Bucs fans across the world will have seen the lofty claim by the veteran receiver, Mike Evans. Evans said recently during day one of OTAs,
“Losing D-Jax and Humph were big blows. But we have a lot of playmakers. We already had a lot of playmakers before at the tight end position and the running back position. We got Breshad (Perriman), and then the draft’s coming up, but we are going to be one of the best receiver groups in the league again this year. No doubt about that. Just looking forward to it. A couple of new guys, but same goal.”
So why so confident?
As Evans mentioned, losing Adam Humphries hurt the team. Hump was a hard working slot receiver who was a reliable target. DJax is, without argument, one of the best vertical threats in the league.
What has happened to the Buccaneers receiving corps is addition by subtraction. The Bucs have an embarrassment of riches in the wideout bracket. The loss of Jackson and Humphries has done two things for this up and coming unit.
The first is that the loss of two incumbents has pushed developing talents like Watson and Godwin to the forefront. These players will only continue to improve with increased snaps and game time. The introduction of Breshad Perriman provides an extra weapon for this already potent aerial offense.
The 2nd point is possibly controversial!
With Jackson on the field, Winston was faced with trying to force the ball to the veteran. It would not be a stretch to say that Winston was acutely aware of the struggles in connecting with Jackson. When Jackson was on the field, defenses could shade that side of the field.
This coming season, Winston will drop back to pass and these players will be running downfield;
With the added threat of a pass catching backfield, who do you cover?
As these players move around the formation, defensive coaches are not going to be able to key or shade anything. Make no mistake, this is going to be an explosive offensive unit and Coach Arians is going to be spoilt for choice when it’s time to throw the ball.