Mike Evans admits it’s been a down season for him.
The future, he says, is looking up.
Evans had his second straight 1,000-yard season, one of six players to gain that much in his first two seasons. But he has dropped an inordinate amount of passes along the way, tying for the league lead with 10 drops. Nevertheless, Evans can’t help but be excited about the future of him and Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.
“Jameis is going to be a great player in this league for a long time,” Evans said. “We fell short this past week, but hopefully we’re together for a long time and we can just put up numbers for a long time and win a lot of games. That’s the goal and it’s possible.”
Evans caught nine passes for 157 yards against the Rams. It was the sixth time this year that Evans has been targeted more than 10 times.
“They were blitzing a lot and I had a lot of one-on-one matchups, so he was finding me,” Evans said. “I love that he has that trust in me, just like I have trust in him. We can be a great combo.
“This offense excites me a lot. We’re very young. The sky is the limit for us. If we put in the work and stay disciplined and not beat ourselves we can be a dangerous team for a long time.”
Coach Lovie Smith praised his rookie quarterback as well.
“I think every time Jameis opens his mouth it’s positive energy he’s putting out, but Jameis has been that way for a long period of time,” Smith said. “You saw some of it then. It was a big game. Guys want to do what they can to encourage their teammates. It’s peer pressure, which is a good thing also. Again, that’s kind of Jameis.”
The Bucs close out their home schedule Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against the Chicago Bears.