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Bucs’ Mike Evans wants to bounce back to have a better season ahead

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He caught more passes than the year before. He gained more yards. His team won more times.

But, yeah, Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Bucs will admit that his second season left much to be desired.

He scored only three touchdowns. He led the NFL in drops with 11. He committed 11 penalties. And he was targeted for twice as many passes as he caught.

Yeah, it was a regrettable year for Evans.

“It was a down year, I’d say,” Evans admitted. “I said that in the spring, but the good thing is, I get to do something about it. So, this year you’ll get a better Mike Evans.”

Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston was a success as a rookie, but an Evans playing the top of his game and a healthy Vincent Jackson would help him blossom further.

“Just being more consistent and bigger plays down the field,” Evans said, talking about his goals. “I just want to catch – as many opportunities as I get, I want to be at least 90% in the red zone. So, that’s a fair number, I think.”

“Last year, I had a lot of personal foul penalties and offensive pass interference and things like that. This year I think it’ll be much different. I’m going to calm it down and just play my game and not worry about what those guys are doing.”

Evans continues to be a big fan of Winston.

“To me he’s been a great player since college, and then he came in and he showed why he was the number one pick,” Evans said. “He keeps improving, like you say, his deep ball is getting better. He’s in better shape. I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

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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