Third-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is in the midst of a breakout 2016 campaign. The former top-10 pick has put up 91 receptions for 1,256 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 games. Those surely are tremendous numbers. They also led to his first Pro Bowl selection.
Though, if you ask Evans himself, he doesn’t seem to be terribly impressed with what he accomplished for a surprising Buccaneers squad in 2016.
“I thought I had an all right year,” Evans said, via ESPN. “Everyone keeps telling me I had a lot of success. I thought I played OK.”
Everyone keeps telling Evans he had a lot of success, because he did. The Texas A&M product was the major reason Jameis Winston took the next step to near-elite status in just his second season under center.
With that said, the Buccaneers’ offense as a whole has failed to take off. It ranks in the bottom half of the league in points and total yards. With the talent this unit has, that’s a surprising realization to come to.
In analyzing his season, Evans also points to the tape as a reason why he wasn’t as successful as the pundits make it out to be.
“No, I thought I played all right, because people don’t see the film that we see,” Evans said. “I thought I had an OK year. I thought I was maybe a top- five wideout. But I wanted to be No. 1 and maybe if I was No. 1, I could’ve helped us get to the playoffs.”
Talk about putting the onus squarely on your back for your team’s inability to earn a postseason spot.
Tampa Bay heads into Week 17 needing seven different things to happen in order to make it to the playoffs. This might be unlikely, but it’s safe to assume Evans is one of the primary reasons Tampa Bay is in line for its first winning season since 2010.
He’s being a tad hard on himself. Though, this is the drive that has helped Evans become just the fourth player in NFL history to put up 1,000-plus yards in is first three NFL seasons.