What has helped Mike Evans dominate as one of the NFL’s premier receivers is his uncoachable size at 6-5, 231 pounds. When defenders have the perfect coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver, Evans has still found a way to make the play.
Houston Texans defensive coordinator Matt Burke is well aware of Evans’ signature play, and knows his secondary will be challenged Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Central Time against the Bucs in Week 9 at NRG Stadium.
“He’s obviously a bigger receiver,” Burke said. “I guess the frustration would lie where like he could still make a play — like you could be in good coverage and tight coverage and he can just go up and make the play.”
Good coverage simply won’t be enough; Texans defenders will have to fight to the whistle.
“Obviously, for us to preach battling through the catch and being physical at the point where the ball is in the air, I mean, he has a good knack for getting separation , I’ll put it that way,” said Burke. “I think that would be the frustration — that you can be in a good call and in good coverage and he can still obviously go up and make a play.
“I think the point of emphasis for us is just really finishing through the catchpoint and really trying to battle at those points is going to be big for us.”
Houston’s defense has done well to defend against receivers in 2023. Opposing wideouts have combined for 89 catches for 1,009 yards and two touchdowns, ranking ninth-, sixth-, and second-best in the league.