In seven seasons with the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver Lee Evans never got to experience postseason play. He has made it there in his first season in Baltimore, and he is excited for the AFC Divisional Round game on Jan. 15.
“To be able to be on this journey with these men here who have been there, done it before, and really there’s only one thing left to conquer,” Evans said. “I can’t even put it into words. It’s a special experience for me. It’s kind of like being a rookie all over again going into the playoffs because it’s somewhere I’ve never been, but I’m looking forward to it and I’ve been preparing for it since I came into the league. So I’m excited.”
The Ravens are the only NFL team to have made it to the past four postseasons, and Evans said he has tried to tell younger teammates that making it to the playoffs is something that is not a given in this league.
“Like I said, a lot of the older guys that have been here have gone through it before,” he said. “For me, I understand how hard it is to get here and how hard we’ve had to work to get to this point. So this is one of those moments you’ve got to cherish, but also take advantage of because they don’t come very often.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that players such as wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive end Cory Redding, who got his first taste of the postseason in 2010, have also broached this topic with young teammates.
“Anquan Boldin got up and talked to the offense today about that, and he referenced [Evans and running back Ricky Williams] specifically,” Harbaugh said. “When you’ve been in the league for seven, eight, nine, 10 years and you haven’t been to the playoffs, sometimes the young guys take it for granted.”
Evans, who has four receptions for 74 yards in 2011, has gone three games without a catch. He expects the “highest level of football” in the playoffs, and says it will take precision to win the Lombardi Trophy.
“Everything has to be precise. If you have a loose end somewhere, it’s going to show,” he said. “The best team is going to win. The team that executes the best is going to win, and guys are going to be playing hard, and it’s going to be the highest level of football that I’ve ever been a part of. So it’s exciting.”