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The Bucs’ Mike Evans is among the NFL’s best receivers, except when it came to this

By Rick Stroud
Published: May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans discusses his new contract extension with the football team during a press conference at One Buc Place on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times

TAMPA — Only three players in NFL history have posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons in each of his first four years seasons: Randy Moss, A.J. Green and the Bucs' Mike Evans.

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But by Evans' standards, 2017 was "probably my second-worst year," he said. He finished with 71 catches for 1,001 yards and five touchdowns. He gained only 115 yards after the catch, an NFL-worst average of 1.62 yards. No player with more catches had a lower YAC average last season.

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"I don't know what it was,'' Evans said this week during practices at One Buc Place. "I guess my awareness wasn't what it s hould have been. I guess I've got to work at it more in practice and get more reps at it.

"I have a lot of attention. I've been getting a lot of attention (from defenses) the past few years. There's kind of nowhere for me to go after I get it. I've got to get into the habit of trying to break more tackles when I get it because I'm a big, strong athletic guy and I can do it. There's a lot of my attention my way, so I've just got to get better at that.''

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