Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Asked and answered: Heath Evans, Patriots fullback

Fullback Heath Evans was part of a goal-line package that was angry and embarrassed after failing on four straight fourth-and-1 attempts against San Diego a week ago. That's why, after Sammy Morris scored from four yards out in the second quarter, there was so much celebration in the back of the end zone -- it was a relief for that unit to be able to assert itself once again.

Rookie BenJarvus Green-Ellis and veteran Kevin Faulk combined with Morris and Evans to rush for a combined 257 yards in the game.

How did it feel to get the running game back in a groove?
"In this league, you know it can be week to week, but this was one week where we were able to get into a groove early. It was kind of a snowball effect -- it just kept rolling. Benny comes in and finishes strong, Kevin is Kevin, like always, and Sammy was running like a madman to start us off. You know what? When the 'O'-line plays that way, things are very easy for us."

How do you describe those runs and the way those were blocked?
"There was a bunch of different styles tonight, but all in all, there were a lot of guys covered up. When I take off (out of the I-formation) and I'm seeing specifically one guy to block instead of two or three, that's a great feeling. There wasn't a lot of cleaning up tonight. Most of the time, I was getting on my guy. That's just because guys were prying open holes up front. Shoot, on Benny's touchdown (in the fourth quarter), I had nobody to hit. I don't know if you guys saw that. It was late in the game, and I'm sure they were tired, humiliated like we were last week. We've been there; we understand that. But to go through there, I didn't know what to do with myself. The 'O'-line played so well that we just walked in."

How empowering is that, when you're out on the field and you can call fourth-and-1s and pick them up?
"For me, it's all about confidence. It's like when our defense is out there and some team is going for it on fourth-and-1, I'm getting my helmet ready because, confidence-wise, I believe in those guys, and most of the time, they get the job done. For us, when we get the ball rolling that way, it's that snowball effect and just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. Momentum is a tough thing to deal with in this league."

After that first touchdown, after Morris scored, did it seem like there was some extra celebration in the back of the end zone?
"You get, last week, to be down there four times in a row -- that was humiliating to any fullback in this league, any running back, any offensive line. When you get a chance to punch it in and punch it in with force, like we did, where he's basically walking in untouched, you love that. You love that."

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