By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots center David Andrews wanted to make a few things clear during his Tuesday conference call with the media.
After missing all of 2019 due to blood clots in his lungs, the 27-year-old said that he's off the medicine he was on during his recovery. And while he admitted that he doesn't want his entire medical history shared with the world, he confirmed that he's indeed cleared for football and noted that he doesn't know of any physical restrictions on him. But most of all, Andrews wanted to let everybody know that he's ready to move on from talking about his injury and shift his focus to doing his job for the Patriots.
"I want to move forward with that and talk about football going forward," Andrews offered. "What happened, happened. You can’t live your life in fear if it’s going to happen again or not. It’s a violent game and things happen. There’s a lot of things that happen. That’s just life, and so I just want to move forward through that. And I’ve kind of said what I want to say on my injury and what I dealt with."
Sitting on the shelf absolutely crushed both Andrews and the Patriots -- New England's offensive line struggles were at times glaring without Andrews and their center depth was repeatedly tested throughout the year -- but the two-time Super Bowl champion was able to find the positives of watching last year from the sidelines and from a more cerebral viewpoint.
"It kind of allowed me to look at the offense as a whole and pick up some new things, where I wasn’t really focused on a game plan each week. I kind of got to look at it from a big picture," said Andrews. "It’s such a grind and it’s such a rush from playing on Sundays to getting the film corrected, and then moving forward to the next team, and you’ve got a short week or things like that. It’s just a jumping around of a season. To be able to just kind of take a step back and look at the game as a whole and kind of watch football from a different perspective, yeah, there was definitely some good things about it, some fun things. But as a competitor and a guy who wants to play football, it sucks not being out there."
And not that his love was ever in question -- Andrews seems like a player who is just football, football, and more football -- but the break did give the Georgia-born captain a hunger to get back to the grind of day-to-day life in the trenches.
"I think anytime you miss a season – and unfortunately that happens every year to guys through injuries – it makes you take a step back and miss and enjoy the grind a little bit," Andrews admitted. "I still came into work every day [last year], but I wasn’t out there competing with the guys. I wasn’t out there working with them, and you miss that. You miss that part of it. It makes you appreciative of the times, and that’s tough. You’re definitely appreciative you get to do what you want to do. Sometimes, I think we take health and things like that for granted, so it definitely makes you appreciative."
But Andrews' return to work (whenever that comes) will certainly come with some significant changes; Tom Brady is no longer the team's starting quarterback and Dante Scarnecchia is no longer coaching up the Patriots' offensive line. That's a lot of both on- and off-field leadership and know-how that's left the New England locker room.
To Andrews, though, that's just life in the NFL.
"There’s always a new challenge as a part of this business, this league," said Andrews. "All the stuff about whatever anyone wants to say, everyone has an opinion. All we can do is control what we can control. It started this past week or so or however long it’s been of the offseason program, and just kind of in the same boat here. So, control what we can control, make the most out of each day and kind of put your head down and look up where you are later."
And where Andrews will be, most importantly, is on the field and in the middle of the Patriot O-line.