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Deshazor Everett Offers Condolences After Hit On Darren Sproles

Posted Dec 11, 2016

The Redskins safety made his first career interception against the Eagles on Sunday, and was at the center of a big special teams play in the fourth quarter.

The Redskins safety made his first career interception against the Eagles on Sunday, and was at the center of a big special teams play in the fourth quarter.

Safety Deshazor Everett ran right into the locker room following the Redskins’ nail-biting 27-22 victory over the Eagles, not wanting to cause any more tension than already existed at midfield after his penalized hit on Darren Sproles led to Philadelphia’s and Washington’s sidelines clearing early in the fourth quarter.

Facing a fourth-and-6 on their own 30 yard line, the Redskins punted to Sproles, situated deep in his own territory. As the ball came down, Sproles never signaled for a fair catch. Everett noticed this and attempted to hit him simultaneously in order to cause a fumble.

Instead, the collision occurred just prior to the ball’s arrival. Sproles immediately fell to the ground and once the ball was downed, Eagles players immediately took exception to Everett’s hit. Both teams had several players rush onto the field to defend their own player – some being restrained from earning excessive penalties -- before a 15-yard penalty was issued for Everett’s early hit.

“I didn’t see him fair catch the ball at all, but I did, I thought the ball was right there in front of me when I went for the tackle, but unfortunately it wasn’t and the ball hit me back,” Everett said. “As you could tell, football is a split second game and unfortunately I didn’t make the right decision, but I was just giving my full effort out there and make a tackle.”

Sproles was removed from the game for a head injury and didn’t return for the remainder of the quarter.

“My condolences to him,” Everett said. “It definitely wasn’t intentional for me to just try to take a guy out of the game or anything like that. I was just out there trying to play football.”

Everett had already made an impactful play on defense in the first quarter that prevented the Eagles from extending their three-point lead.

Facing third down from the Redskins’ 3 yard line, and with the opportunity to jump the Eagles ahead 10-0, quarterback Carson Wentz looked for his tight end Zach Ertz, lined up in the slot, on a slant route. Everett lined up with him in man-zero coverage and kept his leverage inside, not allowing Ertz the middle of the field, and recorded his first career interception in the end zone.

“I was just working my technique all week and I’ve been working with J No [Josh Norman] on my coverage,” Everett said. “You know that’s what they brought me in the game for, just to specifically cover the tight end. I studied that a lot and based on the split and the stem that I got, I just was really just sitting and he threw the ball. You got to make a play when you get an opportunity and I made the play when I needed to.”

Everett found his way onto the active roster in his rookie season last year as a cornerback and special teams player, proving especially effective on punt and kickoff coverage. He switched positions this offseason to safety in an attempt to get on the field more often, and was called into duty with veteran safety Will Blackmon out with a concussion.

While Sunday against the Eagles was his first time getting defensive snaps during the regular season, he’s continued to play a vital role on special teams. The interception demonstrated that his, and the Redskins’, patience with him has begun to pay off.

“God has truly blessed that guy, man, he really has,” cornerback Josh Norman said. “He came from the bottom, kind of like my story in a way. He made his way into the ballgame and made a huge play for us. Man, that would’ve been back breaking if they would’ve gotten in the end zone. He made a play, and the craziest thing about it was he was working on it all week. That one man-coverage, he’s been working on it all week. All week, he was like ‘what can I do right here?’ He moved his feet. He made the play. That’s all him, man. That’s him and his will to want to be better.”

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