TAMPA — Striking a mildly defiant tone Wednesday, the Bucs’ premier receiver showed he can defend a little also.
Mike Evans pressed back when asked about teammate Chris Godwin’s uncharacteristic drops Saturday against Washington. “I just remember the plays he made for us, big plays for us. I remember those,” Evans said.
“How many drops did he have? I don’t even know, I don’t care. I know he made a lot of plays for us.”
Clearly less obstinate was Godwin himself. The fourth-year receiver finished with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown in the 31-23 triumph, but — to the shock of a fan base accustomed to his sure-handedness — had at least four drops.
“That was just a rough day for me,” said Godwin, who was targeted 12 times by Tom Brady.
“And that’s something that I really owned after the game and really sat with. ... That’s not something that I do, so it was definitely something I had to learn from. And I think I’ve done that.”
Godwin’s four drops — equaling the drop total for his career entering the game — were the most in a playoff game since Jan. 13, 2007, according to ESPN. Godwin’s 41.7 catch percentage in the contest (receptions divided by targets) was a season-low by nearly 10 percent, indicative of an aberration.
Without getting specific, he acknowledged being consoled by Brady (“He was just there being a great teammate”) afterward, and indicated no nagging injury or ailment contributed to Saturday’s performance. Godwin was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice with what officially was listed as a hip/quad injury.
“I think I’m moving forward now,” he said, “so I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to get out there and really get back to being me.”