How did Mike Evans find himself working one-on-one with one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history?
In a matter of a few short years, wide receiver Mike Evans went from idolizing Randy Moss to training with the former All-Pro one-on-one. On Wednesday, after the Bucs’ second mini-camp practice, Evans said that he caught Moss’ eye doing a familiar touchdown dance, which inspired Moss to approach him about potentially working together.
“After the Washington Redskins game last year I did an interview with FOX Sports, who he (Moss) worked for,” Evans said. “I told him that I watched a documentary on him before we played Washington and I did his touchdown celebration. He hit me up on Twitter, he followed me and I followed him back. A couple months later he hit me up again and I couldn’t say no, so I went up there and worked out with him for a week.”
Sometimes, retired pros will work out with small groups of current players in the offseason. But that wasn’t the case with Moss and Evans.
“It was just me and him,” Evans said. “I was up for there in North Carolina for about a week at the end of March. There’s a lot of knowledge there, man.”
Moss was one of the most productive wide receivers ever to lace up a pair of cleats. During his 14-year career, he caught 156 touchdowns, second all-time to Jerry Rice. He holds the single-season records for touchdown receptions in a season with 23 and recorded the third-most receiving yards in NFL history. According to Evans, Moss still has it.
“He’s still just as explosive as he always was,” Evans said. “We were doing drills and I couldn’t catch him running around the cones. We were just talking about the league. He was just telling me stories that any fan would want to know about one of their favorite players. It was pretty much just his knowledge of the game and some stories of what he’s been through.”
It’s still early, but there are some glaring similarities between Moss and Evans. Both are big-bodied receivers; Evans is 6-5 and Moss is 6-4. And both had stellar rookie seasons; Moss set the NFL single-season rookie record with 17 touchdown receptions and Evans broke the Bucs’ single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 12 as a rookie. Evans hopes his time working with Moss will pay dividends when the Bucs kick off the 2015 season.
“I think he’s the best to ever do it,” Evans said. “Working with him, I think it will take my game to the next level.”