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Bucs’ Mike Evans tries to find chemistry with Jameis Winston

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The chemistry between Jameis Winston and Mike Evans is improving by the day. Or, at least, it improved Friday.

Winston, perhaps the NFL’s most impressive new quarterback a year ago, and Evans, one of the league’s most disappointing wide receivers, struggled to combine for an impact last season. Evans led the league with 11 drops and caught only three touchdowns, leading him to admit disappointment despite 74 catches for 1,206 yards.

“Better than yesterday,” coach Dirk Koetter pronounced. “Part of that is luck of the draw on what coverage they draw, but Mike got a lot of balls thrown his way today. You could really see Mike going out of his way to look it in. I think he probably read all you guys’ reports, how he dropped that first ball in warmups yesterday, and he probably had some choice words for y’all because you’re going to be watching every single drop he has. But keep watching, keep watching, he’s got a lot of balls thrown at him every day.”

In two seasons, Evans has 142 catches for 2,257 yards.

“No one like to see drops,” Koetter said. “But we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re never going to drop any balls. I’ve found in my career that the worst thing you can say to a guy when he drops a ball is, ‘Don’t drop the ball.’ Maybe we should coach him on how to do it better, maybe we should tell him to focus on watching it in, and I thought Mike did a good job of that today.”

Koetter admitted that Evans’ injury a year ago probably hurt his development with Winston.

“It’s on the right track,” Koetter said. “Again, none of that is going to play itself out until we get to games.”


Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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