Appreciating Brian Westbrook
Going into this week one of the major stories will be (as always) LeSean McCoy. Shady is set to break a couple of the Eagles franchise records on Sunday. One of which will be Brian Westbrook’s 2,104 all-purpose yards en route to the league rushing title. Simply put, he’s having a hell of a season.
Now while all the love will be going to Shady I just wanted to take the time to go back and give my man B-West his props.
Westbrook, a native of Fort Washington, Maryland, was recruited to Villanova and turned into a walking (but hobbled) record book. He had 41 school records, 13 A-10 records, five NCAA records and the I-AA record for all-purpose yards with 9,885.
I was actually fortunate enough to see him play Millersville when I was a kid and it was comical how good he was. Check the box score for yourself it’s incredible. And after that game I was positive Westbrook was going to be a stud. As history would have it, he moved down the main line and into midnight green.
Now we all remember his highlights…hell you may remember where you were for some of them. But the reason I want to give Westbrook his love is because he’s what I consider to be the perfect Philadelphia player. He was an undersized, underrated overachiever that played with a ton of heart (and no drama).
While the 2000’s will always be remembered as Donvan McNabb’s era Westbrook was the heart of those teams. The Eagles were 3-7 without Westbrook in the lineup from 2004-2008 (the pre Shady Era) and 43-26-1 with him in playing in the regular season. Now part of what makes Westbrook so special was that when he was in a game, it was really the only time he played football. He was always so beat up that he was never able to practice, yet he always performed on Sundays. He was a really special player.
All of this isn’t to take anything away from McCoy. He’s the best back in the league and could very well have a Hall of Fame career. However, it’s important to understand that despite all of the madness and the wild success of Shady and the Eagles, Westbrook was just as valuable to the Eagles back in the day.
Much love, B-West.
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