Deshazor Everett provides the Washington Redskins with shock hits on defense and special teams.
Dishing out blows is one thing. Taking one on the chin is another.
Whatever comes the third-year safety’s way on the field, don’t expect him to flinch, especially after learning how Everett handled jarring news about a son he didn't know he had.
Entering training camp with the same work-hard, prove-it attitude he showed up with as an undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M in 2015, Everett has something else occupying space in his brain this year.
It's a good something, the best something. A someone he finally met this offseason. A someone he’s beginning to let those around him know exists.
"A lot of people don’t know I just met my son for the first time. A year since I found out I had a son," Everett said about the best non-football part of his offseason. "Every weekend I was back home. Any time I had, I was spending it with my son."
His son, Aiden, lives in Everett's home state of Louisiana, and is now 5 years old.
Processing all that information took a moment, as did sorting out the details.
"You go through life for a while. It was something that happened a long time ago," Everett said Tuesday. "DNA was brought up. Found out he’s my son. As a father, my job is to step up and take care of him. That’s what I’m doing."
Everett declined to discuss any aspect of the relationship with Aiden’s mother but had no problem taking about how this new responsibility changed him.
"Brings you to adulthood," he said. "Makes you get your priorities in order."
Learning the ins and outs of this parenting gig comes at a point in his career where Everett’s football knowledge base is expanding.
"It’s just more understanding," Everett said. "As you get older that’s what you have to do, understand more. Can’t just be all physical. Have to understand the game."
Everett is now learning the defense, learning the fits, learning where he and others are supposed to be on the field. Last training camp Washington shifted the college cornerback to safety.
"We had to find a spot for him because he’s so valuable on special teams," head coach Jay Gruden said. "He’s one of our best players [on special teams]."
At safety, Everett is part of a crowded backup mix with veterans Will Blackmon and DeAngelo Hall along with fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson.
"He’s doing better. He really is," Gruden said of Everett’s safety play. "Got the big pick against Philadelphia [in Week 14). …We know he can hit. Now it’s a matter of him (covering). I like where Deshazor is going, but I love him on special teams."
Everett’s 2017 goals are simple and beyond special teams play.
"More time, more plays, more big hits," he said.
And there will be more time to hang out with Aiden. As for father-son goals, there’s a specific one he’s achieved and cannot wait to replicate.
“Putting a smile on someone’s face who looks up to you," Everett said.