Tom Brady on targeting Mike Evans: We’re trying to get it right

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When quarterback Tom Brady signed with the Buccaneers, many assumed that receiver Mike Evans would benefit as much, if not more, than anyone.

It hasn’t happened.

Brady has targeted Evans, on average, 5.77 times per game. In four different games this season, Brady has targeted Evans fewer than five times.

On Thursday, Brady addressed the ongoing efforts to get Evans more involved.

“He’s a spectacular player and I think from my perspective, it’s just me giving him opportunities to touch the ball, catch it and figuring out different ways based on different styles of defense that we’re getting that enable him to touch it,” Brady told reporters regarding Evans. “He’s an incredible player when he gets it and he’s an incredible player before he gets it. [We’re] working hard at it and again, I wish I’d be making every throw exactly the way I want. The only thing I can say is we’re trying to get it right, trying to figure out how to get everybody involved and put together a lot of different pieces that have never been together – including myself.”

Brady attributes the inability to connect more frequently with Evans to the fact that they have little experience together.

“I think the great advantage in football in continuity,” Brady said. “I’ve learned a lot over the years [and] continuity in the NFL is so important with coach [and] quarterback [and] what you’re trying to be as a team. A lot of situations you’re in over years and years – we just haven’t been in those together. I might’ve been in a lot of situations, Byron [Leftwich] has been in a lot of situations, [Bruce Arians] has been in a lot of situations [and] the receivers here have been in a lot of different situations, but we’re just trying to make it happen together. You’re going up against other teams that have the continuity, and that’s the disadvantage. But we have to try and make up for it as best we can. The only way I know how to do it is to work at it and work even harder. Every day that goes by, you have to work harder and harder and never take the foot off the gas pedal. Then, just make the improvements we’ve got to make and go out there and compete. If it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough [and] you have to do better. But, there’s no part of me that thinks, ‘Yeah, let’s ease off. Let’s not work quite as hard today because we’ve been overworking.’ I just think [to] get after it more.”

On Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians attributed Evans’ limited receptions not to lack of continuity but to Evans’ injuries and Brady not having time to work through his reads. So what can Brady do to get Evans more involved, according to Arians?

“Just throw it to him,” Arians said. “The key is where the quarterback reads it out. Some guy may be open on this side, but the coverage tells him to go to the other side. It’s just a matter of we have plenty of weapons – throw to the guy that’s open.”

As Brady tells it, it’s not nearly that easy. Brady needs to have a level of familiarity and trust before taking the leap of faith. Arians seems to want Brady to just let the footballs fly. It’s one of the more subtle tension points between coach and quarterback as they try their best to get the most out of their first season together.

19 responses to “Tom Brady on targeting Mike Evans: We’re trying to get it right

  1. “Arians seems to want Brady to just let the footballs fly.”

    This is why historically Arians’ quarterbacks throw lots of interceptions. But, if the plan was always to get the ball to Evans more you can question why Antonio Brown was signed. And Gronk also enters the discussion since he is Brady’s “desperation heave” guy when you can argue that Evans should probably be that guy.

  2. Brady and Evans are both incredible players. But Brady does not like to throw “jump balls” or “high point catches” which is exactly Evans specialty. Not surprised Evans not getting huge stats but he can still be very valuable to wins.

  3. Look for that number to get even lower since TB will be looking to throw to his roomie all the time now.

  4. TB would prefer to get rid of the ball quickly particularly if he gets hit early in the game. He isn’t a hang in the pocket and chuck it deep guy.

  5. Brady is stubborn, inflexible and stuck in his ways of playing favorites. How is it that Jakobi Meyers can go off for over 150 yards after playing with Cam for 1/2 a season and Brady never develops any chemistry with him over the course of an entire season? See initial statement. His style of QBing only works when everything is just so – throw in the slightest variance from what he is accustomed to and you end up wasting an awesome player like Mike Evans. Rigidity does not work in today’s NFL. Brady and the Bucs will ultimately be bounced out of the playoffs (if they make it there) in week 1 while they are still “trying to figure it out”.

  6. Brady has become a master of saying nothing. Read his comments again, nothing but doublespeak. I feel for Arians, he’s become the assistant coach to Brady now and when this season implodes he’s going to fall on the sword because of Brady’s meddling. And as for the Brady fanboys, don’t slag on me, if you can’t see the fingers of Tompa involved of every facet of the Bucs you’re delusional.

  7. I remember Brady being interviewed on one of the late night talk shows back around 2005. I think it was Letterman. Dave asked him ‘What is the biggest misconception that people have about the NFL?’

    Brady said, “This in not a game of who’s got the most talent, where you just tell your guys, ‘Just get open and put your hand up’. It’s about precision. Every movement of every player is scripted and practiced base on your opponent, for every play.”

    That’s the truth of what every team deals with.

  8. With a decent offensive line, they should be running RoJo between the tackles and throwing the ball to Fournette. Although the next tackle Fournette breaks will be his first….

  9. The playing styles don’t mesh that well in Brady’s current state. Maybe back in 2007, but now Brady is all about quick release and not chucking up deep 50/50 balls. There were reasons why people were saying Godwin would be the preferred target at the beginning of the year. Not saying they won’t be successful but Brady does not maximize Evans’ ability.

  10. Arians is a gun slinger. Brady is a game manager and I mean it in a good way. He takes what the D gives you as long as it works and gives you the best chance to win. The first three SBs,Brady leaned on his defense instead of risking INTs by taking high risk passes.It’s when things go wrong that Brady starts slinging, like 28-3 or when the run first game plan against the Seahawks fails and they had to abandon the run game in the second half of the SB. Brady prefers short to intermediate passing game but 4 tears ago he led the league in most completions over 20yds and 30 yds thru the air. Whatever it takes to winm

  11. hawkwind8 says:
    November 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm
    The truth is that AB is a better receiver than Evans.

    3 6 Rate This

    I wondered how many readers have Evans on their fantasy teams. I guess 6.

  12. Maybe someone needs to tell Justin Herbert it takes “time” to develop chemistry. Haha Kyler Murray and Nuk. Haha, good try Brady! He just does not target Mike. Something strange, not chemistry. Willingness.

  13. The cracks are appearing between Brady and Arians. Brady basically is running the offense the way he sees fit and Bruce has to suck it up and take it….till the next day press conferences were Bruce takes not so subtle jabs at Brady. The honeymoon is over.

  14. A lot of hand-wringing over a guy who is currently tied for 4th in the NFL in TD receptions and just one off his total from last season. On pace to easily eclipse his career high in TDs. Everyone knew his yards would be down since he’s playing on a team with a number of other competent receiving options and one that wouldn’t be losing as much (forcing more pass attempts).

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