The Herald Bulletin

August 16, 2011

Golden opportunity

Indy native knows this may be his only chance to play for Colts

By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Indianapolis native Darren Evans knows a little bit about a crowded backfield, but he’s determined not to let this chance slip away.

The Indianapolis Colts signed Evans in late July in hopes that the big running back could fill a void.

At 6 feet and 227 pounds, it would seem that he could fill a big void.

He was undrafted out of Virginia Tech, where he was named MVP in the 2009 Orange Bowl.

In 2006, the Warren Central product was named Indiana’s Mr. Football.

In his preseason debut in St. Louis last Saturday, he led the team in rushes (eight) and yards (52) and had the longest run from scrimmage, a 23-yard blast.

Yet he still knows there is work to do.

“I hope to get more playing time,” Evans said on Tuesday about Friday’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium against Washington. “But there’s seven of us (running backs) on the roster so I don’t know if that will happen. Whatever chance I get, I want to show what I can do. There’s no way I want to miss this chance to play for the Colts.”

Among those seven in camp, Evans is tied for the tallest and is second in the weight department.

The team has been notorious for struggling in short-yardage situations.

He hopes to help in that area but just learning the entire playbook has been challenging.

“My goal here has been to learn the playbook and be as confident as I can,” Evans said. “I want to know as much as I can so my mind doesn’t trip up my body while I’m out there.”

That’s a sincere possibility with the Colts.

“This is my first year in the NFL, but I can’t imagine a playbook more difficult,” he said. “It’s a whole lot different from anything I’ve seen before. You just can’t imagine how tough it is. Some things are like a play on words. There could be a whole sentence condensed into one word.”

Then there’s one more thing that can complicate this further.

“Then when (quarterback) Peyton (Manning) starts making calls, then I say, ‘What was that again?’”

He is trying to stay positive and upbeat, but he finds that isn’t always easy.

“I really don’t know,” Evans said when asked where he stood with the team currently. “I haven’t been given a lot of feedback in that area. But I am going to stay ready, work hard and do my best to show them what I can do.”