Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Evans Motivated by Giants Game

Second-year wide receiver Mike Evans had the third-most receiving yards of any NFL player in Week Nine and, at the same time, a performance he'd like to forget.

A handful of dropped passes kept Evans from adding to the eight catches for 152 yards he posted against the New York Giants on Sunday. Though it's impossible to know how the rest of the game would have had unfolded had he held on to any of those specific passes, but it's fair to suggest he could have challenged Vincent Jackson's Buccaneer record of 216 receiving yards in a single game. That would have been cause for celebration – as are most 150-yard outings – but instead Evans is left with unhappy memories and a strong desire to prevent that type of outing from recurring.

"It's very hard having a historically bad day when it should have been a historically great day," said Evans on Wednesday, as the Bucs began preparing for the Cowboys' visit. "But I can't keep whining about. I've got to still play. I've got to put it in the back of my mind and go play."

A number of factors can influence whether or not a receiver catches a pass, but Evans did pinpoint one specific issue that he can work on. He can also take some wet-ball practice in order to get better at catching passes on a rainy day, as it was for a good portion of Sunday's game.

"When it wasn't raining I took my eyes off a couple of them," said Evans. "That one third down in the second quarter, I took my eyes off it, and then the pitch at the end, I tried to pitch and took my eyes off it. I've got to just focus in on catching it before I make a move.

"I'm going to work hard no matter what. If I don't get the outcome I want I'm just going to keep working. So I've just got to keep working. I've done some good things. My bad days are 150 [yards], so that's alright. If I can improve on that, that would be great."

Evans made that last point without any hint of conceit in his voice. He was simply taking comfort in the fact that he was still able to provide some help to his team even on a rough day, and that gives him confidence that he can have a very significant impact when he cleans up his issue with dropped passes. It also doesn't hurt that he knows his head coach still has complete confidence in him.

"Yeah, he just told me that I'm a great player and just keep playing," said Evans of Smith's message to him. "And the drops, clean it up and let's go."

"The numbers don't show it but they have a really good defense. They have a physical secondary. I think their best player, Sean Lee, might be hurt but he's a really good football player. Our hands are going to be full with those guys and we're going to go out here soon and get some work in."

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