Throughout the off-season, PhiladelphiaEagles.com will take a look at players who are to be closely looked at heading into the 2009 campaign. Today, we feature two-time Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews ...*
After missing most of the 2008 season, Eagles guard Shawn Andrews will feel the heat of the spotlight in 2009.
"The Big Kid," who is signed through 2015, is an integral part of the Eagles' plans for the future. Considering that tackles Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas are scheduled to become free agents on Feb. 27, whether that future is at guard or tackle remains to be seen.
"I'm an athlete," Andrews said at the end of the season. "I've played tackle before. Of course, it's different from college to the professional level, but it's still tackle. There are a lot of guys that play the position that are just brute athletes and just being an athlete alone can help you take care of quicker defensive ends that are stronger nowadays in the NFL."
Andrews battled depression in training camp but he fought through that to start the first two games of the season. But his season was over almost before it began; Andrews injured his back on an extra point attempt in the first half of the Week 2 matchup at Dallas and never got back on the field.
He missed the rest of the season after having to undergo back surgery, but he said that he has a whole new outlook after sitting out most of the season.
"I'm very excited about where I feel I'm going to be and where I'm going to get myself to," Andrews said. "I have a whole new attitude about everything right now. It's going to be a brand new attitude and a brand new me."
The goal for Andrews in the off-season is to get himself back in playing shape and to be prepared mentally for the rigors of a tough NFL season.
"First of all, I have to get myself all the way back 100 percent healthy and sturdy and then I have to bring my mental aspect of the game with me," Andrews said. "Just come back with a different attitude, way different than what I had last year and, like I said, I'm a new being and (I have) a new state-of-mind and I just have to come with that everyday."