“Shout out to my boy Aaron Judge! MVP,” Evans, sporting a Judge jersey, said to ESPN’s Jenna Laine in the team locker room after a 21-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, October 9.
Evans met Judge during spring training one time and “is a big fan” of him according to Laine. Judge broke Roger Maris’ legendary American League home run record on October 4, with a 62nd home run for the season. The Yankees begin the AL Division Series against the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday, October 11.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans with a special shoutout to @TheJudge44 for breaking Roger Maris’ AL single season record with 62 home runs. They met once in spring training. Evans is a big fan. pic.twitter.com/QwiDhHTBXt
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 9, 2022
Similar to Evans, Judge has been known for his high character and giving off the field. Evans showed the former on Sunday after the game when he deflected credit amid FOX reporter Pam Oliver’s comments about Tom Brady calling him a “football genius”.
“It’s just how I was raised. You know, God blessed me, so I try to use all of my abilities that He gave me and never take it for granted,” Evans told Oliver.
Evans showed it on the field on Sunday with a highlight-reel grab for 40 yards as stretched his arms to snag the ball in traffic. It set up Brady’s 1-yard touchdown pass to running back Leonard Fournette for a 21-0 lead. Evans finished with four catches and 81 yards.
“Mike did a great job. He always does,” Brady told reporters afterward. “He’s one of our most consistent, dependable players. Just a great player.”
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 9, 2022
Evans leads the Bucs in receiving yards, 316, and touchdowns, three, in addition to catching 20 of 29 passes this season. He set a record of his own the week before against the Kansas City Chiefs when he hit 9,546 career yards from scrimmage, the all-time best in Bucs history per Buccaneers.com.
Evans’ Take on Controversial Call
Evans evaded talking at length about the most controversial call of the day when Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett got called for roughing the passer amid sacking Brady. While Evans acknowledged that the NFL has grown protective of quarterbacks lately, and he quickly inserted a comment on what he thought of the call.
“I’m happy today,” Evans told reporters in the locker room.
Brady and Evans notably connected on a 9-yard pass play to secure the win after the penalty.
Evans: ‘He’s a Beast’
Amid Evans’ success on Sunday, he didn’t lead the team in receiving. Fournette did that with 10 receptions for 83 yards and touchdown, becoming the first Bucs running back to lead the team in receiving for a game since 2007.
“He’s a beast,” Evans told reporters. “All week we knew … they get real soft in coverage, and they like to play deep in their coverage, and we knew that the backs would have a good chance to get a lot of balls this weekend.”
Evans likewise praised Fournette’s rushing. The former LSU star ran for 56 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
“He can do it all,” Evans said. “He’s super durable. One of the most durable guys that I’ve been around. Super strong, hard to bring down.”
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