Rookie wide receiver Mike Evans missed a good portion of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offseason program due to a hamstring injury. While Evans has made a solid impression during training camp, wide receivers coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker said the first-year receiver out of Texas A&M is still catching up.
"Any time that you lose, you don’t get it back," Hayes-Stoker said on ESPN.com. "But he is progressing."
Evans has taken reps with the first team, but Hayes-Stoker said he is bringing the first-round draft pick along slowly.
"We’re trying to be smart," Hayes-Stoker said. "Obviously, he had the hamstring and we don’t want to be foolish there. But you see the strength, you see the play-making ability. And he’s still got things to do as a pro.
"You got to approach the game in your off time the same way," he added. "Every guy has a different struggle, whether it’s physical, whether it’s mental, whether it’s discipline, whether it’s focus — everybody in this game has something they have to overcome."
The Bucs plan to take advantage of Evans' outstanding height and length. At 6’5” and 231 pounds, Evans, who has reliable hands and is strong after the catch, figures to be a big part of the offense.
"His physical gifts are there a lot of times," Hayes-Stoker said. "He’s 20 years old. He’s young; (He’s) been in college, from a college spread-type offense. To learn to be a pro from a guy like (veteran receiver) Vincent Jackson is invaluable. I think he’s in the right environment. I think it’s the perfect team for him to foster and really grow. To stick his roots deep in the ground I really think it’s the perfect place for him."
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