TAMPA, Fla. -- When asked about the similarities between Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans and former New England Patriots teammate Randy Moss Thursday, Tom Brady bestowed the highest honor on Evans, believing that, like Moss, the Bucs’ seventh-year wideout is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame like his idol.
Both Moss and Evans -- a three-time Pro Bowler -- are the only wide receivers in NFL history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons.
“From a physical standpoint, both big bodies and big catch radiuses; great body control; great understanding of the game, feel, instincts,” Brady said. “Randy’s a Hall of Famer; I think Mike’s gonna be, obviously, one too.”
Evans’ name hasn’t come up in Hall of Fame discussions for a multitude of reasons. One, he’s just 27 years old and looks to have several more years in him, and at this point in his career, he has yet to play in the postseason. Evans has also, at times, been overshadowed by flashier receivers and those who have played in the postseason, like Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill and Julio Jones.
“It’s been amazing to play with him,” Brady said of Evans. “I love playing with Mike; he’s been just spectacular from the day I met him, and admired him from afar for a long time, and just blessed to play with him.”
Against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Brady and Evans hooked up on seven passes for 104 receiving yards and a touchdown -- the pair’s second touchdown in two games this season. It was a significant improvement over their Week 1 showing against the New Orleans Saints, where Evans did not muster a catch until the fourth quarter, and suffered a lapse in communication that resulted in one of two Brady interceptions.
Increased time together on the field since Evans’ recovery from a hamstring injury and more attention to detail are contributing to their progress.
“I think it’s pretty natural -- the more you talk, the more you communicate, the more you practice, play together -- the situations come up, and then so much is nonverbal communication: What did you see, what did I see ... And as long as we both see it the same way, that’s important,” Brady said. “It’s hard if one -- well, I saw this or I saw this -- and then mistakes happen.”
Brady didn’t stop with Evans, showering his other Pro Bowl wideout, Chris Godwin, with praise. Godwin returned this week after missing Week 2 with a concussion and is expected to play against the Denver Broncos.
“And Chris -- what he’s accomplished in his short time in the NFL,” Brady said. “I think those two guys will lead the charge with our receivers, and they’re great mentors for the younger players we have."