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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Sharing some Heath Evans thoughts

By Mike Reiss

Former Patriots fullback Heath Evans wrote the following on Twitter, "Fans/Friends: I have decided 2 retire after 10 great yrs n the NFL! I have accepted a multi-yr contract w/ @nflnetwork."

Evans played for the Patriots from 2005-2008 and his announcement on Twitter had me asking the question, "What do you remember most about his time here?"

Heath Evans
Heath Evans played for the Patriots from 2005-2008.
The first thought that came to mind was how he wound up in New England, as an in-season emergency replacement in 2005. The Patriots were banged up at running back, with Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass all ailing, and they needed someone -- anyone -- to carry the ball.

Evans fell into their lap and produced immediately.

He had been cut by the Dolphins on Oct. 25 and the Patriots signed him Nov. 1.  On Nov. 13, when the Patriots visited the Dolphins, Evans led the team with 84 yards on 17 carries.

A fullback, Evans hadn't totaled 84 yards in any of his first four seasons in the NFL. His hard-charging style led one reporter to compare him to former Redskins great John Riggins.

Evans chuckled at that, knowing it was a stretch, but it was the start of a solid three-and-a-half year stretch for him with New England. He never missed a game, proving to be tough and durable, while eventually settling into a role that featured a lot of special teams work, mostly lead-blocking, and some occasional pass-catching and rushing.

He also became one of the more widely quoted players in the locker room, serving as almost a spokesman of sorts.

Evans is the type of player winning NFL teams need to have. On a squad of 53 players, not everyone can make top dollar, and Evans wasn't a high-cost option. So he fit nicely into the salary cap, nicely into the locker room, and played an important role on the team in never missing a regular-season game.

Evans made his mark in New England, and he's already on his way to doing so in his next career, in the media.