As the Buccaneers reported to the facility for the first day of workouts Monday, Jameis Winston and Mike Evans met separately with the Tampa Bay media and spoke of their time spent together this offseason, both on and off the field. The general sense, after hearing their stories, is that Winston is trying to keep Evans focused while pushing him to his physical limit.
Moments after Evans told reporters that Winston is always trying to hang out socially, Winston gave an interesting look into one of their on-field practices. Safe to say, Evans’ offseason conditioning has already begun.
“That’s something Mike and I have really worked on,” Winston said. “We spent like two days just doing deep balls. Of course he’s tired, but he kept (running routes). I was like, ‘Just keep going.’”
At one point during a workout, Winston said, a few Tampa Bay Storm players noticed Evans’ fatigue and spelled him for a few routes so he wouldn’t burn out. Evans appreciated that.
But Winston knows how important it is to improve their deep-ball connection – something Dirk Koetter emphasized this offseason after completing 14 of 53 passes over 20 yards – and shows his commitment to the end goal by running a step-for-step with his wide receivers.
According to Winston’s logic, there’s no excuse for receivers or tight ends if the quarterback is doing the same amount of sprints.
“I don’t let him do it by himself,” Winston said. “If we go out there and he runs a 50-yard route, I’ll sprint 50 yards down the field to wherever he caught the ball. When I work with the guys, I don’t let them be the only one’s running because that’s an excuse a receiver or a tight end can have, that (I’m) not out here doing all this running. So I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll show you.’ I’m going to do the same amount of running.”
Winston said that the offseason work is about “fellowshipping” with Evans, as they’ll eventually depend on each other during a critical point in a game and need to be on the same page. The effort they put in during the spring will pay off during the fall.
“I’m going to have to look at Mike and say, ‘Mike, I need you on this play.’ And he’s going to look at me and be like, ‘Jameis, look my way, I got you.’ So it’s just developing that relationship off the field and on the field.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
This will be one of those epic duos that grow up together and impact the NFL on offense for a decade. We have never have had that in Tampa. It would be something fun to watch.
Maybe if Jameis wears a Harry Potter shirt he will have Evans complete concentration. Seriously though, Evans really needs to give 110% this year. Some of those games he lost us single handedly…no pun intended. He is way better than what he showed last season and should be embarrassed. Like Koetter said, it’s crazy when 1200 yds is a bad season.
No doubt Evans needs to grow up. He ended the season on a bad note, but he is a special talent and as long as we can keep him catching a 1000 yrds a year, he will make us a better Team. Having Jackson for one last year will help him make the transition.
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