Friday, May 9, 2014
Bucs plan to capitalize on size
By Pat Yasinskas
While playing in Chicago last year, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh McCown had a lot of success throwing to a pair of big receivers – Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.
That’s why it’s no coincidence the Buccaneers drafted 6-foot-4 Mike Evans in the first round Thursday night. Evans instantly will enter the starting lineup opposite 6-5 Vincent Jackson. That will give the Bucs one of the biggest receiver tandems in the NFL. Coach Lovie Smith even jokingly referred to Evans and Jackson as the “twin towers.’’
“I think if you look at the league last year – and I of course had a lot of time to watch the league last year – I saw what two big receivers can do,’’ Smith said. “It’s a tough matchup if you just look at the average height of most cornerbacks in this league. You might have a 6-foot corner, but you normally don’t have two big guys that can match up like that.’’
Critics will say the Bucs still need a speed receiver and there’s some truth to that. But the Bucs now have two starting-caliber receivers – something they didn’t have before the draft. The Bucs still have time to find a speed receiver to put in the slot.
“We want to score points in any way we can,’’ Smith said. “This is a combination that looked pretty attractive to us. Of course, having a player like Josh McCown here – Josh, of course, has been in that situation and to say Josh has been in our ear quite a bit is an understatement. Seeing that [combination in Chicago] work like that was attractive to us, but as much as anything, we saw a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball that we had a chance to get that we really felt like could help us.”