Mike Evans’ Hidden Talent

July 13th, 2023


World-famous JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman will love this.

For years, Ira thought one of Bucs strategies on offense should be to throw to stud Mike Evans downfield at least three times per game. And if he didn’t come down with the ball, a flag would fly.

Defensive penalty, first down Bucs!

Joe agrees. Joe cannot remember the specifics but Evans has bee really sharp baiting defensive backs into defensive penalties, holding or interference, in recent years.

That continued in 2022. Per Joe Gibbs of Sharp Football Analysis (sorry, not that Joe Gibbs who is a bit too busy with NASCAR to be a stathead), few players were better than Evans at getting defenders to run afoul of NFL warden Roger Goodell’s laws.

The offense benefited significantly from passing play penalties. They ranked fourth overall in per-game average. Mike Evans led the team in drawing the most penalties. On more than one occasion, drawing a defensive penalty was the Bucs’ best offense in 2022.

Boy, have things changed.

Remember when Evans was a young receiver? Defenses knew he played angry and every game it seemed, a defender would do something to provoke Evans and get him rattled, and sometimes tossed from a game.

Now it is Evans doing the baiting. And the Bucs and Evans are better off for it.

8 Responses to “Mike Evans’ Hidden Talent”

  1. Tim Says:

    I’ve noticed his ability to draw flags for years. I thought that was a big reason why he would get a bomb or two thrown his way per game, to potentially draw a flag, or make the catch of course.

  2. stpetebucfan Says:

    I’m also curious if there are any stats on the #of ints thrown to WR’s.

    I think ME13 is the NBA Power Forward in pads and if he’s locked up with a defender he’s the one coming down with the ball…or he or the defender gets a pass interference called on them but i don’t recall a lot of guys getting picks going up with ME13 for the pigskin.

  3. Salary Cap Hell Says:

    No question he is a rare talent and has the ability to make average Quarterbacks look really good … AKA …. Johnny Manziel

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Early on Mike would put his hands on the CB a lot, drawing some flags on himself, and not pull them off until the last possible moment. He would sometimes drop catchable balls as a result. Around 2018 or 19 he started getting his hands off the CB and ready for the ball sooner. He then caught more balls and drew more penalties on the defenders. Just my observations. He’s truly just a stellar receiver and has been the best in the league overall since he got here.

  5. Irishmist Says:

    Those calls may disappear now that Brady is gone. Refs know who butters their bread.

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    “NFL warden Roger Goodell’s laws” this dude triggers the Joe’s like a certain 45 triggers me.

  7. Joe Says:

    “NFL warden Roger Goodell’s laws” this dude triggers the Joe’s like a certain 45 triggers me.


  8. Rod Munch Says:

    I’ve pointed this out for years – but morons claiming Lattimore shuts him down, always ignore like the 60 yards in PI calls Evans gets against him.

    This is also why I was always wanting Brady to throw it to Evans more when he was 1-on-1, even if Evans was covered, since Evans is never really covered, that’s what makes him special. Certainly I’m not going to argue with Brady and tell him how to play, but Winston was great at having no fear and just chucking it out, and what’s how Evans became a star. With that said, under Brady, Evans became a better route runner and got a lot more clean in his technique. It’s such a shame the last years of Evans career is likely going to be wasted with garbage QBs.