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    • michael89156

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      Bucs’ dream catcher Evans ready to make magic with Winston  magic_zps2oroledt.jpgMike Evans has heard the history, how second seasons have swallowed some Bucs receivers whole (think Michael Clayton). “That’s not going to happen to me,” the second-year receiver says. CHRIS URSO/STAFF    By Martin Fennelly | Tribune Staff Published: August 22, 2015 Jameis Winston, Bucs rookie quarterback, lights up around Mike Evans, former Bucs rookie receiver.“I’m a big dreamer and I always tell Mike, ‘Mike: Joe Montana, Jerry Rice,’ ” Winston said. “Just things like that, building our heads up. That was one of the best duos of all time.”Montana to Rice.Winston to Evans.Slow down there, J.W.Then there’s Evans, who isn’t the bubble machine Winston can be. There’s Evans, who even after an outstanding NFL debut — 58 catches, 1,051 yards, 12 touchdowns — hands himself a rookie grade of C-plus and adds, “I’m not a B yet.” There’s Evans, talking about his world: his 3-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, and his fiance, Ashli Dotson.There’s Evans, a bright light in a dark 2-14 season. There’s Evans, who turned just 22 on Friday. There’s Evans, who sometimes dreams like his rookie quarterback.Winston to Evans.“We can be special,” Evans said. “If we put in the work and stay healthy, God willing, then it’s possible. We could be great.”There’s Evans, who quietly believes no one can stop him on a football field. There’s Evans, whose true YouTube highlight as a rookie wasn’t a catch but a block, a block he threw, and threw, on Cincinnati defensive back Terence Newman, eventually lifting Newman from up under his chin and slamming him to earth. It wasn’t Odell Beckham Jr.’s astounding one-handed rookie grab for the Giants. But it was Evans.“That play there describes the kind of player I am,” Evans said. “It was a bit of a lucky play, because he kind of lunged at me. I like to put DBs on their backs to keep them scared. You can watch our film and you can see at least once a game I’m putting somebody on their back. ... That’s just how I play.”There’s Evans, talking about how he’d like people to think of ... Evans.“He just gives his all. Nice guy off the field, a beast on the field.”Now comes the second season, the follow-up. Second seasons have swallowed some Tampa Bay receivers whole.“I heard about one.” Evans said. “That’s about it. Clayton, right?”Michael Clayton. Right. Eighty catches, 1,193 yards, seven TDs his rookie year in 2004.Michael Clayton, who never followed up with anything like that.“That’s not going to happen to me,” Evans said.Evans stood on the field after a Bucs practice, his forearms glistening. There are stories on those arms, tattooed there to tell a journey that led Evans out of Galveston, Texas, and keep him channeled toward being something, being great.There’s one for his father, Mickey, who was murdered when Mike was in fourth grade. Mackenzie’s name is on her father’s left arm. And on the right forearm is Evans’ offseason acquisition: an NFL logo, with Evans’ draft information: First round, 7th pick.“It was a big part of my life,” he said, “a dream come true.”So could Winston to Evans for years and years.“Well, first, to talk about a tandem like that you have to have talent from both ends, and we feel like, of course, Jameis and Mike have that,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “They need to play together for a while too. For these two guys to start off together at a young age and grow together, it’s going to be fun watching it all play out.”“He’s got that tag on him, of being one of those special players,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said of Evans. “He doesn’t even know how to play football yet. He’s so gifted. It’s kind of scary how gifted he is.“I watch a lot a film, so I’m up here at random times during the day or when we’re on break. I was walking through the receivers room one day and Mike was in there by himself, watching Dez Bryant.”“If I’m waiting, if I’ve got a couple of minutes of extra time, I’ll go in and watch other receivers games,” Evans said. “Calvin Johnson, Dez (Bryant). I watch all the receivers. Things I can pick up, things to see what they did and see what I would have done in that situation.”There was Evans in the offseason, ahead of the game, working out in Tallahassee with Winston and Bucs teammates … and with his receiving hero, Randy Moss.“It’s a dream come true,” Evans said. “He’s my favorite receiver growing up, so I had to go work out with him. I couldn’t say no. He knows a lot about the game, small stuff receivers need to know.”There’s Evans, thinking some more about the great quarterback-receiver combos, Montana to Rice, Manning to Harrison ...“I think they have the same amount of hunger. They’re hungry to be great. I think we’re both hungry. Jameis is especially hungry, very hungry to be great.It’s a new season, time to prove it all over again. You never know what will happen. Look at the other day. Carolina Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin, another rookie standout last season, was lost for this one with a torn ACL. Things can happen. Sometimes magic can happen.There’s Evans, who posted on Instagram when he proposed to Ashli last December. He was dialed in. He put the box with the engagement ring inside a box with shoes Ashli wanted. Mike was nervous right up until she said yes. They’ve set a date: Feb. 13 in Houston.“Week after Super Bowl,” Evans said. “Hopefully two celebrations, back to back.”It’s all about the dreams.

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    • billym

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      Post count: 3348

      Mike doesn’t seem like the type to disappear in his second season. It looks like he loves the game and is nothing like Mr Fur Coat.

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