Big Kid Goes Off

Posted: November 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 38 Comments »

Former Eagles OG Shawn Andrews was interviewed by Mike Missanelli on 97.5 and had some interesting things to say.

You can go here to listen.

Andrews ripped on his teammates, although Donovan McNabb is the only one he singled out. Andrews said that McNabb was bad-mouthing him to players on other teams around the league. Andrews said that teammates lied about his eating habits to the organization when Andrews was trying to re-negotiate his deal.

Missanelli kept talking about Andrews being bullied in the locker room, but to Andrews credit, he said that wasn’t the case. He wasn’t trying to jump on the bullying bandwagon. Andrews agenda seemed to be trying to clear his name. He developed a bad reputation in his final few years in Philly and that bothers him.

Here’s the deal with Andrews. He put out the image of a kid, thus the nickname Big Kid. He did and said some goofy things. In the summer of 2007 he told the media he was facing a possibly career-ending injury. A few weeks later he returned and told the media he had been joking with them. Because of his persona, no one knew what to make of that.

Check out this old story from some weirdo named BountyBowl.

The summer of 2008 led to more drama. Andrews decided not to report to Lehigh. Some in the organization felt he was sending the team a message about wanting another raise. Andrews said he was battling depression and had sought help. Les Bowen wrote about the situation.

Andrews did return to the team for the season, but teammates had a hard time accepting Andrews story. He missed Training Camp and that was back when TC was a really tough time for players. Andrews did make it back for the season. You can see where some people would have a hard time with a goofy kid who seemed happy-go-lucky skipping camp because of depression. His personality and previous actions didn’t mesh with what they were being told.

Then Andrews hurt his back in Week 2. He didn’t play again that year. That didn’t set well with teammates. At least one former OL thought Shawn was healthy enough to play and simply didn’t want to. The perception in the locker room is that Andrews didn’t like playing football. It was something he did to pay the bills, but his heart wasn’t in it.

Think about the guys on the OL. You had small school players Jamaal Jackson and Todd Herremans who were desperate to be on the field. Jon Runyan hadn’t missed a game as an Eagle. Tra Thomas was the early pick and star LT, but even he was a pro’s pro. Andrews had a very different personality from this group and he was the most brittle. Neither thing endeared him to his linemates.

I can’t speak to the accusation that McNabb ripped on Andrews to others around the league. I’ve never heard about that from any of my sources. I certainly can believe it, mainly because Andrews wasn’t the most beloved teammate. Guys didn’t know what to make of him.

There is no disputing the fact that Andrews was a great player. He is the best OG I’ve ever seen play for the Eagles. Andrews was the complete package. He could drive block. He could get out in space and block on the move. He had very good feet and was outstanding in pass protection.

We will all have a different reaction to the interview. I thought Andrews sounded odd and defensive. I don’t think he did himself any favors. He praised Andy Reid, Brian Dawkins and the Eagles organization, but ripped on his teammates. Had Andrews said there were a few guys he didn’t care for, but that most were good guys, that would have come across better. The way he seemed mad at almost all of his teammates hurt his credibility with me.

I was glad to hear that Andrews is happy in Little Rock and is satisfied with being a good husband and father. He seems to have found his place in the world. Good for him.

It will be interesting to see if any former Eagles ever write a book or do an interview and go on the record with their thoughts on Andrews.

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  • JulzPE

    Weirdo is such a great word… Sorry BB.

    • T_S_O_P

      And people say Mental Health is misunderstood.

      • jshort

        In the NFL keep it in house. Martin had to be crazy going public like that. A good example, poor Incognito, he’s crazy , he didn’t go public with his bullying problems. Don’t think I’ve ever said Mental Health is misunderstood. Me, I’m filled with compassion:)
        Better find myself something to do today, this is nuts.

      • JulzPE

        Because… I like the sound of the word?

  • ICDogg

    It really is an interesting parallel to the Martin situation in Miami. This article by Jason La Canfora speaks to the locker room culture

    http://mweb.cbssports.com/nfl/writer/jason-la-canfora/24204258/locker-room-culture-under-scrutiny-in-wake-of-martin-incognito-flap-

    … And we also know that Martin was a little different, not quite of the group, and that they called him “Big Weirdo” — meant with humor or not — and wondered if he was really cut out for the rigors of the NFL and the Dolphins’ burly offensive-line room in particular. He was a little “soft” or perhaps too sensitive in their eyes …

    • SteveH

      There are some similarities, but what Incognito did is somewhat more… disturbed. Leaving voicemails talking about how you’re going to kill a persons family members is just bizarre. That’s beyond bullying, its just frightening.

    • TommyLawlor

      One other difference is that Shawn was a great player. I’m guessing he got along pretty well with everyone in 2005 and 2006. He played lights out and there was no drama.

      • ICDogg

        I’m not saying that Shawn wasn’t partially responsible for the perceptions about him… but I think a lot of those perceptions were wrong.

        For example, the ankle injury. According to the interview, this was a matter of screws failing as a result of being too undersized to handle his weight. The doctor who put in the undersized screws probably should have been accountable for malpractice. Who wouldn’t be upset, depressed, whatever, if that had been done to them?

    • Anders

      Agree that his persona didnt fit, but I doubt AR ever asked any Eagles players too toughen up Andrews (who would dare? consider how strong and big he was).

      Andrews’ and Martin’s biggest problem is that most people, not just NFL players, have zero clue on how to react with people who have depression or is very introvert (sounds like Martin suffers either from social anxiety or similar disease)

      • ACViking

        It’s possible that the Dolphins’ problem with Martin — and I mean line-mates and ass’t coaches — began when he missed the May 2012 voluntarily mini-camp.

        Martin stayed school to take his finals. Go figure. I’m guessing that puts him in a very exclusive NFL club of players who care about their education.

        • Anders

          Isnt that an NFL rule? Ertz and Poyer missed mini camps and OTAs because of the NFL rule about graduation and because Stanford has a quarter system, they finish later than schools with semesters,

          • Adam

            Only if you’re a senior. As a senior you’re not allowed to report to your team until after the class graduates.

          • ICDogg

            yes, that is correct, if he was a senior.

    • JJ_Cake

      Yeah, but the parallel stops where his team mates focused their “torment” on the man (“Big Weirdo”), and not his ethnicity and family. As much as I don’t like McNabb’s celebrity persona, I don’t think that guy would say any of the awful things we’ve heard come from the Dolphins crew.

      Some amount of perceived bullying, hazing, or joshing around at the pro athlete level is going to happen, and is probably ok. An athlete shows up to camp out of shape and guys call him “fatso”, “get in shape fatso”, is that bullying? maybe. Is it crossing a line…. in my opinion (and I suspect most of you and NFL players, no).

      Team sport. Is a team mate being aloof and weird? Treating him as a weirdo, or picking on the man is not a crime in my opinion. Now if everyone on his team is going to vegas hooking up with drugs and hookers and he doesn’t want to be part of that scene, yeah, he probably doesn’t fit with those dudes and probably ought to find a different work place environment.

      But even if the dude is an intellectual type, and doesn’t fit with a thug group of guys, there are plenty of thugs who would not be accepting of any dude using racial epithets. Getting hot, and wanting to bust someone up, or toughen a guy up and push and shove a bit to get some fire out… that’s what I’d expect from the NFL. But saying N**** or how your going to do some awful things to a guys mom and sister…. facts were there and Dolphins were still defending Incognito. Ridiculous and deplorable!

  • SteveH

    It’s hard to know what to make of Andrews, so I guess I just feel like he made the best decision for him and its a shame it had to work out that way for the team.

  • Weapon Y

    It’s disappointing that Andrews couldn’t last in the NFL. He had big time, Hall of Fame ability and might still be playing for us if he didn’t have to deal with issues. Imagine having him on the line with Peters and Mathis.

    • Gary

      Best part of that would be that we never would have drafted Danny Watkins.

  • austinfan

    Shawn had a couple back surgeries, so it turned out he wasn’t blowing smoke. I think his problem was he was so big and talented, his teammates just couldn’t get what was going on, it looked easy on the outside, but for all the goofiness, this was a kid who overcame a weight problem to get into great shape, dominated, then physically fell apart. So he must have had a lot of frustration, which maybe he covered up by acting nonchalant. Gets drafted high onto a great team, breaks his ankle as a rookie, out of shape his second season, gets back into shape in 2006, then the back started kicking in.

    • TommyLawlor

      Andrews was a mess during his final year at Arkansas. He was almost 400 pounds, but then lost a ton of weight to get ready for the NFL. He could be really focused when he wanted to.

      Back injuries are really complex because there is no broken bone to x-ray or torn ligament to MRI.

    • Michael Jorden

      I talk to Andrews on twitter once in a while. His back issues were no joke from what I gather. I’m surprised a little at the tone of his interview from what I’ve heard – I was under the impression from talking to him that he was pretty much at peace with his time with the Eagles and everything that went down. I guess not so much.
      I was pretty bitter about him with the depression at the time. His jersey owned a spot in the corner of my closet for awhile. I mean, to imagine not having to have dealt with so much of OL instability and rotating marginal guys in those years, and the drafting of Watkins.. Shawn would have made a big difference healthy and focused, even today. Well, I made peace with him too in the end.
      One thing that absolutely true though is that dude’s love of food. I’ve never seen anyone get so giddy, and just in love with food on a regular basis. Not sure what he weighs now, but his better against weight must be epic.

  • Eagles1991

    Tommy:

    Would you or anyone else here have a year by year average age for the birds…I am curious to see if we are getting younger or older. I would love to see the average age year by year over say, 10 yrs. If anyone has this info or know how to find it, please share….Sunday – Iggles 35 Packers 24

    • nicolajNN

      I don’t know about the last 10 years, but for I want to say the last 5 Jimmy has done breakdowns of the average age of all NFL teams, I suggest you go look at blogging the beast, or ask him on twitter

    • A_T_G

      I don’t know the data on team averages, but if you look at individual players, they get about 1.0 years older each season. The exception is Brent Celek, who appears to be gaining three years each season.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    All I thought was “self-serving.”

  • AZ_Eaglesfan

    “He is the best OG I’ve ever seen play for the Eagles.”

    PFF and Evan Mathis just put a hit out on you Tommy. Watch your back.

    • Thorin

      I’ll back Tommy up on that. Sean Andrews was the Jason Peters of o guards. They had plays in for him you couldn’t run with other guards. They had him pegged to become a tackle, but his guard play was phenomenal the 2 years before he broke down.

      • AZ_Eaglesfan

        I am not denying that is the truth at all. Was making a joke about PFF’s love for Evan Mathis actually…

    • Anders

      Mathis is good, but Andrews was one of the best guard I have ever watched. Andrews was 2011 Peters of guards (2011 Peters was one of the performances by a tackle in a long long time)

  • nicolajNN

    I won’t comment on whether what Shawn was saying was true, it might very well, but I don’t know. What I will say is that he came off kind of weirdly in the interview. It was a bit odd listening to it.

    • Michael Jorden

      He is a very sensitive guy and talks about his feelings a lot on different subjects. He also seems to be hyper-aware of how others perceive him and talk about him. All the stuff about him wanting to watch what he said or be careful of how he phrased certain things comes from that. He also seems to live in his own head a lot – the part where he said the interview hadn’t gone at all the way he had played it out in his head was a very Shawn thing to say. I’m sure he’s thought about what he wanted to say if given the opportunity many times for a long while, but when they came calling to get him to say he’d been bullied like Martin was.. it just didn’t go the way he had imagined it.

  • Mr. Magee

    It was probably just bad luck, but at the time Andrews hurt his back I couldn’t help but think it might not have happened had he been in camp getting ready for the season. In any event, I wasn’t surprised when he went down that year.

    Did he happen to mention anything about his brother? The circumstances under which he was brought to Phila, his experience here, etc?

    • Michael Jorden

      I was never under the impression Shawn was all that close to his brother. I think that a bill of goods Stacy sold to the Eagles. Just my opinion.

  • P_P_K

    Andrews has acknowledged he has a clinical mental illness, he imagines himself as a big child, and he tells a story about a career ending injury but later claims it was a joke. I take whatever he now says with a grain of salt.

  • ICDogg

    So, who ordered the Code Red?

    • ACViking

      You want the truth?

      • A Roy

        You can’t handle the truth.

  • xlGmanlx

    Consider the source

  • jshort

    Over at BGN, Tommy has a very nice piece on Foles