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Ex-fullback Evans brings bruising style to NFL Network studio

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As a bruising fullback in the NFL for 10 seasons, Heath Evans always made an impact on defenders, and it didn't take him long to make an impact in his new career as an NFL Network studio analyst.

Evans' lukewarm opinion of Matthew Stafford's performance as the Detroit Lions quarterback on Monday's edition of "Around The League" has drawn some jeers in the Motor City, according to

Seems that the folks in Lions country took notice of the heated exchange between Evans, who joined NFL Network in late August after retiring from the Saints, and former NFL front office executive and current NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi.

The two men were giving their opinions on the best division in the league, and things were going smooth enough until Lombardi explained his choice of the NFC North was based on the strength of the division's quarterbacks, including Stafford. Evans chose the NFC South, insisting that those four quarterbacks were better, including Panthers starter Cam Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Lombardi then heaped more praise on Stafford, but Evans wasn't buying it, sticking with his man Newton.

"He brings a lot of things to the table that Matthew Stafford will never bring to the table," Evans said of Newton.

"Heath, are you kidding me? Matthew Stafford doesn't bring it to the table?" responded Lombardi, his volume rising noticeably. "I don't mind debating with you, but you gotta get real. Watch Matthew Stafford play before you talk about it ... it's not even close."

Things got even testier from there. Evans said he wasn't strictly equating the two as quarterbacks, but he did point out that Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2008's NFL Draft, has yet to make it through a season without missing significant time due to injuries.

Detroit News columnist Terry Foster was another observer who disagreed with Evans' take, even accusing the Auburn alum of favoritism in comparing Stafford with Newton, who won the Heisman Trophy for the Tigers last season.

Where did Stafford play his college ball? Oh yeah, Georgia.



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