Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Mike Evans: It will be a ‘major disappointment’ if this isn’t the Bucs’ year

The Pro Bowl receiver has five straight, 1,000-yard receiving seasons but no playoff appearances to show for it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) spoke to reporters on Wednesday, Aug. 07, 2019 at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa.  ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) spoke to reporters on Wednesday, Aug. 07, 2019 at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. ALLIE GOULDING | Times
Published Aug. 7
Updated Aug. 7

TAMPA — The NFL South is loaded with great receivers. But the Falcons’ Julio Jones and the Saints’ Michael Thomas get a lot more attention than the Bucs’ Mike Evans since their teams are perennial playoff contenders.

Evans is one of only three players to have at least 1,000-yards receiving in each of his first five seasons. The other two are A.J. Green and Randy Moss. But since joining the Bucs as a first-round pick in 2014, the former Texas A&M star has been part of only one winning team — when Tampa Bay went 9-7 but missed the playoffs in his second pro season.

Evans says it will be a “major disappointment” if the Bucs’ 11-year playoff drought — second only to the Browns — isn’t broken this year.

“I mean, nobody wants to lose,” Evans said. “And nobody wants to be playing at the end of the year when you don’t have a chance to make the playoffs. I want to win, even thought it’s at the end (of the season). But I want to make the playoffs. That’s everybody’s goal.

“It will be a major disappointment if we don’t make it this year, like it has been every year, but especially this year. I feel like we’re loaded on both sides of the ball and we have a really good rapport overall.

“Everybody has been playing well. Everybody has been having a really good training camp. I mean, if we don’t do it this year, it’s going to be tough to do it all the other years. I know we’re in a tough division, but we’ve got the guys to do that.”

Evans leads a group of receivers and tight ends that are among the best in the NFL. Gone are Adam Humphries, who signed as a free agent with the Titans, and DeSean Jackson, who was traded to the Eagles.

But the Bucs return receiver Chris Godwin and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate. Tampa Bay also added Browns free agent Breshad Perriman and drafted Bowling Green receiver Scotty Miller.

“It’s definitely up there with the best,” Evans said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can make plays as pass catchers. That’s good. Rank them? We’re up there. I mean we have to do it, but I think we’re right up there with last year. Some of the new guys, (Perriman), can take the top off just like DeSean did and we’ve got a lot of pretty good rookies. So we’ll have to see who makes it out of those rookies, but it’s a really good rookie class we have at the receiver position.”

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Peyton Manning threw 26 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions in 2001, his age-25 season. Jameis Winston has thrown 26 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions through 13 games this season, which is his age-25 season. What does it mean? Probably nothing. [KEVIN RIVOLI  |  Associated Press]
    Reality check: Manning’s 2001 was superior to Winston’s 2019, mainly because it’s easier to play quarterback in today’s NFL.
  2. Last season, Jameis Winston threw the ball away five times. This season, he has thrown it away 23 times. “One of the hardest things to do is to throw the ball away — trust me,” Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    The quarterback’s league-leading interception rate is overshadowing a potential step forward in his development.
  3. Winston is putting up statistics nearly identical to what Manning posted the season he turned 25. But a comparison requires more than numbers.
  4. Rookie linebacker Devin White is starting to have the kind of impact in Tampa Bay as he had at LSU. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Rick Stroud | Licht has virtually nothing left from his 2016 draft. But oh, those last two!
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston smiles while on stage before meeting with the media during the Famous Jameis Jamboree at Raymond James stadium on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 in Tampa. The event, which recommended a new toy or non-perishable food item as the cost of admission, included games, beverages and a visit from Santa Claus. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Winston tested his injured right thumb by throwing a football for the first time this week on Friday.
  6. Bucs career receptions leader Mike Evans (left) won't be available to help quarterback Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay for Sunday's 1 p.m. game at Detroit. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Bucs are without Mike Evans for the first time since 2017, but Ndamukong Suh is back in Motown.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive linebacker Ndamukong Suh (93) on the bench during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on August 16, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times [MONICA HERNDON   |   TIMES  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    He’s not the same player who dominated in Detroit, but Suh did plenty of damage the last time he faced the Lions.
  8. With Oklahoma State in 2018, Taylor Cornelius threw for 3,978 passing yards (fifth most in program history) and 32 touchdowns (fourth most). The Tampa Bay Vipers drafted him in October. [SUE OGROCKI  |  Associated Press]
    The Tampa Bay Vipers signal-caller talks camp competition, Marc Trestman’s coaching style and Mike Gundy’s hair.
  9. Quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and the Bucs face the Detroit Lions at 1 p.m. Sunday in Detroit. [Tampa Bay Times]
    Here are our picks for this week’s NFL games.
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) makes a pass to a receiver during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The quarterback has been able to play with limited practice in the past, doing it before during the 2017 season.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement