The receiver position either attracts or creates prancing, preening prima donnas, who are loud and proud and sometimes downright obnoxious. As a result, the fans and the media don’t quite know how to act when encountering a receiver who is quiet and measured and concise.
Enter Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans.
I interviewed Evans on PFT Live several weeks before the draft, and the outcome was a little rough. And it was all my fault.
It was obvious from the get-go that Evans is the exact opposite of everything we’ve come to expect in a big-name pass-catcher. But it was on me to draw Evans out of his shell. Toward the end of the interview, I think I did. A little.
When I interviewed him on the day of the draft, the product was a little better, in large part because I knew what to expect.
Via Deadspin, Evans appeared on Tuesday’s edition of The Jim Rome Show. The interview went poorly, in Rome’s estimation. Since I know Evans, I heard it a different way. He was polite. He answered every question without any hint of impatience in his voice. He just didn’t say very much.
For example, when asked a “yes” or “no” question, he basically said “yes” or “no.” Which makes it important for the interviewer to slide away from “yes” or “no” questions — something that’s far easier said than done when trying to turn around an interview that isn’t going the way the interviewer thought it would.
That’s not a slap at Rome. He’s great at what he does, and I’ve very much enjoyed the times I’ve been on his show. (He hasn’t asked me to be on his show in a while, which has prompted me to smell my armpits as I typed this.)
Evans is young, and he’s probably a little nervous and/or likely a little shy. He’s nevertheless doing more and more media interviews, presumably in the hopes that he’ll improve. He probably will. Until he does, he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Those of us who talk for a living often forget that it takes plenty of tries before a comfort level creeps in.
For Evans, it’ll happen eventually. And he’ll get his next chance later today, as a phone-in guest on Tuesday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. Tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET.