New Giant Shawn Andrews insists he’s a competitor

Posted: August 23, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - He had yet to take a hit or absorb a block, but Shawn Andrews had his reconstructed back up before his first live practice with the Giants, his new team, this afternoon.

Andrews' message: He's tough, and he wants to play football, and anyone working for or supporting the Eagles who questions his message is dead wrong.

"I'm excited," Andrews said this morning, standing in front of his new locker with it's shiny "NY" helmet hung on a peg behind him. "I just think back to how I felt after my first surgery. After my second surgery. Getting up, with a reservoir in my back, draining blood. Just that whole feeling. I don't want to go through it again.

"I'm here for a reason. I'm a competitor. People telling me I don't want to play football anymore, that I don't have a love for the game . . . Me being back speaks for itself, I think so."

Andrews, the two-time Pro Bowl guard who underwent a second back operation in December, insists that he failed no physical in March; that, in fact, he took no physical in March; that he was at the beginning of a therapy track that had just begun, when the Eagles released him.

Of course, the Eagles never have publicly said that Andrews failed a physical. It was Andrews himself Friday who asserted that the Eagles released him because of a failed physical.

Andrews' is an interesting universe, no?

It was a universe in flux until Friday, when the Giants signed him.

It was a universe thrown askew in a short telephone conversation in March when the Birds informed Andrews that he was being released. Andrews did not expect it, he said.

Perhaps the Eagles were "swayed," he said, by what he perceived to be a fan base eager for his departure, and insisted that there is "no bad blood. I don't want no 'Shawn versus the Eagles going on.' "

After two back surgeries since 2008, he said he hopes to play for 5 to 8 more years – the first step, obviously, coming Friday when the Giants signed him.

Assuming he remains healthy and can absorb enough of the new offense – he'll also switch from the right side to the left for the first time since he played in college – Andrews said he hopes to play Saturday when the Giants visit the Ravens.

Also, pointedly, he said that he hopes that anyone who doubted him – including members of the Philadelphia press corps, which was represented today – will reassess their perspective, and re-evaluate themselves.

"You know, it's funny. Even some of the guys I developed a good relationship with in the media in Philly, it's like, 'Shawn's a G-man now, so, let's ride the wave of 'He didn't want to play football. He stole money.' How did I steal money from the Eagles organization? It's not like I held a gun to their head and said, 'Hey, keep me here.' I had a back injury. I went through a depression. That's a thing of the past.

"Everybody has trials in life. I've found that all the people who point fingers – they really have something going on, as well. I just pray for them. That's what I do. That's what I do, guys."

Then he folded his hands in prayer, bowed to his questioners and went to lunch.

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