once again….Leftfield Leftwich continues to disappoint and shows his dumbass coaching and stubborn fool. Glaser family sucks….