Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Westbrook, Andrews, and the Preseason Opener

It was a hectic Friday, with Brian Westbrook signing, Shawn Andrews apparently returning, and somewhere in there, the Birds playing their preseason opener.

Westbrook, Andrews, and the Preseason Opener

   Sitting in the Pittsburgh airport on a lovely Saturday morning, your Eagletarian has finally had a chance to gather his thoughts after a whirlwind Friday. There's nothing quite like writing a story about a complicated contract, while phoning around trying to figure out what's new on Shawn Andrews, while also trying to keep track of a game going on in front of you.

   I'm not too sure, but I'm pretty sure A.J. Feeley tried to force that last-gasp pass into coverage to Reno Mahe. What's that? It was Bam Childress? Same difference.

    By now, you've probably heard all about Westbrook's contract. My favorite part was how Westy, who can be a bit of a contrary, stubborn sort of guy, ended up not playing in the game because, even though the deal had been announced and his agent was accepting congratulations, BWest was going over the fine print line by line, "making sure what they said was in there was in there."

   Wonder how the coaches' pregame conversation with Correll Buckhalter went?

   "Uh, Buck, looks like Brian is only up to page 26, and we're done with warmups. How would you like to start tonight?"

   Other observations from the evening:

    *Sounds like when Andrews arrives, he won't go right back on the field, until Eagles doctors have evaluated the Pro Bowl right guard, who has said he is suffering from depression. I think the Birds are really anxious to see what kind of shape Andrews is in, and what his outlook is.

     *I thought Donovan McNabb and Lorenzo Booker looked good, o-line was OK with Max Jean-Gilles filling in for Andrews, given we're talking about two series here.

    *As Andy Reid noted, the first d-line had some problems with the Steelers' blocking scheme; that first Pittsburgh drive looked like the bad old days of early last season. Stewart Bradley seemed active and effective at middle linebacker. Quintin Mikell isn't giving that starting strong safety job back to Sean Considine.

   *Special teams were a disappointment, in  all phases. Granted, there were guys running around out there who won't be on the team Also, granted, it's hard to really practice special teams in camp, because you don't really tackle. Still, flags fluttered constantly and neither kick returner Booker nor punt returner DeSean Jackson had any chance to do anything. Given the level of focus on this area, not a good evening.

   *Jackson (five catches, 51 yards) will be a factor at wideout. He was pumped to make his NFL debut, even though it was preseason, in the city where his parents grew up, before they moved to California.

  *Lito Sheppard got beat in coverage and took a 15--yard facemask penalty on the opening drive. Joe Banner says the contract is in the mail.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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