ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Two-time Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews is giving football one last shot and it’s going to be with the New York Giants.
After working out the former Philadelphia Eagles star at training camp, the Giants signed Andrews early Friday morning, giving depth to a line that now seemingly has more good players than starting spots.
Andrews has a lot to prove, too. The 27-year-old has not played since early in the 2008 season, missing all but two games the last two years because of back problems that required two surgeries.
“I am laying it all on the line, not that I haven’t before,” Andrews said. “This is it. The Giants are going to get everything from me.”
There is no doubt Andrews is a talent. He also has baggage besides the back issues. His passion for football was questioned during his time in Philadelphia, with critics saying he was more interested in his music career, and he also missed part of the 2008 training camp while battling depression.
“My head is in the game,” Andrews said. “It’s always been in the game. I just had some setbacks there. It was untimely, and I’ve heard every excuse from myself why the things happened back in 2008. It happened. We all go through things.
“Why not give a guy a second chance who is passionate about what he does?”
Andrews has spent the past 10 months in Los Angeles, rehabilitating from his second back surgery. He said his back feels good, although he probably will be eased in with the Giants.
“I am a competitor,” Andrews said, when asked why he came back to football. “I am trying to follow in the footsteps of the great Larry Allen. I want to be that good and even better and I think I have a chance to do that. This conference is competitive and I think I have a good shot to achieve that. Hopefully, everything goes well and it’s back to kicking butt.”
The Giants and several other teams followed Andrews’ progress during his rehabilitation, but New York signed him. Andrews said he liked the people on the Giants, and the fact that they are located close to Philadelphia and play in the same division.
The Eagles released Andrews in March, saying he failed his physical. Andrews did not agree.
“I’m not making this a Shawn versus the Eagles thing,” said Andrews, who made 50 starts for Philadelphia. “It was an untimely release. They wanted to go in another direction and I just kept working my tail off, so here I am. I am a G-Man.”
While Andrews made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and ’07 as a physical guard – he was an alternate in 2005 – he also has the footwork and strength to play tackle.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Andrews, the 16th pick in the 2004 draft, was an outstanding player a couple of years ago.
“He does indicate to you the kind of desire that he has to get back in the game,” Coughlin said.
The Giants’ starting line has been relatively the same in recent years, with Kareem McKenzie and David Diehl at tackle, Chris Snee and Rich Seubert at guard and Shaun O’Hara at center.
While Diehl, O’Hara and Snee played in the Pro Bowl last year, the Giants have been experimenting with their line in camp. Diehl has moved from left tackle to left guard in place of Seubert (broken hand) and second-year pro Will Beatty has started at left tackle.
Snee also has missed more than a week of practice with swelling in his left knee.
The Giants waived offensive lineman Cliff Louis to clear space on the roster.
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