Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans missed time during his first month of offseason practice with a hamstring injury. He returned for minicamp healthy but still isn't in the best condition.
"Physically, I'm not in tip-top shape. I'm getting back into my game shape," Evans recently told the Tampa Bay Times. "As far as injury-wise, I feel good. I've been running, and I feel 100 percent."
In order to drop weight, Evans is training with a group of players in Miami, including Bears receiver Brandon Marshall. (After aiding in Alshon Jeffery's rise last season, Marshall appears to be the go-to man for offseason training tips.)
"I've got to lose more weight. I'm too heavy right now," said Evans, who wants to drop "seven to 10 pounds" and have a playing weight of around 230. "But the workouts I've been doing, I'll be fine. I'll be ready."
Perhaps as important as getting into shape before training camp, Evans said he's still getting a grip on the playbook.
"I feel good. It's a lot more than we did in college, but I'm getting the hang of it," he said. "I'm starting to understand you have to adjust to different blitzes, corner blitz, safety blitz, stuff like that. This offense is pretty complicated, coming from something easy, but it isn't too bad."
Evans has previously said that coming from Kevin Sumlin's simplistic offense at Texas A&M has been an adjustment. If he struggles to adapt at the start of the season it could hold back the Bucs' offense under Josh McCown. Paired with Vincent Jackson, Evans provides McCown with two tall, jump-ball receivers, similar to what the quarterback succeeded with last season in Chicago.
The Bucs expect their rookie receiver to play an outsized role in the offense, but first he'll have to get in shape and master the playbook.