Buccaneers WR Mike Evans joins Yahoo Sports’ Matt Harmon for a chat about how learned that Tom Brady was retiring, what he said to Antonio Brown on the sideline before Brown’s infamous meltdown, why Chris Godwin is one of his favorite teammates of all time and Evans reveals which side he’s on in the battle of All vs One when it’s time to snack on PLANTERS® Deluxe Mixed Nuts.
MATT HARMON: All right, I'm excited to be joined now by Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans who's here with us on behalf of Planters. We'll get to that in a minute. But, Mike, how are you doing, man? It's a pretty quiet offseason for you. Nothing-- no big news, nothing happening down there with the Bucs. Pretty quiet so far, I take it?
MIKE EVANS: I'm doing well, man. I wish that were the case. I wish it was quiet. That would mean you have Tom, and you know, but-- no, it is what it is.
MATT HARMON: Where were you when you found out? And you can answer this like the official Tom Brady announcement, or the Saturday, like leaking it out there. Where were you-- like where were you when you found out? Like what was your mindset through the whole thing?
MIKE EVANS: The fake one? The fake one, I seen everybody tweeting. I'm like, all right, so this has to be real. Like everybody, Julian Edelman, Chris Godwin, everybody is tweeting that he's retired. So I was on-- I was playing video games with my friends. I was playing "Fortnite" up in my office in Texas. I was getting it in too, actually. It was a fun day. And then I hear that news, and then my R started watering.
He texted us right before, put us all in a group chat, the Bucs skill guys and, you know, let us know how he felt about us and things like that. So greatest player ever, hardest worker, most prepared guy at his job. At any job, I mean, he's so prepared. He makes sure everybody else is prepared. I mean, we're going to miss him so much. It's going to be a huge blow. It's going to be tough to replace a guy like that, obviously, but--
MATT HARMON: Where do you think the Bucs go from here?
MIKE EVANS: I don't know if we're staying in-house or going for a free agent. I really don't know what we're going to do. Hopefully we'll find out soon so I can start putting in some work with whoever it might be.
MATT HARMON: Do you think that playing with Brady sort of kind of woke up the rest of the world? Like, Mike Evans is a complete number-one receiver that runs routes, gets separation, is a really good, underrated technician. Because that's kind of my theory about the whole thing.
MIKE EVANS: Well, I appreciate that, man. It means a lot. But I don't know what people think. I mean, obviously more attention has come to me. If you play with Tom then that's what's going to happen. You win the Super Bowl, that's just going to happen. But I do hear a lot of people say I'm just 6' 5" and this, this, that. But there's not many 6'5" in the game anymore.
MATT HARMON: Nah.
MIKE EVANS: You know, the best guys are like 6'2", 6 foot. You know, Cooper Kupp's a slot guy. He's one of the best in the game right now. He's unbelievable. I mean, we all come in different sizes. You know, I'm not just a jump ball guy. I'm good at jump balls. I'm really good at jump balls. I wish I got more of those, I mean, to use my size. But each year, I just try to focus on route running, and being better after the catch.
MATT HARMON: Chris is one of my favorite players, like even dating back to the Penn State days. I thought he was-- he went in the third round. I thought he was another really good play-- again, let me--
MIKE EVANS: Huge steal.
MATT HARMON: --pat myself on the back here. Yeah, I think he was a huge steal then, just again, a complete player that can do everything. I think he blocks his ass off for you guys too. Yeah, it's really kind of-- I think he could do a lot of what Cooper Kupp does for the Rams, you know?
MIKE EVANS: They're very similar. They're very, very similar.
MATT HARMON: Talk to me about like your dynamic with him. It feels like you guys were one of the best duos in the NFL and hopefully can continue to be.
MIKE EVANS: Absolutely, I mean, that's my guy, one of my favorite teammates of all time, blue collar guy. He's nasty. He gets down and dirty, runs after the catch. He never goes down, blocks his tail off. He's been doing that since day one, though, since a rookie. He came in prepared. He knew the offense better than me when he was a rookie and it was my fourth year. So I mean, that's just says, you know, the student of the game he is, great teammate.
Me and him, we're similar in the regard that, you know, we're just blessed to be here and we know that. Talk about it all the time, and we're not going to take this opportunity for granted. We're going to try to maximize it. I'm sure he's going to come back from the ACL injury even stronger because he's a dog. And you know, I have no doubt about that. So hopefully me and him will be doing it big in Tampa for a long time to come.
MATT HARMON: I have to ask you about the whole Antonio Brown thing. What went down between you and him there? What went down with Antonio Brown, and like where are we at with this whole thing at this point?
MIKE EVANS: I mean, what I remember is we were trying to get him to come back in the game. You know, he was saying he wanted the rock, and I mean, rightfully so. We should have gotten the rock. I mean, he's an unbelievable player. But like, yo, come in the game, AB. So we're asking him to come in the game. We're on offense. And I'm like, AB, big bro, come on. Let's go in the game. They're calling for us, because me and him are both on the pitch count, because we're both coming back from injury. And so I'm trying to get him to come in the game. And he doesn't come.
So I go back on the drive. I do my two plays. I come out. And then I see BA still trying to get him to come in the game. And they had like a falling out somehow. And AB goes off. And he's about to take his pads off. And I'm trying to grab his pads and tell him like, yo, big bro-- because me and him have a relationship.
And I don't want him to go out like this. Like we obviously we need him, so I'm telling him, big bro, we need you. The season's almost over. If you don't want to be here the next year, you can leave, you know what I'm saying? Like obviously I just didn't want him to go out like that. So I'm telling him, please don't go out like this. And they're calling me to come back in the game. So I just left him alone like, all right.
And then second, third down comes. We score in that drive. But then on TV timeout, we see that he was doing all that stuff, taking his pads off, doing jumping jacks and [MUTED]. I mean, it was unfortunate. I mean, I didn't know that it was going to go down like that. I mean, I thought you know we was going to have a chance to go to the playoffs and probably repeat. And he would have definitely helped us.
MATT HARMON: We got to, of course, talk about the reason that we're here together today, which is Planters the All or One Debate here. I've seen it. Like on my TikTok page, people are talking about it. Tell me what this All or One Debate is all about and what you got going on with Planters there.
MIKE EVANS: Well, Planters brought me in to promote this brand. They have an unbelievable commercial coming out for Super Bowl. It's going to be great. But the question is, how do you eat your mixed nuts? Do you just grab them and just throw them in all at one time? Or do you pick them out and eat them one by one? Because there's different type of nuts in here.
MATT HARMON: Right.
MIKE EVANS: So I'm asking you, what do you do? How do you eat your mixed nuts?
MATT HARMON: Listen, I think this is obviously a tough time in human history. You know, we're divided on a lot of issues. This is another potentially divisive topic. But man, I feel extremely strongly that you just mix it all up in there.
MIKE EVANS: I've been agreeing with you all day except on that one. I'm a one at a time guy, you know? I got to get my pistachios first. And then I got to get the almonds. And then the rest can come.
MATT HARMON: Mike, I really appreciate you hanging out with me, man. It was good to talk to you. It was good to get to know, really appreciate it. Keep crushing it out there. I think you're on a Hall of Fame trajectory. You know, you keep putting up these 1,000 yard seasons Thanks a ton and good luck next season.
MIKE EVANS: I appreciate you, Matt.