Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans "Just Scratching the Surface"

Bucs OC Todd Monken believes there is plenty of room for Mike Evans to continue to improve.

After 11 games, there should be few questions left to answer. Mike Evans has established himself as one of the NFL's top receivers, with numbers to back that claim up. He has 1,020 receiving yards, marking his third-straight 1,000-yard season. Just one player, Atlanta's Julio Jones, has more receiving yards thus far. And with 10 touchdown receptions, he's tied for the league-lead.

When Todd Monken joined Dirk Koetter's staff as the Buccaneers' Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach last spring, Evans was coming off of a season where he struggled with drops and caught just three touchdowns. In his first season, Monken has guided Evans through what is shaping up to be a historic year. Despite his success, Monken believes Evans isn't close to playing his best football.

Pictures of Mike Evans during the Bucs' game against the Seahawks.

"I know what Mike is capable of and he's really just scratching the surface," Monken said on Wednesday during his weekly press conference. "I really believe that. We have a huge tendency and that is to throw it to a great player. I like that tendency. That's what you should do. If you have a really good running back, you give him the ball. If you have a really good receiver, you find a way to get him the ball."

At six-foot-five and 230 pounds, Evans is still physically the same player he's been since the Buccaneers selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft, for the most part. But Evans' maturity and mental preparation have helped catapult him into the race for the NFL's receiving title.

"We're excited about the progression Mike has made, not only as a player but controlling his emotions and the way he is every day with his practice habits," Monken added.

](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-graphics/Vote-Now-Buccaneers-Pro-Bowl-Info-Sheet/e7aa0fbb-12a8-4359-9c31-9f0ff218cfd4)"Mike's done a better job in his preparation, his play, catching the ball. It feels like his competitive spirit has turned into excitement and not frustration. You can see it – he's kind of playing a little bit instead of being frustrated, which is a good sign. He's enjoying every day – getting better and being coached. You're seeing that product on the field."

Monken believes that there are several areas Evans has the opportunity to improve in, and rightfully so. Evans didn't play high school football until he was a senior. He's still only 23. When asked about which areas Evans could improve the most in, Monken said his ability to run precise routes.

"I think Mike would agree that, at some point, you would like to be known for your route running," Monken said. "He's getting there, as opposed to a guy with just great size and range."

Whether or not Monken is right and Evans continues to grow into the player he believes he can, it's clear that the Buccaneers have one of the league's top pass-catchers on their roster.

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