The BIG lead: Shawn Andrews says he isn't crazy. Brian Westbrook is back practicing. And Michael Vick is ... well Michael Vick -- and that's OK with Kevin Kolb.
Amazingly, on the day of Vick's first practice as an Eagle and Westbrook's return, Andrews managed to steal a little of the spotlight. The tackle, who hasn't practice all of camp because of a sore back, sorta, kinda, in that Shawn Andrews way, went off on the media.
"A lot of you guys with the ink pens have questioned my mental toughness," Andrews said. "A lot of guys with ink pens who never put on a jock strap and never played any football don’t really understand."
A google search did not produce a story that supported Andrews' claim -- except for maybe a blogger or two (and they don't count ... hey, wait, I'm blogging).
Andrews went on.
"Yeah, a lot of you guys with the ink pens question my mental toughness," Andrews said. "I know a lot of people are trying to keep their jobs and do good for their paper, so I guess it’s OK. It’s tough when a guy can’t defend himself. People just kind of make me out to be a nut case. It’s all right. I’m content with myself and where God wants me to be."
Enough of me. Let's just let Andrews' words speak for themselves:
HOW SERIOUS IS HE ABOUT BEING IN THIS GAME?
"I’ve already made that clear. There is a reason why my brother [Stacy] is here, there is a reason why my college teammate [Jason Peters] who I used to dominate with is here and this year I’ve been more excited to play football than I have in my life. I’m playing a new position [right tackle] and just knowing I did everything in my power this offseason to get back. People are just being humans – very unforgiving humans – they look at people with depression as craziness. That’s OK, I’m all right with Shawn Andrews."
DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE LINKING YOU’RE INJURY TO YOUR DEPRESSION?
"That’s what everybody is making it out to be. I’m really over it and all the outside pressures, I don’t feel it because I’m content and I know that I’m doing and have done everything in my power to get back. It’s the world we live in."
WHO HAS HE LEANED ON TO GET THROUGH THIS TIME?
"I don’t want to be all philosophical, but I’m leaning on the Lord right now. It’s really funny how people sit back and criticize when they can’t even hold one of my shoes – size 17 shoes. It’s OK. I’m at peace with myself.
"For the record, Shawn Andrews is not crazy. Shawn Andrews is mentally strong now and Shawn Andrews is helping other people with their depression."
HOW IS HE HELPING ON PEOPLE?
"People hit me up on social sites and they know it’s the real me and just when I see people, ‘Hey, I’m going through this, what do you think about this?’ I have a couple close friends from back in college out in the real world now going through things: ‘I’m depressed, can you help me?’ Yes, I’ll help."
As for his injury, Andrews said he doesn't know exactly when he'll be back, but that when he comes back he's going to "kick some butt."
Meanwhile, there's been a drum beat for the Eagles to bring back Jon Runyan. The former Birds tackle, who had off-season knee surgery, was recently cleared to run and could practice in a week or so. The Eagles kept Runyan's old locker stall up during OTAs in the spring, but his space next to Andrews' stall has been removed now that the team is back from Lehigh.
As for Westbrook, coach Andy Reid said that the running back would jump back into limited individual drills, but will not partake in team functions. Reid intimated that Westbrook, who is recovering from off-season ankle surgery, could play today if warranted, but that the Eagles plan on easing him into a full return. He didn't rule out Westbrook playing in a preseason game, although that is highly unlikely.
"If he could play, that would be great," Reid said.
Westbrook had said that he would talk as soon as he returned to practice, but he declined to speak today. "We'll do something soon," he said. "I'm feeling good."
A few quick notes on Vick, who had his introduction yesterday.
-- Reid said that Vick participated in walk-throughs this morning and did some lifting. The quarterback -- yes, he's a quarterback, Reid said -- will practice as an Eagle in a few moments here.
-- Kolb is still the No. 2 QB -- for now. Reid said Vick's conditioning wasn't so bad considering he hasn't played in over two years. "I think [Vick] would tell you that he needs to lose two pounds," Reid said.
-- The more advanced Wildcat package that the Eagles ran during camp wasn't done in anticipation of Vick's arrival. DeSean Jackson was most often used in that role pre-Vick. But Reid did say Vick could be used in that package (Duh). "I think it's a good wrinkle," he said. Just don't call it the "Wildcat" around Donovan McNabb.
-- Reid didn't think the addition of Vick had caused any distraction on the team. "I felt a little bit of energy [from the players]," he said.
Kolb said that he welcomes Vick aboard. Reid took Kolb aside before the news broke and told him his place as the No. 2 QB wouldn't change. (Let's see how the reps are split.) Reid wouldn't concede that former third stringer A.J. Feeley was the odd man out.
"I trust Andy and know that he's doing the best thing for our team and trust what he's told me in my position," Kolb said. "The biggest thing, personally for me, is to get back out on the field."
Kolb is recovering from an MCL sprain in his knee. Reid said he worked out a little this morning and should be back soon.
Aside from Westbrook, defensive end Victor Abiamiri (pectoral muscle) and defensive tackle Trevor Laws (hamstring) will return to this afternoon's practice after missing all of training camp plus the first preseason game. The following players won't practice, but are progressing, according to Reid: tight end Brent Celek (AC shoulder sprain), defensive end Trent Cole (AC shoulder sprain), guard Todd Herremans (foot stress reaction), tackle Jason Peters (quadriceps sprain) and defensive end Brian Smith (concussion).
Reid said that Celek and Cole are day-to-day. He said that Herremans won't play in Thursday's preseason game at the Colts. And he said that Peters' reaggravating his quad wasn't as bad as they had thought.