Evans' Military Family Keeps Him Humble

FOXBORO, Mass. - To no one's surprise, the Patriots run their practices with military precision and efficiency. Some like it, some don't. But if you grew up in a house with a military mindset, chances are you will respond to it.

Heath Evans has Marine mindset in going over and above call of duty
By John Ingoldsby

Running back Heath Evans' father served, and yes sir, it shows.

"The Marine mindset I grew up with was that the Patriots have blessed me, now I have got to bless them. Myself last, the team first," said Evans. "The whole attitude of Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick in giving me an opportunity, and my father told me to go over and above the call of duty."

The Auburn product further explained his background, saying, "My dad Brian and his twin brother served during Vietnam for three years. He was a twin brother and back then they would take only the oldest brother and my dad was the youngest twin by seven or eight minutes. So it was the first time in their life they were ever split up. My dad actually got his parents to sign something to allow him to go to Vietnam with his brother Brent because they did not want to be split up, but they would not allow him. You could only take the oldest of a pair of brothers. They were 20-21 at the time and had never been apart - ever - high school, college, everything. They enlisted together, and planned on staying together."

Now Evans is together with the Patriots, and he appreciates his new two-year contract. "Security is rewarding. It's nice. It's kind of funny because coaches are hesitant to give people some security because they don't want them to back off. In my career, I was with Seattle for four years and they wanted me, but didn't quite know how to use me. In Miami, obviously they didn't want me. So, it just feels great to be wanted. My whole preparation this off-season, was that they've honored me, they've given me a great contract, and now I need to step up to the plate even that much more. Let's give them even more that they don't know that I am capable of."

With all the buzz about the new Patriots' additions during the off-season, Evans was glad to finally see the field today. "I am more excited to get out here and see the team functioning the way that we are, actually working together. Names don't necessarily always mean a lot. The attitude that I have learned here with the Patriots is team first. You see that! That is the exciting part. You add a lot of different people but yet it seems that the team first mentality is still taking precedence over everything else."

Evans added, "It's kind of funny. Coach Bill is always so big on not reading the press. At home, going to church or anywhere else, people are so excited with things that we have done (in the off-season)."

And it's at home where Evans appreciates his family, "We are all in West Palm Beach, and my off-season home is about a rock's throw from my parents. We have the built-in babysitter going. With two girls, during the off-season we got to get in our date night. Take the girls down to Mom and Dad's and we can go out to dinner."

And back in New England during the season, he says, "We love it here. We absolutely love it here."

The feeling is mutual.

John Ingoldsby has covered the New England Patriots for various publications the past 13 years. He began his writing about the NFL for newspapers in the 1970s. John is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. You can find John on the Patriots Insider boards under the handle Rudiee.


John Ingoldsby has covered the New England Patriots for various publications the past 13 years. He began his writing about the NFL for newspapers in the 1970s. John is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. You can find him on the Patriots Insider boards under the handle Rudiee.

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