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Mike Evans catches attention with his blocks

Bucs receiver Mike Evans got the better of Bengals veteran corner Terence Newman in a short video that has gone viral.
Bucs receiver Mike Evans got the better of Bengals veteran corner Terence Newman in a short video that has gone viral.
Published Dec. 3, 2014

TAMPA — Bengals CB Terence Newman had an interception Sunday and left town with a 14-13 win, but Bucs rookie WR Mike Evans certainly got the better of the NFL veteran in a short video that has gone viral in the past two days.

The clip — which has gotten 7.6 million loops on Vine.co after being picked up on several national blogs — shows Evans running downfield and being impressively physical with Newman, who is 7 inches shorter and 34 pounds lighter than the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Bucs rookie. Newman eventually lunges toward Evans and is lifted up and slammed down on his back. Evans said he takes pride in his blocking as well as his receiving abilities.

"I like to enforce myself in the run game. It's something I have control over," Evans said Monday. "He jumped kind of funny and I just threw him to the ground. It happened so fast, I didn't think about it. I watched the film and it looked better than I thought it was."

Evans was held to 49 yards on four catches and finished without a touchdown for the first time since October, but his midseason surge has him leading a strong class of rookie receivers. Evans leads the group with 890 receiving yards and is tied for the lead with eight touchdowns.

EASIER ROAD AHEAD: The 2014 Bucs schedule saw them play the toughest division, the AFC North — all four teams are 7-5 or better — but Tampa Bay is in position for an easier lineup of opponents in 2015.

There are seven other NFL teams with three wins or fewer, and the Bucs will have six games against those teams. The Bucs will play the NFC East and AFC South, which means they face the Redskins (3-9), Giants (3-9), Titans (2-10) and Jaguars (2-10), as well as the usual two games against the Panthers (3-9-1).

Two games are determined by the final standings — as it stands, the Bucs would play at the last-place team in the NFC West, currently the Rams (5-7), and would play host to the last team in the NFC North, either the Bears or Vikings (both 5-7).

WELCOME BACK: The Bucs made official the re-signing of rookie return specialist Solomon Patton, the former Gators receiver who handled punt and kickoff returns for the first six games this season. TE D.J. Williams, who was signed last week but didn't play Sunday, was waived to make room for Patton.

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

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