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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: What a night! 02.08.10 at 11:22 pm ET
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heath_headshot1Injured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, was WEEI.com’s guest blogger for Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans shared his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

Where do I begin?

I tweeted Saturday night that I thought we were in a great position. We were the decided underdog going into a game where we felt we had the better team. Let’s just say the Saints ain’t the Aints anymore! I don’t think the game could have been any better. There was great offense, defense and special teams. It was the perfect TEAM victory — I don’t think you could have scripted the game any better.

We start the game off with two lackluster drives and find ourselves in a 10-point hole against a team that I know (all too well) is hard to beat. The one thing that the Saints have been all year is a group of men who are willing to fight — fight with a 20-point lead or a 20-point deficit. Sunday night was no different.

I think we get the ability to fight in us from our city. A lot is made of the situation in New Orleans nationally — and rightfully so — but it is definitely a situation you can’t appreciate until you are smack dab in the middle of it! The great people of NOLA are fighters for sure, and we get strength from their will to overcome all the odds that have been stacked against them. Super Bowl XLIV came down to which team was willing to fight harder — fight harder for an onside kick, fight harder for a two-point conversion, etc.

And at the end of the day, the Saints were willing to fight! Fight for their themselves, their teammates, their coaches, their families and most importantly, their city! The 2009 Saints season is the perfect story of inspiration for anyone who is struggling through adversity.  Have the belief! Have the fight! Have the faith!

Thanks again, New England, for the great years with you guys and all the great support for myself and my family as well as the Heath Evans Foundation. You all are the greatest!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: Madness … 02.06.10 at 10:04 pm ET
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Injured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

heath_headshot2These last couple of days have been nothing but complete madness!

I thought the traffic in Boston was bad — Miami is 10 times worse. I think the worst part is when the cops try to direct it! No offense to our fine peacekeepers, but I can honestly say I would rather have you in the cruiser writing tickets than directing traffic. (The lights are there for a reason.)

Anyway, enough of that. Coach Payton has done a great job of preparing this team, and I think we are ready. He has really focused on getting the players enough rest and making sure that they are fresh and ready to go for Sunday night. I think the key was the rules that went along with the extra time off. Cutting the schedule back and giving the guys more downtime is great if they use it properly. Last night we had some good free time because we cut out some of the meetings we had planned, but coach put some pretty neat stipulations on the free time. He told told the team that when the security guards check the rooms at midnight they better find every player asleep with two empty Gatorade bottles and an empty banana peel beside their bed! Give the guys some nice freedom with some good restrictions — sounds like good parenting to me!

Did I mention that this team loves being the underdog? Please … can one more media personality come out and say that we don’t have a chance? It’s a great thing to have the better team and be the underdog! It doesn’t get any better.

Again, please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors — my wife Beth is mad at me for whining too much about not being able to play tomorrow, so she won’t help me make sure it’s all correct! She says I am having a pity party! Thanks, New England, for making our Super Bowl raffle a huge success! The Heath Evans Foundation will now be able to help more victims of childhood sexual abuse because of your great support!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: Success!! 02.04.10 at 8:50 am ET
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heath_headshot1Injured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

My first thought this morning is that I am proud of my Auburn Tigers for a great recruiting class! Top three in most publications’ estimation, and we’ve finally got the QB we’ve been needing since Jason Campbell left. Some of you in Boston may not understand the furor down here in the South, but to see Alabama get another class like it did makes everyone wonder who’s paying what to whom …

OK, I got my college football fix in for the day. Now on to what counts. For my guys here on the Saints, it is time to hunker down and work. We’ve been game-planning and preparing mentally, but now the part happens that some people never even think about. On top of all the craziness, we have to discipline ourselves to rest and hydrate. Both are tough: Everyone is keyed up about the Super Bowl, so forcing the mind and body to relax is tougher than you would think. Remember the last time you had an important interview or meeting or presentation or wedding or … you get the picture. The other part is hydrating: It’s been cold all over the country and we play indoors, so now we have to get back to early season hydration levels in a very deliberate manner in order to be at peak performance mentally and physically.

In addition, families of the active players got into town yesterday. My wife, Beth, has been in for a few days already, as this is my hometown and I am on injured reserve. It’s been like a second honeymoon for us, as the kids are with my folks. Last night, we were able to have a nice dinner at Prime 112 with friends on the team.

We also heard yesterday about how successful the Heath Evans/Drew Brees Super Bowl 44 Raffle was! Congratulations to Ben Carolla of Destin, Fla. He will be attending the game as our guest and having a great time! We cannot say how much we appreciate all that our friends in Boston did to support this effort. WEEI and the entire Boston community were integral to the success, and we can’t thank you enough! With the money raised (over $600,000 total to be divided up by the foundations), we will be able to better accomplish our mission of fostering hope and healing to victims of childhood sexual abuse through free counseling! Thanks!

More later in the day!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: Back to training camp! 02.03.10 at 1:44 pm ET
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heath_headshot1Injured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

Heading to practice at The U! You’d think Jeremy Shockey was a God around here … lots of attention. Beyond that, this practice will be our usual “back to work” practice after a travel day and a media day. We’ll put the shoulder pads on and start into each other like it is training camp — knocking each other around a bit and getting the rust off.

The emphasis will be on balance and complementary play. Running and passing, offense and defense, all of it combined with special teams. We want everyone on the same page: short field for us, long field for them. We all know we’ve got a game ahead of us. For the rest of the world it is a spectacle, but for us it is a game we’ve got to prepare for mentally and physically.  We’ve got guys who have been to the Super Bowl before, and we are emphasizing the focus needed. Each week is a game — game plan, physical preparation, razor-sharp focus.

Back to the weather again: While the weather has smoothed out and gotten to be more South Florida-like, we were all laughing about how we woke up to icicles in the hotel rooms — great AC! Almost made us think we were back in some northern city with little sunshine and less warmth!

Geaux Saints! Thanks to all the great fans — from NOLA and around the country — who are getting behind this team and this city! Who Dat!!!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: Craziness of Media Day 02.02.10 at 11:57 am ET
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heath_headshotInjured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

On the bus on the way to Super Bowl 44 Media Day! It is still rainy down here in Miami — what’s up with that? We are all hoping it clears up by the weekend.

Today I start into a little bit of my broadcast career. I will be interviewing other players for my good friend Evan Cohen of West Palm Beach NBC Channel 5 and ESPN 760 radio, as I begin my quest to take Kirk Herbstreit’s job! I cannot imagine a better job than traveling around the country watching college or pro football and talking about it.

You all remember the craziness of media day, right? Tom Brady’s proposal from the lady in the wedding dress in ’07 in Phoenix? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Nonstop questions and answers. Players trying to avoid locker room bulletin board material. Media trying to create bulletin board material. Wow!

Keep an eye out on SportsCenter for what happens next. You can never tell when you put all this media and all these players together. The personalities will come out!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: South Florida! 02.01.10 at 12:35 pm ET
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heath_headshotInjured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

We just landed in South Florida! [Jeremy] Shockey, as always, was hootin’ and hollerin’ the whole way down on the plane … always an adventure with him. Otherwise, the flight was uneventful.

The weather here in sunny South Florida is pretty bleak. We leave 40 degrees in NOLA and get to overcast, rainy showers here in Miami. The good thing about being here is that the weather will be sunny and warm very soon!

Now we head to the team hotel to get checked in and settled. After that, we’ll hit the practice field at “The U” (University of Miami) — Shockey and [Jonathan] Vilma’s old stomping grounds — for a ten-ten-ten: our term for a walk-through. We’ll go through plays perfectly — 30 perfect offensive plays, 30 perfect defensive plays, and 30 perfect special teams plays.

After that, I’ll get back to the hotel and do a more in-depth blog …

Thanks for all your support from the Northeast! Who Dat!

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Heath Evans’ Super Bowl blog: Packing day 01.31.10 at 5:00 pm ET
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heath_headshotInjured Saints fullback Heath Evans, a former Patriot, is WEEI.com’s guest blogger in the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. While helping the NFC champions in their preparations for the Colts, Evans is sharing his thoughts about taking part in his second Super Bowl, two years after helping the Patriots reach the NFL’s ultimate game.

It’s a lot easier packing for Miami then it was for Arizona. Arizona: Hot by day, cold by night. South Florida: Just hot! Shorts and T-shirts it is.

Thank the Lord for my Nike contract. Nike online is the only place I get to shop anymore. Let’s just say the shopping experience in New Orleans does not compare to Boston or the Wrentham Outlets! It’s been great for my bank account because I haven’t had to worry every day about Beth being at the outlet mall all day with the girls. I don’t think I have bought a new piece of clothing since last year at Copley Place.

One of the things that New Orleans does have on Boston is the food. The day I signed with the Saints last year, Kevin Faulk called me and told me I was going to get fat by the start of the season! (Let’s just say I did about twice as much running last offseason as I normally do!) Being injured and trying to discipline myself to eat healthy … that hasn’t gone so well! Thank God for being able to run in the pool, or otherwise they might have brought me back as a right guard next season.

There is one bad habit that the New England area got me hooked on and that is Dunkin’ Donuts (better known as “Double D” in my house). Luckily for the Evans family, we do have a Double D in New Orleans.  It hasn’t helped the formation of my six-pack very much, but it sure has given me some good comfort food during some tough times of dealing with the knee injury. We had the day off [Sunday], so not much to report on the football front, but [Monday] should be an interesting day. Traveling with this team — especially Jeremy Shockey — is always interesting!

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