Free Agent Fullback Heath Evans Believes New Orleans Saints Will Have Advantage On Opponents If Lockout Drags On
There has been plenty of news out there about the players-only offseason workouts of the New Orleans Saints. Basically Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma have been the point men in charge of what sounds like what would be the normal offseason routine for NFL players if we weren’t in the midst of a lockout. Free-agent fullback Heath Evans, who has played for the Saints the past couple seasons and participated in some of these workouts, says the workouts will give the Saints a leg up if and when the lockout ends.
As I’ve mentioned before, that’s the one big question that keeps running through my head when I’m writing about these workouts. Some teams don’t seem to be doing much of anything in terms of the players getting together and keeping to some sense of normalcy. Of course, we won’t know the answer until we find out if there will be a season, but if I’m a betting man, I’d have a hard time betting against a team that has tried to go about business the right way. Heath Evans joined Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to discuss his feelings on the Ohio State saga, his impending free agency, the Saints’ player-only workouts, what makes them different from other teams and what he looks for in a great coach.
Can you relate to what Ohio State fans must have been going through throughout this whole saga?:
“This is crazy. There’s obviously rules that they broke that I didn’t even know they were rules. Not that I ever sold stuff, because when I was at Auburn we weren’t all that good and nobody wanted to buy our stuff anyways. All in all, I think about it, if I had a ring and I was hurting for money and I wanted to sell it, I would look at it upon it’s my ring and I can do whatever I want with it.”
How much is he thinking about his pending free agency during the lockout?:
“Honestly, I’m not worried about any of it. I’m just back at Auburn, Ala., … getting in shape with my old college strength and conditioning coach and, really, I’m just trying to get myself in the best shape. Last year was a good year for me coming off an injury, but all in all I was just disappointed with my production and everything else. I feel great; I feel like I’m back to that ’09 status before the knee injury. The lockout’s going to handle itself, free agency will handle itself, depending on how the lockout shakes out, but I feel great.”
Have you attended the Saints’ player-only workouts?:
“I have. Drew [Brees] has done, amazing is not even the word. You talk about your quarterback picking up the tab for flights and hotels and the Tulane strength and conditioning staff and the medical staff. I cannot say enough about Drew and what he’s done for our team and that organization.”
What has made the Saints workouts different from some of the lackluster workouts that have been seen on TV?:
“Really the only difference is Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma. I’m not saying that other teams don’t have great leadership because I know that exists on most teams in this league. I think there’s very few teams that have it on both sides of the ball. … Everything [Drew] does is methodically mapped out and planned out. The guy’s been playing in this league 10 years, going on 11. He’s been through plenty of minicamps. … Those guys are doing a great thing and I definitely think it’s going to give the Saints a leg up, an advantage, especially early on in the season if this lockout pushes on into late July, early August.”
What does he look for in a great coach?:
“Humility. That’s the one thing that attracted me to Sean Payton. And as arrogant as Bill [Belichick] comes across, there was two or three times in my four-year stay there where that coach just came in, even after our Super Bowl loss in Super Bowl XLII, ‘Guys, I’m sorry. I should’ve done a better job for you guys today.’ And it wasn’t lip service. … Those are the type of head coaches you’ll run through a brick wall for.”