Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
From Bloomsburg to the ''Big Easy,'' Jahri Evans is all business
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jul 29 2012 1:52AM
Deke Bellavia reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember like it was yesterday. The Cajun Cannon and I were waiting to see who we were going to interview for SportsTalk. Yep, we were hanging out along the fence at Harper Davis Field in Jackson, Mississippi at Millsaps College.
Saints players continued to walk by, as always I was trying to get my co-host’s attention. He was carrying on one of his many daily side bar conversations. Then the Cannon looks at me and says, “Deke, I thought you said we were going to interview somebody?” I replied, “we are!” One of the first interviews we did at Saints Training Camp 2006 was with a young man the Saints drafted in 2006. His name was Jahri Evans. Evans was a soft spoken dude, but his play in his first ever NFL training camp was anything but soft.
The young man from Bloomsburg has been all business all the time. That’s evidenced by his success on the field as a New Orleans Saints. From the first day he suited up until now, Jahri Evans has been the consummate professional. His three straight starts in the Pro Bowl for the NFC team are proof that the New Orleans Saints knew exactly what they were doing when they drafted Evans in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Since the Saints drafted Evans he has enjoyed some of the most successful seasons in New Orleans Saints history. Evans was voted into and starred in the last three NFL Pro Bowls and he was named an All-Pro.
Evans was a little banged up last season, but Jahri says he’s just fine now, “Pretty good. I’m ready to go. I’m out here every day, working hard every day…rehabbing here with Scottie (Patton)…putting the hard time in rehab, so I’ll be ready to go out here. It’s feeling good.”
Evans clearly is a guy who can suck it up and play with pain, evidenced by his current streak of “starts” with the New Orleans Saints. As he enters his seventh season in the NFL, all in Black and Gold, Evans has ninety-six straight starts. That’s the most starts for a Saints player starting a career and second longest in Saints franchise history. And, Jahri Evans’ ninety six starts reigns third among active guards in the NFL.
Now this season, Jahri and the rest of his Saints offensive teammates are facing a new defensive scheme. “It’s definitely different. It’s two totally different systems. You see, the defensive line’s getting a lot more pressure here. There’s not a lot of blitzing or anything like that. They’re definitely coming. We don’t have pads on. We’ll have pads on later on in the week, so you’ll get to see a little bit more live things, but they’re definitely two different defenses,” Jahri said when speaking about Coach Steve Spagnuolo’s new defense.
Since Jahri Evans has suited up in black and gold, the Saints have won three NFC South Division titles, five post season games; he’s been in two NFC Title games, won an NFC Title and a Lombardi Trophy.
The Saints will be looking to repeat as NFC South champions, a feat no team in the division has accomplished since the NFL realigned in 2002. Evans says he and the Saints are looking forward to the challenge of what many consider the toughest division in football, “Since I’ve been here, the NFC South has been very competitive. Each year, everybody is pushing to get to the playoffs, so I think we have a lot of young guys in the South. But we’re here to win all the games. We’re here to win all of our division games. We’re here to win every game that we have on the schedule, but we know we have to take it one game at a time and that’s the way we have to approach it.”