TAMPA, Fla. — Bucs receiver Mike Evans has spent his whole career in Tampa Bay. He played in a postseason game prior to this year, but he didn't let that frustration get the better of him. Neither did his teammates.
"We didn’t take the easy road out. Guys didn’t demand trades," Evans said via video chat. "I know peoples’ situations are different. But for guys like me, and Lavonte [David], and Will Gholston. Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith. Cam Brate, and all the other guys that have been here. It means a lot. We saw some bad days, and we’re happy to be in the playoffs."
Evans chose a contract extension over free agency, and he said money takes a back seat to getting a shot at making it to the Super Bowl.
"That’s what we play for. Winning, and playing through injuries and being hurt and having the opportunity to play for a championship… it means the world," Evans said.
Lavonte David, 9th-year linebacker, is the longest-tenured Buccaneer. He said he's been in touch with Bucs great and Super Bowl XXXVII champion linebacker Derrick Brooks during this year's playoff run.
"He hit me up, saying he’s proud of us," David said after practice. "Just go out there and play your best. Just keep putting your best foot forward. Stay low to the ground- like he always says. And just keep on grinding and everything will work out in our favor if we keep working for what we want."
Sunday's NFC Championship kicks off Sunday at 3:05 p.m. from Lambeau Field.
The Bucs are trying to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2002-03 season. The Packers haven't played in the Super Bowl since 2011.