Nov 8, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT
Fresh off the heels of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation, former Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews is accusing his ex-teammates of mistreating him during his time in Philadelphia.
Of all people, Andrews had plenty to say about Donovan McNabb — albeit without ever saying much of anything.
Andrews went on 97.5 The Fanatic Friday afternoon and, in an interview with Mike Missanelli, accused his teammates, specifically McNabb, of spreading lies about his health, his eating habits and other assorted topics.
Quick refresher: The Eagles selected Andrews with the 16th pick pf the 2004 draft, and although he was a three-time Pro Bowler, he played only five seasons with the team. Andrews not only dealt with his physical health issues while in Philadelphia, but also mental health issues. This 2009 New York Times article details Andrews’ battles with depression, which were well-noted during his career as an Eagle.
Fast-forward to Friday and Andrews was asked if he had ever encountered treatment similar to what Martin went through down in Miami.
“I think this will be my first time on record saying that, but I did. I did. I faced a lot of that. … “But I’ll tell you what I faced. I worked with — I have to use my words carefully — but I worked with a lot of guys who didn’t have everybody’s best interests at heart. The only guy I could trust on that team was flat out Brian Dawkins. Now you imagine. I’m going to tell you this and you can maybe figure it out and try to decode it. Would you want to go to work at a place where you’re putting your heart out every single day and the guy that you’re protecting is saying things behind your back that isn’t true?”
Asked specifically if he was referring to McNabb, Andrews said “yes.” But when pressed for specifics, Andrews struggled, often repeated that he has to “choose his words carefully,” and then remained unfocused and often rambled. For example, asked to describe what McNabb ever did to him, he answered:
“Man, where do I start? … I always think, if I was one of the first guys to get a $100 million contract, I’ve got endorsements, I’m on commercials, is that not enough attention in and of itself?”
Eventually, Andrews described how his teammates allegedly lied about his eating habits during a contract negotiation. Andrews says he had stopped going to McDonald’s months beforehand but that his teammates told team officials that he was eating fast food every day after practice.
“Bullying is a strong word. I wouldn’t consider it bullying. [But you're] putting everything you have on the line for another person, and that person is saying some very, very, very untrue things about you to other guys … how would that make you feel?
Here’s a slightly more concrete example. Andrews did not report to training camp in 2008. He later revealed that he was battling depression and ultimately sought a return to the team. He went to coach Andy Reid and asked if he could address the locker room.
“He gave me the floor for however long I needed. It may have taken me 15-20 minutes to say what I needed to say, but one of the leaders on the team — how does it make you feel when he’s sitting there, looking you in the eye, rolling his eyes at everything you say, when you’re pouring your heart out as a man amongst men, and he (McNabb) just rolls his eyes and blows you off.”
He says he eventually sought recourse, although he did not say when.
“I went and asked Coach Reid for a trade. It goes far beyond the locker room. People think it’s a band of brothers. But these are my co-workers and I understood that really early on. And you can’t trust anybody.”
So, did he ever confront McNabb?
“I did. … He did what most people would do — he denied it. But there’s just so much evidence, man.”
And that’s really where this story breaks down. Andrews repeatedly asserted mistreatment at the hands of his teammates, but much of what was described seems to lack a particular gravity. It’s likely that he and Donovan McNabb did not get along, but it’s unclear it’s anything more than that. Although none of us were privy to their interactions, McNabb also seems pretty low on the list of guys you would think of as potentially being “a bully.”
Finally, there’s the issue of Andrews as a potentially unreliable narrator, which he addresses:
“I been thinking about this before the interview, like how my credibility is under question. … But I’ve really been trying figure out how I want to say this stuff and it’s just a whole lot. … “I’m of a very sound mind and body.”
Is this anything more than a misunderstanding? Is it anything more than pettiness? Is it anything more than the typical shit co-workers talk behind each other’s backs in every work environment across America? Maybe. Maybe not. But Andrews seem to think it is, and all we have is what he’s offering. Other than this:
What are your thoughts on this Miami controversy? Who was wrong and or who was right? — Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) November 8, 2013
Add Shawn Andrews to the list of former Eagles who have a problem with Donovan McNabb.
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