Buccaneers: Time for Mike Evans to Get the Respect He Deserves

Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is coming of age before our eyes, and he deserves all the respect in the world from NFL experts.

This is getting real, isn’t it, Buccaneers fans? At 6-5, the Bucs are coming together. They are on a three game winning streak with two coming against NFL powerhouses. The Bucs have a real shot at returning to the playoffs, finally!

It’s also getting real for one of our young players. He’s the leading man on the outside, and by far the most consistent weapon at the disposal of Jameis Winston. You all know who I’m talking about. His name is Mike Evans.

It’s not only the statistics that tell the story for Evans, though they are impressive in their own right. He is on his way to career highs in all the major categories for a wide receiver, and is proving himself to be elite.

But, when you give Evans the eye test, you see his growth even more. Let’s go inside the film room with the “Eye in the Sky” and see what I mean.

When a young receiver can take a Pro Bowl cornerback to school and leave him begging for a penalty, he has accomplished something. That is exactly what Evans did to Richard Sherman on Sunday. Let’s have a look.

All screenshots courtesy of NFL Game Pass (subscription required).

There it is. Mano y mano. It’s the matchup we were all waiting for. Evans in pewter, Sherman in white. Evans is going to take a step to the inside and then make a move to the outside and run a “9” route (straight down the field). Let’s move ahead.

Evans is a couple of steps into his route and has taken his one step to the inside. See his right leg extended? He is pivoting off that leg to make his move to the sideline and into the “go” or “9” route.

As Evans makes his move to Sherman’s right, Sherman engages in hand to hand combat. Sherman is a physical corner so that is expected. Let’s see how Evans handles it as they move down the field.

It’s hard to see due to the distance, but now Evans is side by side with Sherman. Notice how we can see the “25” on Sherman’s back? He has started to turn, and though still hand-fighting, knows he’s going to have to run hard to stay with Evans.

As the ball is released by Winston, Evans has already beaten Sherman. You can see in the circle that he has that he has a slight edge in the race to the goal line. Sherman is there, but Evans has the edge.

Winston puts the ball in the perfect spot and Evans makes the catch over Sherman for his second touchdown of the game. Sherman is left to beg the referee for a flag, although ironically he is the one with his hand on Evans’ back in the picture.

It’s time for Mike Evans to get noticed, and not just in Tampa Bay. He deserves national attention. He has outgained everybody but Julio Jones. The world needs to pay attention.

This article originally appeared on