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YAC remains a challenge for Mike Evans

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The Buccaneers’ veteran receiver vows to rack up yards after catch.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Some label Mike Evans a possession receiver. That’s something he wants to change.

The Buccaneers’ 2014 first round pick has been a reliable target for the offense and quarterback Jameis Winston. But his “throw it up and bring it down” style needs to evolve to picking up extra yardage after hauling in passes.

Evans will work to get to that point.

“As far as YAC, it wasn’t my worst year playing, maybe my second worse, but YAC, my yards after catch wasn’t as good,” said Evans. “I don’t know what it was. I guess my awareness wasn’t where it should’ve been. I’ve just got to work on it more in practice and get more reps at it.”

Evans recorded 134 yards after the catch in 2017. With his 71 receptions, he averaged 1.89 yards after the catch. Although that was a “drop-off” from the prior year, Evans still posted an average under 2.0 YAC.

Despite the struggles, Evans has been successful with recognizing disguises in defenses and knows ahead of time what the secondary is going to throw at him. But that still hasn’t translated to picking up yardage after catches. He’s confident he’ll find a solution.

“The game has slowed down for me since my rookie year,” Evans said. “There’s not many coverages you can throw at me that I won’t know what’s coming. I just have to be quicker after I catch the ball. I think that’s going to come with repetitions. In college I was really good at it. My last couple years I haven’t been that great. I don’t know what it is but I’ll figure it out.”