|Heath Evans on M&M: ‘Terrell Suggs, shut your mouth and speak the truth’||02.28.13 at 1:21 pm ET|
NFL Network analyst Heath Evans joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to defend Tom Brady against critics of the quarterback’s new contract and call out Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs for being “an absolute fool” in his latest attack on the Patriots.
Brady generally has received high praise for his restructured contract, although there is a faction that is critical of him for setting the contractual bar lower. Some Boston media members sounded off on Brady on a local TV show Wednesday.
Said Evans: “There’s two parts of the media I never want to be equated with. One, I don’t know what I’m talking about, which those people don’t know what they’re talking about. I don’t know who they are, but you can tell them they can call me and apologize any time they want for not knowing what they’re talking about.
“And then two, the idea that they actually think this is going to affect other people’s contracts. Here’s the thought: In 2015 our cap changes. The cap is going to increase $20 million a year. So if Tom is still playing lights-out football like I expect he will be, he’s going to go right back to the table and get a whole bunch more guaranteed money. He’s not affecting his overall purse very much as long as he’s still playing well, which — we’re betting on Tom Brady, he’s going to be here.
“They make news out of nothing. This isn’t news. This is one of probably the greatest quarterbacks of all-time saying, ‘Hey, I want to put myself in a position in my twilight years to win another ring or two, or at least get back to the big dance and have a chance.’ That’s exactly what he did. We should applaud Brady for what he’s doing.”
Added Evans: “It’s stupid media, and I don’t ever want to be a part of that.”
Suggs, the Ravens veteran who blasted the Patriots after the AFC championship game, joined The Big Show on Wednesday and insisted “the other 31 teams hate the New England Patriots” due to their arrogance. Evans, who played fullback for the Patriots from 2005 until 2008, dismissed Suggs’ comments.
“He’s an absolute fool. He is,” Evans said. “Maybe he’s one of the best pass-rushers that we’ve seen in a long time, but he’s a fool if doesn’t believe that [teams respect the Patriots]. For me, I say things that I believe in. … I just speak the truth. And the truth is, people are scared to death when they step on the field to face Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Wes Welker, a healthy [Rob] Gronkowski, a healthy Aaron Hernandez, defensively Jerod Mayo is one of the best middle linebackers in this game, Vince Wilfork, there is no match for him.
“Terrell Suggs, shut your mouth and speak the truth. Are you a heck of a player? Absolutely, an amazing player. But give me a break. I watch this film, I watch how people move and react according to what the Patriots do. I watch this whole league sit back and try to copy them. Heck, [Ravens tight ends] Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta is a formula of what New England is trying to do.
“So, give me a break. Don’t just get on airways and speak nonsense. Watch game tape, know this game inside and out, and then speak your opinion based on facts that are truly evident to everyone across this business, that knows this business inside and out. When people come out speaking that nonsense, it screams of insecurity. It screams of the fact that, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we actually beat them again, somehow we got lucky and actually did it, and whoo-hoo, and now we’ve got a Super Bowl ring.’ That’s what it says to me.”
|Heath Evans on M&M: Deer-antler spray ‘nothing, and I mean nothing’ like PEDs||02.01.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
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.”
|What’s with all the fullbacks?||03.26.12 at 3:51 pm ET|
The Patriots have already added one fullback this offseason in Spencer Larsen, and on Monday, they reportedly agreed to a deal with Tony Fiammetta. They already have one on the roster in Lousaka Polite, and could have a fourth in Eric Kettani, who was recently activated off the reserve/military list.
So what’s with all the fullbacks?
In the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have occasionally employed a regular fullback, but they’ve never had this many on the roster at one time. Polite, who signed at the end of the regular season, was the first regular fullback New England utilized since Heath Evans departed following the 2008 season. (Patrick Pass had the longest career of any fullback with the Patriots under Belichick, playing in New England from 2000 until 2006.)
If you’re putting together a depth chart at this point, Polite is probably the No. 1 back, based on talent level and basic knowledge of the system. He’d be followed by Larsen, who also has extensive special teams value (as well as on defense). Fiammetta is still an unknown quantity at this point, but on paper, appears to be more of a traditional blocking fullback. Kettani remains a question mark — he’s been around the franchise since he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009, but has little on-field action.
Some of it could be due to the fact that the Patriots have lost veteran back BenJarvus Green-Ellis in free agency, with the understanding that the two young running backs — Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen — might fare better with a lead blocker in front of them. It’s a theory that analyst Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus agrees with.
“If I was guessing, I’d say they want to use more of a fullback next season,” Monson wrote in an e-mail to WEEI.com, “perhaps figuring the current running back stable would run better with a lead-blocker than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and are loading up on guys to pick from when they get into the analysis of the roster.”
|Super Summary: Wednesday morning roundup of Patriots/Giants coverage on WEEI.com||02.01.12 at 7:16 am ET|
YES, THERE WAS SOME NEWS ON MEDIA DAY
– Rob Gronkowski showed up without a boot on his foot at media day.
– Whereas Gronkowski’s status for the game remains to be determined, the Patriots will feature a significant presence back on their line. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told WEEI.com’s Chris Price that Sebastian Vollmer will be available for the Super Bowl. Even if Vollmer is available for just a few snaps, Scarnecchia added, his impact will be significant.
– Meanwhile, running back Stevan Ridley told WEEI.com’s Kirk Minihane that he “definitely” will be active for the Super Bowl after being an inactive in the AFC championship game, presumably for letting loose a couple of fumbles.
– There has not been a suggestion that Matt Light‘s availability for the Super Bowl is in question. He was, however, a no-show on Media Day due to a descent into the Hades of intestinal turmoil, as Mike Petraglia chronicles.
– Amidst all of the comings and goings, Christopher Price says that the Super Bowl ultimately will come down to the performance of the Patriots offensive line against the Giants defensive front. He breaks down that task here.
HOW DO YOU COUNT TO OCHO?
– The absurdity of Media Day has come and gone. There is a very strong chance that, with it, so, too, has the relevance of Chad Ochocinco to this Super Bowl.
Despite the fact that he did not have a podium, the Patriots’ wide receiver was surrounded by a throng of reporters and captivated the crowd with all kinds of interesting and sometimes contradictory comments. He said that being in the Super Bowl was a dream come true and dismissed the notion that the experience was bittersweet. But he also claimed that even a Super Bowl victory would not remove the frustration of the season.
Unanswered? Whether he will be a contributor on Sunday. Minihane says that these are the last days of Ochocinco in a Patriots uniform, and that no group hugs appear to be forthcoming on his way out the door.
THE MOUTH(S) THAT ROARED: NEW YORK AND THE GIANTS GO THE INFLAMMATORY ROUTE IN DISCUSSING THE PATRIOTS Read the rest of this entry »
|Heath Evans on D&C: ‘I’m going to second-guess Bill Belichick’ on some decisions before Super Bowl XLII||01.31.12 at 10:33 am ET|
Former Patriot Heath Evans made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to provide a player perspective on the Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and Giants. Evans was a member of the 2007 team that saw its bid for a perfect season end in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLII thanks to an incredible drive by the Giants that engineered New York to a 17-14 win.
Evans eventually won a Super Bowl with the Saints before retiring after the 2010 season. Now, looking back on the 2008 heart-breaker against the Giants, Evans said he does second-guess some of Bill Belichick‘s decisions prior to the game itself.
“I’m going to do something stupid and I’m going to second-guess Bill Belichick,” Evans said. “We all completely agreed with the full pads Thursday Friday Saturday in Foxboro, the bye week. When we get to Phoenix, Wednesday was kind of a lackluster practice and I think Bill kind of thought maybe we were overlooking the [Giants] team. I don’t think we were. It was just, you have a bad day. Bill opted to put us in pads again on Thursday, which is that the reason we lost the game? Probably not. But if there was a way to freshen us up …”
Evans also weighed in on the upcoming Super Bowl, noting that he does not expect Rob Gronkowski‘s high ankle sprain to hurt the team as much as people may expect. Gronkowski, Evans noted, seems tough enough to play through the injury. If he is unable to go, Evans said the Patriots coaching staff will be able to use a slightly different style of offense so that instead of having someone else fill in for Gronkowski, they will be able to play someone else in a situation that best helps that player to succeed.
Evans claimed that the most important factor in the game will not be Gronkowski or the secondary, but rather the protection of the quarterback.
“My thought is this, it is protecting Brady, but it’s not just by pass protection,” Evans said. “It’s by running the football. You flash back to 2007, the game plan was to run the football. We had some key mistakes early on in the game. Josh McDaniels, Bill Belichick elected to get away from the run game, put the weight of the world on Tom Brady‘s shoulders. Ultimately, he did his job.
“Yes, 14 points, people said, ‘No, you should have scored more,’ but he drove us down the field. We scored. Just left a little too much time for young Eli Manning at the time.”
|Meet the new guy … No. 36, Lousaka Polite||12.28.11 at 12:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots have steered clear from employing a traditional fullback the last few seasons — Heath Evans was the last full-time fullback on the roster. After he departed in free agency following the 2008 season, they would occasionally lean on Sammy Morris in that role, but they never had that traditional thick-necked, straight-ahead blocking back on the roster.
While the additional of Lousaka Polite may not dramatically change the look of the New England offense, it will also presumably give them some more versatility on the offensive side of the ball. The 30-year-old Polite is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with Dallas (2004-06), Chicago (2007) and Miami (2008-10).
At 6 feet and 245 pounds, Polite fits into that traditional fullback skill set — lots of snaps, but few carries. He has played in 75 NFL games with 27 starts and has 95 rushing attempts for 296 yards with one touchdown and 41 receptions for 233 yards and one touchdown. Polite has also played in two postseasons games, one with Dallas in 2006 and one with Miami in 2008.
Polite went to training camp with the Dolphins this past summer but was released on Sept. 3. Since then, he’s been waiting by the phone, working out and being a full-time father to his nine-year-old daughter, Anya.
“I was full-time with being a father,” he said. “Normally, during the season, I don’t have that time to spend with her, taking her to dance class and doing things like that was something that was new for me during the season. I was happy to have that opportunity.”
It’s been a long year for Polite, who was nearly out of the game for a full season after getting cut loose by Miami.
“You just never know,” he said. “As the weeks go by, you don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s always a little, tiny bit of doubt because you don’t know what to expect. You just need to stay ready and stay in shape. And luckily, I just got the call.”
Polite has been able to lean on a few former teammates who he has reunited with in New England, including Nate Jones (who he played with in Miami and Dallas), Mark Anderson (in Chicago) and Donald Thomas (in Miami). He’s still not sure what his role will be going forward — he does have special teams experience in addition to his work on offense — but said before practice on Wednesday that he’s “willing to do anything” to get on the field.
“I’m just learning, learning as much as I can. Everything is new to me, so I’m just trying to learn and we’ll just go from there,” he said. “I’m willing to do anything. I’ve played special teams, and I’m just willing to do whatever it takes to contribute to the team.
“I’m in pretty good shape, but you can never duplicate that game experience. But I’ll be fine. I’ll push through it. That’s part of football … staying ready and adjusting to the changes.”
|Heath Evans on D&C: Bill Belichick ‘the funniest guy I’ve ever been around’||08.26.11 at 10:16 am ET|
Former Patriots fullback Heath Evans, who this week announced his retirement from the NFL and a new job with the NFL Network, spoke with Dennis & Callahan Friday morning. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Evans said the move from the field to television has been a welcome change.
“The only thing I miss is the guys,” Evans said. “I don’t miss being sore. I don’t miss being yelled and cussed at. I don’t miss having to be up every morning at 5.”
While in the last two years in New Orleans his career seemed headed toward the broadcasting booth, Evans said he didn’t think that way when he was with the Patriots.
“I played for Bill Belichick for four years,” Evans said. “Do you think it was an easy job giving good interviews and good speeches?”
Evans called Belichick “the funniest guy I’ve ever been around in my life,” adding that Belichick probably enjoyed Wes Welker’s foot comments prior the Patriots’ playoff game against the Jets last season.
“Inside, Bill Belichick thought that was hilarious,” Evans said, adding: “But Bill also knows the ground that he runs his teams on, and there is no going back on what he says, and there is no going against what he says.”
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