TAMPA -- Receiver-quarterback spats happen in the NFL all the time, but the good ones learn to get through them, their egos getting pushed aside shortly after one of those outbursts happens.

It's easier to do that when there's a relationship between quarterback and receiver away from the field. Throwing passes and working together is one thing, but being friends and hanging out is another way to bond.

It makes the bad moments easier to handle, simpler to get past. Animosity doesn't linger.

Jameis Winston and Mike Evans have already learned that. Winston, the second-year quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Evans, his big-play receiver, hang together away from the field a lot. They also worked together a bunch in the offseason away from the facility when they weren't allowed to be there.

So when the heat is on after a bad play, a misread, a poor throw or a drop, they can handle it in the huddle or on the sideline and move on.

That sounds a lot like two veterans, rather than two kids trying to make their way.

Winston has a favorite saying about his ability to yell or straighten out a receiver -- including Evans.

"It's always snap-and-clear mentality," Winston said. "On to the next play."

That doesn't mean he won't get on his receivers, and did so as a rookie, which speaks volumes about him as a competitor. He also doesn't mind getting it back.

Mike Evans and Jameis Winston have a great connection on the field and off it. USATSI

"I want my receivers to come get at me," Winston said. "Not in a disrespectful way. But more like, 'we're out here playing, so let's get it going. Let's move this football down the field.' Now when I look at you, you better be open and I will hit you."

Evans was a second-year player in 2015, so he had more skin in the game. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't challenge Winston or visa-versa.

"We get on each other," Evans said. "We're both competitive. But Jameis is mostly calm. He understands we make mistakes. When I drop one, he says we'll get the next one. When he throws an interception, I tell him we'll the get the next one. That's the way you get past it. That doesn't mean we don't get on each other. But we move past it because we are friends."

That's an important part of developing the quarterback-No.1-receiver dynamic. The other part is on the field. If neither is a good player, the other stuff doesn't matter. If neither puts in the work, the other stuff is trivial.

Winston and Evans are one of the good, young, developing pass-catcher combinations in the NFL. As a second-year starter, Winston is coming off an impressive rookie season that has the Bucs happy they took him with the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Winston threw for 4,402 yards, 22 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. But he completed just 58.3 percent of his passes and had a passer rating of 84.2, two numbers that the Bucs certainly expect to go up this season.

"It's just one year behind me," Winston said. "I have to get better every year, every day. I am much better now than I was last year. I process the information much quicker, which has helped me cut down and learn from my mistakes."

No one outworks Jameis Winston, a gym rat who is obsessed with getting better every day. USATSI

Evans missed much of preseason last summer with a hamstring injury that lingered into the regular season, forcing him to miss the first game and not catch a pass in the second game when he played just 39 snaps.

That meant the developing bond between the two took time to form. Eventually, as Evans got healthy, it did. He finished with 74 catches for 1,204 yards and three touchdowns, but he had four games of at least eight catches or more in the final 11.

"I think it was the Washington game where we really clicked," Evans said.

The Bucs blew a big lead in that Week 7 game and lost, but Evans had eight catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Winston threw for 297 yards, two touchdowns and no picks.

From that point on, Evans clearly was the No. 1 option for Winston. That came to the forefront at the end of a December game against the Falcons. Trailing 19-16 and facing a third-and-4 at the Atlanta 5 with 1;47 left, Winston gathered his players in the huddle during a timeout.

"Who wants a touchdown?" he asked.

"Me, me, me," Evans said.

So what happened? Winston threw the game-winning score to Evans, who made a diving catch near the sideline in the end zone.

"I trusted him and he trusted me," Evans said. "We got the coverage we wanted and I was matched on a backer and he rolled out and found me and we won the game."

"He was first one to respond and I knew he wanted it," Winston said "It does come with trust. We game-planned the play we ran for situations and it came up. We had a good idea it would work."

What also worked a lot was throwing the deep ball to Evans and letting him go make a play. At 6-foot-5, he has the size to make catches over smaller defensive backs. As is the case with so many young quarterbacks, that can be a crutch. There are also little details that need to be worked on in just throwing it up or out to a big receiver like Evans.

"Timing is something that is really important for us and something we've spent a lot of time on," Evans said. "Last year, it took us a little while to get going. We want to hit it running this year. By timing, I mean him knowing where I am coming out of my breaks and where I will be on certain routes. That is key. We had a problem figuring out if he would back shoulder it or throw it out last year. Now we're getting that down pat. If I beat somebody, it's supposed to go over the top. If not, back shoulder. Those are the little things."

"It can be a crutch," Winston said of throwing it out to Evans on the deep balls. "But if it's third-and-6 and I see Mike one-on-one, it's a chance I have to take. He got open a lot. I missed him a couple of times. That's the thing with Mike. If I throw it anywhere around him, he's going to go get it. He's never covered. He should never be covered with the length he has. One thing we have to work on is the mentality that, 'bro, you're never covered."

Mike Evans is focused on mastering the finer points of being a No. 1 WR in the NFL. USATSI

Evans raves about Winston's ability to see things before the snap. Winston said the after-the-snap stuff is vital too because of all the disguised coverage that he sees. As a second-year player, he said he anticipates and feels he will be much better at both in 2016.

That's good for the Bucs going forward. The other thing is he's a gym rat, first guy in last guy out. He loves the game. He loves the work. The Tampa Bay coaches rave about his constant drive to be better.

That's why he dropped weight this offseason, working with Michael Jordan's former trainer. That's why he pushed Evans to work as much as possible with him with the trainer on their bodies, but also on throwing all the routes all the time.

"He wants to do the work all the time." Evans said. "The hard part is getting me to do it. I am back and forth to Texas to visit my daughter, so we have to make time to get the work in. It will pay off."

In a league where good quarterback-receiver combos usually stay together if they are successful, I asked both how people would perceive them if they stay together for eight years or nine years.

"Barring injury, we stay together, we'll be hopefully the best wide receive-quarterback duo in the league," Evans said.

"If we're together for eight years, we probably will be the best," Winston said.

You can bet there will be plenty of dust-ups if they are, but those, like the ones now, will be gone once they move away from the field, friends not letting things linger.