After winning the Super Bowl, Mike Evans likes that everyone wants to beat the Bucs

USA TODAY Sports

After many years of being hunters, the Buccaneers have become the hunted.

That’s what happens when a team wins the Super Bowl. And while Tampa Bay has been adamant that the club has turned the page from one season to the next, the rest of the league still sees the Buccaneers as the defending champions — the singular team to beat.

Entering his eighth pro season, Bucs receiver Mike Evans likes the spot his team is in.

“I’ve been waiting for this for seven years, now,” Evans said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I mean, that’s what we want. When we were going to Pittsburgh my rookie year, we wanted to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, everybody wants to come beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So that’s what you want, and we look forward to the challenge this year.”

The Buccaneers will be a red-letter game for every one of their opponents in 2021, starting with the Cowboys in Week One. But with all 22 starters and even more major contributors back from last season, Tampa Bay has as good of a shot as any team in recent memory to repeat as Super Bowl champs.