NFL Network analyst Heath Evans  spoke with Mut & Merloni from New Orleans Friday about his own use of the velvet deer antler substance Ray Lewis  reportedly used, how it differs from traditional steroids, and how the Ravens can beat Colin Kaepernick.
Evans said he has been taking the deer antler substance in tablet form, which is stronger than the spray, and that it’s made a significant difference in his cognitive function since he retired from football.
“I’ve had ADD since I was born, but probably only in 2009, 2010 – I would be lying if I said I didn’t have concern about maybe some of the cognitive stuff, just stuff you shouldn’t forget,” Evans said. “And over the last six months since I’ve been taking the velvet deer antler tablets, I sleep. I rest. I recall on-air on NFL Network, being sent downstairs at night by Beth and not forgetting what she sent me down there for.”
“I’m, like, the least psychosomatic person in the world,” he went on. “The chips that [SWATS co-owner Mitch Ross] put on people’s wrists so they run faster and bench more, they didn’t work for me. And I think there are a lot of psychosomatic athletes, and I would not represent that product of his. But the deer antler was something I was introduced to in 2008 by a good friend of mine that runs Garden of Life, the multi-hundred billion dollar company, and I saw some good, actual things come out of it.
“I don’t use notes on air anymore. If I do, it’s once a week or it’s a longer-working subject. Last year, I was almost strapped to my notes at times.”
Evans said if Lewis did take the deer antler spray, it’s not worthy of the PED discussion it’s drawn.
“The PED word, steroids and all that nonsense – this is nothing, and I mean nothing, like that,” Evans said. “If that helped Ray recover, it was minimalistic. It probably did have some effects, but it was because Ray dieted perfect. He rested perfect. He did everything else they told him to do. He had surgery and he took care of his body, and he probably wasn’t out drinking and smoking and doing a lot of the stuff other NFL players do, and his body responded, because our bodies are amazing when we treat them right.”
Following are some highlights from the conversation. To hear the whole interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
On Lewis recovering from his triceps injury in just three months: “Injuries are never apples to apples, and I think Mitch would tell you that. Ray, like Justin Smith, tore the [triceps head] down closer to the elbow. It’s the smallest one, and yes, they did surgery and repaired it, but it’s not like he had the first head or second head of his triceps hanging off the bone.
“I have to tread lightly here because of who I work for, but it’s so hard to keep up with all the research and data on everything out there. The NFL, rightfully so, gets scared away by people, because everyone does have that expert cure-all, so they have to run from a lot of things that maybe they shouldn’t. But velvet deer antlers have been around for 1800 years. It’s been used to treat a lot of things over in other cultures.
“For me, the cognitive repair, I would tell any athlete. But again, I work for the NFL Network and support my employer. But I would tell any athlete, the day they retire, they should be on the same amount of tablets I’m on and I’ve seen enough results – it’s the only thing that i’ve changed, and the proof’s in the pudding for me.”
On whether the NFL should test for HGH: “Yes, the NFL should and the PA should let them, if the NFL will truly give them a broad-range spectrum. I was telling people yesterday – Darren Sharper , my partner on NFL Network, him at 34 and myself at 34, if you tested our human growth levels, both of us are males, the same age, and the margin which would be considered healthy is very broad. When I got done playing, my wife made me go get checked out every year, CT scans, the whole deal, blood work, to make sure all these things we’ve been hearing about weren’t creeping up on me. My blood tested out pretty clean every year, but when I got done some doctors expressed some interest that my testosterone, my growth hormone levels were almost unhealthfully low for my age, which a lot of NFL players have that issue.
“So I’m all for the testing, but my levels might be – I’m talking about drastically different from Darren. does that mean Darren is doing IGF-1? No, it means there’s a healthy margin you could be between.
“If Ray Lewis, being 17 years in, say he was – I doubt he was, but just say that he was taking some illegal form of HGH and he was just taking enough to make him heal. My argument would be if you tested him for HGH right now he probably wouldn’t even show up for being positive, because his levels would probably be that of a normal 37-year-old male, and you didn’t know. The guys that abuse the synthetic form of HGH, the bodybuilders, the different people, they’re at 10, 12 units a day, where the people who take it for health benefits, the synthetic form, they take a few units a day. The stuff that Ray’s been taking, the spray, it’s nowhere near enough. It wouldn’t even show up on a blood test.
On the most interesting matchup in the Super Bowl : “I’m thinking the only way that you truly hold Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore  in check is by a lot of man defense across the board. So what I’m interested in is to see Dean Pees , the old defensive coordinator there in New England, who’s now in Baltimore, what’s your game plan for this whole pistol. We hear all week, ‘This is just a portion of what we do, this pistol offense.’ I’ll give you that, but your play-action game, so much of what you do is set up of this success you have with the pistol. I buy it, but I don’t buy it.
“So the matchup I’m most looking for is this pistol offense, this pistol set, versus what Dean Pees has in store. The game plan I’d build to beat it is really what Pittsburgh did to Tom Brady  last year. We’re going to man up across the board, you might beat us a few times, but we’re going to get to you in two and a half seconds, we’re going to be very consistent in our rush lanes and our discipline. We’re going to send at least one guy that you can’t block, and we are going to crowd your efforts where you have to find your man in two and a half seconds. You’ve got to throw a perfect pass because we are outnumbering you.”
On his Super Bowl pick: “I hate picking this way, I like throwing up the matchups and finding who’s beating who. But on the ‘team of destiny,’ I don’t even know what that freaking means, but this Baltimore team has that feel all over. The better team on paper, every single time, no matter how you go with the matchups, is the San Francisco 49ers . If we lived in a perfect football world, they would win this game. But i just think this Baltimore team has something going for it that you can’t quantify.”