Stacy Andrews spent all of last year refusing the blame his ACL injury for his inability to make a significant contribution to the team's success. He blamed it on learning offensive line coach Juan Castillo's scheme. In reality, the knee was the primary reason Andrews wasn't able to make an impact.
"It was a mixture of things. It was the ACL surgery and the rehabbing. It's was getting the technique down and the scheme," Andrews said. "It was different things, a mixture of things that slowed me down a little bit, Mainly coming off the ACL, trying to get comfortable with that again."
Signed as a big-ticket free agent last off-season, Andrews didn't want to make excuses. Despite all of his long hours in the training room, the ACL injury - suffered late in the 2008 season - was just too tough to bounce back from.
Andrews won't make any excuses now because he knows he can't. This year is the time to prove that Andrews was worth the massive investment.
"Now it's time for me to put up or shut up. I've got to go out there and do my thing. I've got to prove to me first and foremost and to the organization and my family that I'm going to get out there and get it done," Andrews said.
Andrews is the first-team right guard at the post-draft mini-camp. He wasn't able to take part in these practices at this time a year ago. Andrews said that it wasn't until late in the 2009 season when he became comfortable with his knee and with what was asked of him on the field. Of course, by that point, it was too late for the Eagles to trust Andrews in the lineup. They instead went with Max Jean-Gilles at right guard after Nick Cole was moved to center to account for the loss of Jamaal Jackson.
But if you noticed that none of the 13 draft picks this year were spent on offensive linemen. The Eagles' faith in Andrews is a big reason for that.
It makes me feel good that they have faith in me. I got here early in the off-season to get everything going," Andrews said. "I feel real good. I can relax, not worry about the knee. I can just go out there and play. I got the system down. I've been working with Juan on the technique all off-season so I feel real comfortable."
With the departure of Andrews' brother, Shawn, this off-season, there are fans who believe that Stacy will follow in his brother's footsteps. That kind of talk doesn't concern Andrews.
"Not at all. I've been criticized all my career, starting with college, when I got drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals," Andrews said. "I just brush it off."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 9:50 a.m., May 1