Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs' top pick Mike Evans readies for training camp

TAMPA — Mike Evans has just three weeks until the Bucs report for preseason training camp, even less until rookies are due back in town, and the first-round pick from Texas A&M is hard at work getting himself in shape for the season.

"Physically, I'm not in tip-top shape. I'm getting back into my game shape," said Evans, who is training in Miami with a group of players that includes Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. "As far as injury-wise, I feel good. I've been running, and I feel 100 percent."

Evans missed much of his first month of practice with the Bucs with a hamstring injury sustained on May 20, the first day of voluntary minicamp. He returned in a limited capacity for mandatory minicamp last month, and he expects to be fine when camp starts July 25 at One Buc Place.

Evans is training for two weeks in Miami at Fit Speed Athletic Performance, and he said his focus is dropping 7 to 10 pounds with a goal of playing at about 230 this fall. He was measured at 231 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine after playing at about 235 at Texas A&M.

"I've got to lose more weight. I'm too heavy right now," Evans said. "But the workouts I've been doing, I'll be fine. I'll be ready."

The hamstring injury was a physical setback, but he said he was pleased with the "mental reps" he got in while learning a far more complex offense under Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, compared with what he experienced in college.

"I feel good. It's a lot more than we did in college, but I'm getting the hang of it," he said. "I'm starting to understand you have to adjust to different blitzes, corner blitz, safety blitz, stuff like that. This offense is pretty complicated, coming from something easy, but it isn't too bad."

Evans spent four days at the NFL's rookie symposium in Ohio last week — his roommate was the Bucs' second-round pick, Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, another big downfield target with a basketball background. The two have bonded well in a short amount of time — he said one night, Seferian-Jenkins was leaving their room about an hour before curfew.

"He said, 'I'm about to go run.' I said, 'I'll come with you.' He helped me out by doing that," Evans said. "First two nights, we did the treadmill, worked on the elliptical. He has a lot of energy and he works hard."

Seferian-Jenkins, too, was limited by a lingering foot injury during rookie minicamp and had to miss the rest of offseason workouts due to an NFL rule regarding the academic calendar at Washington. "He said he feels like he's in the best shape of his life," Evans said.

Evans, 20, said he learned valuable lessons from the symposium, listening to last year's rookies talk about the transition they made, and he appreciated the financial wisdom in teaching players to be careful with their money. Players were encouraged to have either a financial adviser or to find a teammate who has handled his income well.

"That will be the most important thing I got from that," said Evans, who signed a four-year contract that earns him $14.6 million with an $8.96 million signing bonus.

There's no shortage of veteran leaders who have helped Evans already. Asked for an example, he mentioned eight: Josh McCown, Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, Anthony Collins and Evan Dietrich-Smith on offense, as well as Alterraun Verner, Dashon Goldson and Gerald McCoy on defense.

"We have a lot of leaders," he said. "I'm real excited because we have great leaders and a great work ethic. They make the younger guys want to work even harder."

Contact Greg Auman at auman@tampabay.com and at (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman

Bucs' top pick Mike Evans readies for training camp 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70

    Footballpreps

    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  2. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  3. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern

    Blogs

    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  4. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  5. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.