Lee Evans’ 11 receptions for 265 yards against Texas last season had D-coordinators checking the league schedule to see when they’d have to face the former Wisconsin Badger. Below, the Buffalo Bills wide receiver explains how he gets himself ready to go off on secondaries around the league.
STACK: How do you approach game time?
Evans: I try to ease my mind a little bit and not think a whole lot about what’s at hand. I look over the game plan one last time, listen to a little music and get my body warmed up with a few stretches and some active motions before we go out for pregame.
What’s on your iPod?
Evans: I have a little bit of everything on it. I listen to some hip-hop to get hyped up and some R&B to mellow me out. I usually start with the R&B; then as game time approaches, I throw on some hip-hop to get me going.
Is this the same routine you used in high school and college?
Evans: It has been pretty similar over the years, but high school doesn’t really count, because things were so different. We didn’t have the structure we have here now. You just wing it—show up and play. In the NFL, we have the same routine every game; we stay in a hotel, catch a certain bus and get to the stadium at the same time.
Did you do anything special before your 265-yard game?
Evans: I didn’t really do anything out of the ordinary. Things just fell into place at the right time. It was just one of those days.
What’s it like in the locker room after warm-ups, right before you take the field?
Evans: There’s a lot of anticipation, because everyone is hyped up. We bring everybody up as a team before we go out, and our captain gives his last get-ready speech. Everybody just wants to get out there and start playing. warm-up hot
Explain the feeling you have when you take those first couple steps onto the field.
Evans: Oh man, it’s great. When we are going through introductions at home, you can feel the crowd’s anticipation. It’s great because everybody is behind you; you have 70,000 fans supporting you. But when we’re on the road, we just have to stick together and rely on each other to do it as a team.
Is there a particular team or player you get especially excited to face?
Evans: Any time it’s a divisional game, you get up a little bit more, because you see those guys twice a year; there is more on the line. I can’t think of a particular player, but when we have games against teams with a good secondary—like Baltimore— I know I have to be on my A game.
Do you get nervous?
Evans: It’s funny; I actually got a lot more nerved up in college than I do in the pros. In college, once I got into the game and was playing, the nerves disappeared. Taking a few hits helped get rid of all the anticipation I had leading up to the game. In the NFL, I’ve been jittery for a few games, but it hasn’t been that bad.
Do you have any superstitions?
Evans: I like to wear certain things each week. I wear the same t-shirt under my pads each game. I just started doing that this season. I found a shirt I liked and just kept wearing it. Next year, it will be something different.