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Fullback says leadership of Brees, Vilma will pay off for Saints

The New Orleans Saints will have a huge advantage over other teams once the lockout ends, so said fullback Heath Evans on Sports 620 KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf on Monday.

Evans said the Saints' player-led workouts have had a different tempo than many teams'.

"Really the only difference is Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma," Evans said. "I'm not saying that other teams don't have great leadership because I know that exists on most teams in this league. I think there's very few teams that have it on both sides of the ball."

Brees paid for flights and hotels for players, as well as securing facilities and training and medical staffs at Tulane University.

"I cannot say enough about Drew and what he's done for our team and that organization," Evans said. "Everything (Drew) does is methodically mapped out and planned out. The guy's been playing in this league 10 years, going on 11. He's been through plenty of minicamps.

"Those guys are doing a great thing and I definitely think it's going to give the Saints a leg up, an advantage, especially early on in the season if this lockout pushes on into late July, early August."

Evans also discussed his pending free agency.

"Honestly, I'm not worried about any of it," Evans said of free agency. "I'm just back at Auburn, Ala., ... getting in shape with my old college strength and conditioning coach and, really, I'm just trying to get myself in the best shape.

"Last year was a good year for me coming off an injury, but all in all I was just disappointed with my production and everything else. I feel great; I feel like I'm back to that '09 status before the knee injury. The lockout's going to handle itself, free agency will handle itself, depending on how the lockout shakes out, but I feel great."

When football returns and Evans hits the market, he talked about what he looks for in a great coach.

"Humility. That's the one thing that attracted me to Sean Payton," Evans said. "And as arrogant as Bill (Belichick) comes across, there was two or three times in my four-year stay there where that coach just came in, even after our Super Bowl loss in Super Bowl XLII, 'Guys, I'm sorry. I should've done a better job for you guys today.' And it wasn't lip service. ... Those are the type of head coaches you'll run through a brick wall for."

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