Aug 092010

August 9 Philadelphia Daily News

“No Eagle will encounter more skeptics over the next few months, as he settles into a starting job, than Stacy Andrews.

Kevin Kolb? No, most Birds fans are eager to see what the new quarterback can do, hopeful that if he drives them crazy, at least he’ll do it in different ways than Donovan McNabb.

But after last season, no one is eager to see Stacy Andrews play right guard – except maybe Stacy Andrews, and Eagles coach Andy Reid. (And, too, perhaps ex-Eagle Shawn Andrews, if the Birds are on TV on a day when it’s raining out in Southern California, and “SpongeBob” is in reruns.)

The rest of Eagles Nation made up its mind about the time Stacy, the $39 million free-agent signee, couldn’t get on the field, except on special teams, for those devastating, back-to-back losses to Dallas that ended the 2009 season – even though the Birds were starting two subs on the o-line. Fairly or unfairly, Stacy was quickly lumped in with brother Shawn, a dominant Pro Bowl guard whose career drifted into limbo, in the face of serious back troubles and waning ardor.

Stacy Andrews certainly knows how he is perceived. If he had any lingering doubts, there was the matter of that pay cut last winter, Andrews agreeing to a contract readjustment to stay on the roster, keeping a $4.1 million roster bonus but reducing his salary this year from $2.95 million to $1.15 million.

“I have high goals set for myself, man,” said Andrews, who seems to be looking pretty solid in training camp so far. “I gotta prove to the organization that I’m gonna be the guy that’s gonna do the job. Gotta prove it to myself, my family, fans. It’s going to pan out. I’m not worried about people being down on me, because I’ve been in that position my whole life.”

Andrews noted that as a thrower of the discus, hammer and shot at Ole Miss who converted late to football and played just five college games, he is used to having a lot to prove to skeptics.

We might never know the whole story of why he couldn’t even handle spot duty on the line last year without taking a penalty or looking overmatched. Reid talks about Andrews getting faith back in his right knee, rebuilt just before he signed with the Eagles. Andrews talks more about how raw he was as a guard, having played mostly tackle in four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, having little familiarity with the concepts Eagles offensive-line coach Juan Castillo was stressing.”

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