Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith confirmed what PewterReport.com has been observing and writing about this offseason: second-year free safety Justin Evans has Pro Bowl-caliber ability.

Evans, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, got his first of 11 starts last year against New England on Thursday Night Football and recorded his first career interception against future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. Evans, who will be squaring off against another future Hall of Famer in New Orleans’ Drew Brees this week, wound up tying for the team lead with three interceptions, but gave up just as many touchdowns on busted coverages during his rookie season.

Smith said that is an area where Evans has really improved this offseason.

Evans was fifth on the team in tackles last year with 66 tackles and six pass breakups in addition to his three picks despite playing in only 14 games as he missed the last two contests with a leg injury he suffered on Monday Night Football against Atlanta in December. Smith noted that Evans has cornerback traits, but plays the safety position and is one of the most athletic safeties he’s ever coached.

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Alldaway 2.0

If Evans and Conte are as good as DC Smith says they are that means the Bucs will be sending a lot of double A gap blitzes, overloads and even nickel CB blitzes right? And very little off coverage and quarter coverage? Right?

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seat26

Evans will have a fantastic year if that Defensive line is as good as advertised.

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Dude

I’m hoping we see a little more press coverage while knocking some WR’s off their routes. If they continue to play 10-12 yds off it’s going to be a long game. Here’s to hoping the majority of preseason corner play was staged for film sessions. Go Bucs!

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scubog

As I recall, there were folks here who declared Justin Evans a “wasted pick” after the Draft.

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