Evans’ consistency has spanned coaching changes, quarterback cycles, and new play-callers over the past 10 seasons.
“One of the things I’ve learned about Mike in the offseason getting a chance to spend some time with them in different scenarios outside of the building is he’s such a gamer,” first-year offensive coordinator Dave Canales said Thursday, via the team’s official transcript. “He loves to play whatever it is — he’s a competitor. Whether it’s cards, whether it’s darts, pool, shooting around basketballs — he’s good. He just kind of finds a way and he’s good at everything. That carries over to the way he plays. He sees leverage, he sees coverage, he’s seen it all and he has an adjustment for whatever they do. It’s great to just have a guy like that, that makes pretty normal play calls look fantastic. We look at the still shot on the sideline and there wasn’t anybody in the picture on his touchdown — the first one. [I] love just having him over there and giving us that ability for them to have to go put extra people out there, then that opens up other things for us. Mike continues to amaze me with some of those things.”
Perhaps we’re a week early on noting Evans’ seemingly inevitable 1,000-yard crossing, but a 150-yard game against the Carolina Panthers isn’t out of the question for one of the game’s best players.
Evans has had 150-plus receiving yards in a game 12 times in his career (tied for third-most such games by any player since 2014 behind Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill with 15 each). Evans had 207 receiving yards (three TDs) in the last Panthers-Bucs matchup in Week 17, 2022 (most receiving yards in a home game in his career). Evans has exceeded the 100-yard mark twice this season, including 171 in Week 2 against Chicago and 143 in a win over Tennessee in Week 11.
Canales, who spent the previous 13 seasons in Seattle, was asked if Evans is the best wideout he’s ever coached.
“I think this guy is a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Canales said. “His career speaks for itself. The way that he’s able to find access and get open in any scenario, I would have to give it to Mike. I don’t want to take anything away from Tyler [Lockett], Doug Baldwin, D.K. [Metcalf] — who are fantastic players. This is a guy who kind of puts it all together and he’s six-five with that length and we’ve seen in games, too, where he can flat out run by guys still at this point. He really does have it all.”