At about the midway point of last season, Demetric Evans started to come on for the Redskins in the rotation at defensive end and tackle. He earned a start on Week 9 in the 17-10 win over Philadelphia at FedExField.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, the 6-3, 300-pound, fifth-year player out of Georgia was playing his best ball of the season.
Evans produced two tackles and a sack of Chris Simms in the Redskins' 17-10 wild card win at Tampa Bay.
He followed that up with a five-tackle game subbing for the injured Renaldo Wynn in the season-ending 20-10 setback at Seattle.
Overall, Evans showed flashes of strong play in his second season with the Redskins. Having been a key contributor in two playoff games no doubt will help his confidence heading into 2006.
An unrestricted free agent, Evans, who totaled 32 tackles and three sacks last year in the regular season, visited several other NFL teams, including the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, before signing with the Redskins on Monday.
"It was kind of a no-brainer," Evans said. "I wanted to go out, shop a little bit to see what value was out there for me. I'm glad to be back and I'm ready to get started to work."
Evans said he didn't see himself fitting in with the 49ers' defensive scheme because they run a 3-4 defense. He was intrigued by playing for the Saints, though.
"It was an opportunity to go back and help build the city back up and help the team get better," he said. "But at the same time, coming back to Washington felt more comfortable to me. Knowing the coaching staff and the teammates--that's something you can't put a price on."
Evans and veteran cornerback Kenny Wright, also signed Monday, are examples of players who figure to be solid reserves for the Redskins of 2006. Both players come with NFL credentials and have shown the ability to produce.
In 2005, Wright started all 16 games at right cornerback for Jacksonville, a playoff team. He's an eight-year NFL veteran who can earn playing time in nickel and dime packages for the Redskins.
Wright is a native of Ruston, La., and if that sounds familiar, it should. That's the hometown of Patrick Ramsey as well. The Redskins will see Ramsey and the New York Jets in their pre-season home opener.
In their off-season moves since March 12, the Redskins have made a splash with front-line players such as Antwaan Randle El, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta and others.
At this point, there doesn't seem to be much doubt as to many of the starting jobs but building up depth--such as along the offensive line--becomes the focus.
One way to look at it is to say that so far it's been an offseason in which the Redskins have lost Louisianans Ramsey, Ryan Clark and Robert Royal.
But in terms of key reserve talent they've re-signed Evans and brought in Wright, two more natives of the Bayou State.
Evans rejoins a group at defensive that includes Wynn, Phillip Daniels and newcomer Andre Carter. He has outstanding players in front of him, but if Evans can play the way he did in the playoffs, he should be a key contributor once again.