Philadelphia has been openly discontent with the saga of Shawn Andrews. Despite fan frustration, his proven domination on the field was enough to earn him another chance in 2009.
Most fans called for his release after the Eagles took no risks in placing him on the injured reserve list for the second straight season.
It's nice to remember the good times however far removed, like the seasons in which Brian Westbrook flourished behind a healthy mauling Andrews. Although brief, Shawn Andrews' playing career was marked by well deserved Pro Bowls and one of the most exciting running games in Eagles history.
But Andrews struggled to maintain.
Andrews had a well documented history of depression and back pain. As a person, you can feel for a guy with his potential that had his career diminished by such conditions. As a fan, you can be frustrated to see the Eagles continually invest in a player that returns no reward for so long.
Fans were very hard on "The Big Kid", as Andrews failed to show up on the field in the last two seasons. Their widespread speculation scorned him for exaggerating his woes, but it's not for us to know all the facts on the subject. Shawn recently had another procedure on his back and I would guess it's a very real problem, perhaps more so than he would admit.
One thing is clear.
Winston Justice has done his part to win over the confidence of this coaching staff and his position on the offensive line looks very secure. It was a great relief to see him step up in 2009.
It also puts the Eagles on the market for more offensive line depth.
Fenuki Topou, Dallas Reynolds, and Mike McGlynn will have a much better chance of seeing playing time, but I would expect the Eagles to snatch up a veteran lineman for depth at some point and consider a lineman with at least their sixth-round draft pick.
There is no question that Andy Reid loves his offensive line.
As for Shawn, I will wish him well and better health. I always root for that underdog to dispel the rhetoric of the hecklers, especially an Eagle. We will undoubtedly miss what Andrews could do for this team.
That stings a bit, but no real surprise.
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