New Ravens WR Lee Evans has been in the league eight years, and despite some personal success in his time with the Buffalo Bills, he has never tasted-let alone had the scent-of playoff football in January.
But now, after a trade on Friday that brought the former first-round pick to the Ravens for a mid-round pick, the new wideout is hoping to have that feeling sooner rather than later, and he said it has him rejuvenated.
“Obviously, this has been a very historic franchise-a winning organization-and I just want to come in and do my part and do anything I can to help them win,” Evans said after his first practice Saturday.
And Evans’ presence alone should be a big boost. In his career, Evans has caught 377 catches for 5,934 yards (15.7 YPC), and 43 touchdowns.
In thirteen games last season, he grabbed 37 balls for 578 yards and four touchdowns.
His skills as his career went along forced opposing defenses to shift their focus to him, allowing for the emergence of guys like Steve Johnson in 2010.
It may have been the lack of a wide receiver catching a pass until late in the second quarter of Thursday exhibition loss to the Eagles that forced Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome to pull the trigger on the trade with the Bills.
But now in Baltimore, Evans will play second-fiddle to Anquan Boldin and he feels like what he brings to an NFL offense every Sunday is quite the compliment to the former All-Pro and should help them both out in the long run.
“Obviously, one of my biggest attributes is speed; so being able to get down the field and spread the defense,” Evans said. “Q is as dynamic as they come, so I want to open some things up for him and let him control it.”
In four of his first five seasons in the NFL, Evans had touchdown catches of at least 69+ yards.
In 2006 in a game against the Houston Texans, Evans made NFL history for becoming the only player to catch two 80-yard touchdown passes in a single quarter, and he set Bills records for yards in a quarter (206) and in a single game (238).
However, Evans could not keep that level of consistency going his eight years in Buffalo-large in part to coaching changes, different offenses, and a carousel of quarterbacks including Ryan Fitzpatrick, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards, and Kelly Holcomb. It all proved to be very unstable at times for the wide receiver, so much so that the trade talks began swirling with Evans over the last year.
Evans know already that things are going be different in Baltimore.
“It has been a whirlwind for in Buffalo with different coordinators and quarterbacks,” he said. “To come to a stable situation, it builds confidence in me that I can continue to get better everyday.”
And so far in two practices with the team, the one guy in Joe Flacco who he knows will be throwing passes to him during his entire stay in Baltimore-how long it may be for Evans-has been there to make sure he does.
“Joe Flacco did a great job of keeping me in the loop with what is going on so I didn’t mess up too much,” Evans admitted.
When asked about his situation with the Bills, it was clear that he was happy to be out of a team that didn’t or probably couldn’t see him as part of their future.
“The main goal when you bring young players is to try and help them out as much as you can, develop them, and try to win. That was more so the mindset.”
“But, you never know when you bring in a new regime of coaches and GMs what their mindset is going to be. You understand what the risks are with that, and you just have to go for it.”
And while he will be doing the same thing in Baltimore to young receivers like Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith, he knows all mostly the Ravens are just asking him to do his business and catch the football.
And he knows he can do that.
“Just play ball,” Evans said. “It’s pretty stable here, so I will just do whatever I can to get better and do what I can to help them win.”
Follow WNST on Twitter for all your Ravens news everyday! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!