Only option is to prepare for no Andrews

Per Jeff McLane over at Birds' Eye ViewShawn Andrews feels the media's being a little rough on him.

And that's OK.

What's more important is that Andrews says he's mentally strong and is going to "kick some butt" when he returns.

It's probably a good thing if Andrews is mad at the media and wants to prove people wrong. Athletes perform better when they have a chip on their shoulders.

Plus, Andrews is right to a certain degree. People -- both fans and the media -- have questioned his desire to get back on the field. Anyone who listens to sports-talk radio, reads comments on blogs or has a general pulse on the fans would agree with that.

Andrews probably could have quieted some of those grumblings by speaking up earlier. He addressed the media when veterans reported to Lehigh a few weeks ago. Then the next day, we were told his back tightened up during a morning run, and he never made a public appearance after that. To my knowledge, this is the first time we've really heard from him about the injury. Reporters saw him on the treadmill from time to time at Lehigh, but he never really spoke at length about what was going on with the back.

Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, meanwhile, were unable to say when Andrews would get back on the field. And today, Andrews himself could not give a timetable.

The only way fans, the media, coaches and teammates can approach the situation is to prepare to play without Andrews. And that's what the Eagles have been doing. If he comes back and plays great, wonderful. But it's not something they can really count on, given the way this thing has played out over the past three weeks or so.


**'s Ross Tucker has an interesting take on the Michael Vick situation. All along, we've asked whether Vick's production on the field this season will justify all the other things that go along with signing him. Tucker suggests maybe the Eagles are providing a one-year home for Vick:

Maybe the idea is that Vick doesn't even play very much this year and the Eagles are just a one-year stop to rehabilitate his image, hone his craft and assimilate him back into a professional football environment. I can live with that, but can Eagles fans? If McNabb is anything less than perfect? I doubt it.

** Practice is back at the NovaCare Complex, which means I don't attend. But the folks at Eagletarian and Birds' Eye View have you covered. Both have reports up from today's session.

** Some of you who don't live in the Philadelphia area have asked for more details from Thursday's preseason game. Unfortunately, I was scrambling with the Vick stuff, and while I had the game on, I wasn't able to pay as close attention as I'd have liked. I'm going to go over the replay tonight or tomorrow and promise to post with a detailed take.