Shawn Andrews is on fire.
Holding court for a slew of reporters in front of his locker at the NovaCare Complex, Andrews treats the writers and cameramen to his thoughts on those who question his passion for football, the status of his back, whether he'll be on the field for the regular season opener, and his obligations as a teammate.
Andrews was asked if, in the long run, he might be better off health-wise by not participating in any preseason games or practices, and he spouted off a beauty.
"I would be pretty pissed off if I felt like a guy was cheating himself or cheating the team," Andrews said. "We're a team. Even if I was flipping burgers or something and you're not passing the meat, I'd be like, 'Hey we're a team. We gotta flip these burgers.'"
The point is clear. Andrews is offended by those who question his commitment to the team, because he's doing his best to get back on the field. Andrews visited a back specialist in California last week and received two shots to relieve pain, and has been undergoing acupuncture treatments.
"You tell me that's a guy who doesn't want to play football," Andrews said about receiving the shots. "Tell me that's a guy who doesn't want to play alongside his brother (Stacy Andrews), his college teammate (Jason Peters), Jamaal (Jackson), Todd (Herremans). I mean what more could you ask for?"
But Andrews doesn't worry about any outside voices.
"I don't pay attention to anything positive or negative they say about Shawn," Andrews said. "If I've never been motivated in my life, I'm motivated now."
And Andrews says he is more than pleased with the progress of his back, and he expects to be back on the field soon.
"I think it's coming up here real soon," Andrews said. "I think I'm getting to that point where I might be able to take on a bull rush or two."
The Eagles brought in Andrews' brother Stacy to play right guard and Peters, a pro bowl left tackle, in an effort to mold a dominating offensive line. And Shawn Andrews can't wait to see the full lineup in action.
"We can be great," he said. "I'm really, really excited about where we can go."
Even though he hasn't been able to join the rest of the line in practice yet, Andrews said the group has been working together closely in the classroom and he thinks they have a good feel for each other.
"I'm just doing the extra things that I need to do to get ready mentally," Andrews said. "Physically, that's not the issue.
"I'm happy right now, and I'll be even happier when I'm back on the field."
Andrews has been on the field the last two days rehabbing with strength and conditioning coach Rick Burkholder, and he is beyond pleased with the progress. When asked if he expects to be on the field September 13th when the Eagles open the regular season in Carolina against the Panthers, Andrews didn't pull any punches.
"If I had to guess," he said, "I think I would say 'Hell yeah.'"