The longer Shawn Andrews' absence from Eagles camp remains unexplained, the wilder the speculation will get. As crazy a notion as it seems, sometimes just telling the truth is a good idea.
Shawn Andrews has been abducted by aliens.
Shawn Andrews is attending a convention of fellow SpongeBob Squarepants admirers, dressed as Squidward.
Shawn Andrews is quitting football to launch a singing career.
Shawn Andrews wants offensive line coach Juan Castillo to use his "inside voice" once in a while instead of yelling so much.
You probably haven't heard any of these rumors about the Eagles' right guard's failure to show when vets reported to training camp Thursday evening. But you probably have heard or read some sort of speculation, with equal grounding in fact.
The problem with saying a guy is missing for "personal reasons" as the Eagles and agent Rich Moran have said about Andrews, is that when you say the absence is unexcused, which the team made clear, you really open the floodgates for speculation. A guy with a seriously ill grandma, for example, usually gets his absence excused. So the longer this goes, the more salacious the rumors are going to become.
Here's a novel idea: Why not just say what's going on? Family issue, emotional health issue, girlfriend issue -- it could hardly be worse than what people are going to come up with on their own. Nature and gossip abhor a vacuum.
Meanwhile, with Friday's only workout (closed to the public, but your Eagletarian will be given the wonderful privilege of watching, and he'll tell you all about it) scheduled for 3:30, as far as we know, Brian Westbrook and Lito Sheppard are still in camp.
Westbrook's agent, Todd France, still isn't returning phone calls. Let's hope he's hard at work negotiating.
But the teens the Eagles bring in to help vets cart stuff from their cars to the dorms have finally figured out how to free the portable, blue fabric-covered hyperbaric chamber Westbrook stuffed into the back seat of his BMW, and it is officially set up in Westbrook's room.
Fortunately, it was a 7-series BMW and the back seat was just big enough to hold the chamber, deflated. I don't know about you, but Eagletarian just hates it when guys try to stuff their hyperbaric chambers into the back seats of 5-series Beemers. Everybody knows you need a 7 for that.
Meanwhile, in all the Westbrook-Sheppard-Andrews hubbub, Eagletarian sort of glossed over offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's news conference yesterday. And Eagletarian feels bad about that. So here's some Marty, to get your weekend party started:
Mornhinweg made it clear that red zone imporvement is a big focus this year.
“Well, we don’t hope and wish. We weren’t very good in the red zone. We were very good in many other factors of the game, but that red zone was not good. That starts with me," he said. "We always change. If something’s wrong we’re going to fix it, and we did that throughout the season and thought we had it clicking there about midseason and then we reverted back. And so yes, we’ve done many things there to improve our red zone production.”
Mornhinweg spoke of "a certain philosophical approach to the red zone, and we broke down in some of those cases.”