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Bucs' Mike Evans motivated by deep ball that got away

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) reaches for a pass as cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends during training camp earlier this month at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13) reaches for a pass as cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends during training camp earlier this month at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
Published Aug. 18, 2017

JACKSONVILLE — Bucs receiver Mike Evans had an efficient half of football Thursday night, with six balls thrown his way and five catches for 57 yards in Tampa Bay's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars.

But the one that got away is what will continue to motivate him in the three weeks before the regular season arrives.

Already up 9-0 in the second quarter, the Bucs had a first down at the Jacksonville 43 when Jameis Winston threw a long pass down the left sideline, only to have the ball go through Evans' hands incomplete. Tampa Bay would later settle for a field goal.

"I had a drop in the end zone. Things I can work on," Evans said after the game. "These preseason games are good practice for us, to get ready for the real thing. I think we did well."

Evans said he can't make excuses for his single miss -- the ball was well thrown and he just couldn't bring it in.

"I tracked it pretty bad," he said. "It got caught in the lights, but the lights don't get the drop. I do. I can make that. Hopefully we'll be playing a lot of prime-time games (under the lights), so I've got to get ready for that."

Evans said the first-team offense as a whole had an encouraging night, driving for 187 yards on the first three drives, even if two ended with field goals.

"It's fun being out there, seeing all the guys in the huddle and all the weapons we've got and the tenacious offensive line we've got," Evans said. "If we can stay healthy, we can do some big things, I think. We can create that rapport, clean up some things and get ready for Miami on Sept. 10."

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