Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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 [email protected] and at (813) 226-3346. Follow @gregauman

Comments
Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Cannon Fodder podcast: Gerald McCoy still wants to play

Greg Auman has an update in his latest podcast while the Bucs have two days off during the long week,Riley Bullough gets promoted to the active roster, Gerald McCoy says he still wants to play this season, and the defensive line gives 75 local famili...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Warren Sapp to address allegations against him in sexual harassment lawsuit

Warren Sapp to address allegations against him in sexual harassment lawsuit

Warren Sapp will address allegations that he sexually harassed a female employee when he worked at the NFL Network during a radio appearance this afternoon in Miami.The former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer will speak on WINZ radio at 2:45 p.m.Th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

The West Club at Raymond James Stadium was packed on Tuesday night with 75 needy local families who thought they were getting a holiday dinner and stadium tour with Bucs players.The defensive line stepped up to give the families a much bigger surpris...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

Bucs promote rookie LB Riley Bullough to active roster

The Bucs have promoted rookie LB Riley Bullough — a cult favorite back in August after being nicknamed "Joe Dirt" on HBO's "Hard Knocks" — to the active roster after he spent three months on the team's practice squad.Bullough, undrafted o...
Published: 12/12/17
Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

Bucs sign ex-USF LB Nigel Harris to practice squad

The Bucs have signed former Hillsborough High and USF linebacker Nigel Harris to their practice squad after a workout Tuesday.Harris, 23, has played for the Chargers and Giants already this season as an undrafted rookie. He had 11 tackles in five gam...
Published: 12/12/17
Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Your turn: Who deserves more credit for Bucs’ Super Bowl victory?

Fifteen years later, Tampa Bay's Great Sports Debate continues: Who deserves more credit for the Bucs' Super Bowl victory, Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? With the Bucs set to induct Gruden into the Ring of Honor on Monday, what do you think? Email your ...
Published: 12/12/17
Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp accused of harassment; NFL Network suspends three analysts over sexual assault allegations

Warren Sapp, a former Buc and Pro Football Hall of Famer, has been accused of sexual harassment while working as an analyst with NFL Network, according to a lawsuit.NFL Network has suspended analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor "pendin...
Published: 12/12/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Rick and Tom podcast: Piling on Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter

Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss what impact the reported rift between Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter has going forward.
Published: 12/12/17