Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady believes wide receiver and team-mate Mike Evans is a future Hall of Famer.
Evans has been compared to Hall of Famer Randy Moss, with the pair the only wide receivers in NFL history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Evans caught seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Buccaneers topped the Carolina Panthers 31-17 last week, having struggled to connect with Brady in the team's opener.
Legendary quarterback Brady paid Evans the ultimate compliment as he likened the 27-year-old to former New England Patriots star Moss, telling reporters on Thursday: "From a physical standpoint – both [have] big bodies, big catch radiuses and great body control. [They have] great understanding of the game – feel, instincts, [etc.].
"Randy is a Hall of Famer. I think Mike is going to be one too and it's been amazing to play with him. I love playing with Mike. He's been just spectacular from the day I met him. I admired him from afar for a long time.
"I'm just blessed to play with him and Chris [Godwin with] what he's accomplished in his short time in the NFL. I think those two guys really lead the charge for our receivers and they're great mentors for the young players we have.
"We're just going to keep working hard every day to try and be on the same page more and more."
The Buccaneers, who face the Denver Broncos in Week 3, have multiple running backs in their rotation.
On Tampa Bay's depth, six-time Super Bowl champion Brady said: "You can't strain any one position too much. You're going to have situations over the course of the year where guys get worn down or guys tweak something and they're not in there as much.
"Guys are going to have to fill a role and they're going to have to do it well. Having depth at these positions that are so important to our offense – everyone is going to play a critical role. We're really deep at receiver [then] all of the sudden, Chris [Godwin] doesn't play, Mike [Evans] is out for a play, J-Wat [Justin Watson] gets banged up in the game – next thing you know, it's like, 'All right, what happened to the depth?' It just goes quickly. That's just part of football. Every team is dealing with it. Denver [have] injuries – they've got to adjust. We've got injuries – we've got to adjust. It's a contact sport.
"Everyone is not going to be there every single day [or] every game – it's just not the reality. You've got to work with everybody [and] you've got to have enough communication with everybody. Everybody plays a vital role and I think when you can gain confidence in the players – they may think they're in a backup role, but once the game starts, they're in a featured role – those guys have to take advantage of those opportunities.
"That's how I got my start. I look at it like, no one ever thought of me in 2001. I thought I was third-string quarterback going into training camp. Two weeks into the year, I'm the starting quarterback. You've got to take advantage of your opportunity because you don't know when you're going to get it. I try to stress that to the young players. Every day in practice you've got a chance to make an impression on a player [or] on coach and build trust in your teammates, so that when you get the opportunity, you go and take advantage of it and you never look back."