Retiring Brian Westbrook

The subject player made a fine speech on retiring as a Philadelphia Eagle.  Mercifully, it was not sugar coated; but he did show his appreciation to both his offensive and defensive teammates, the coaches, the media, and the Eagle fans.  They are, to me and most others, the most passionate in the NFL.  {I hope you will read my article on  the factors involved}.  These are some points on Brian Westbrook.

–One fan stated that he could not believe Westbrook was not the teams All Time Leading Rusher.  Wilbert Montgomery still holds that mark set in 1984.  Andy Reid’s offense is of course more passer friendly than Dick Vermeil’s.  In addition the rule changes after the 1993 season encouraged a more wide open offense.  Starting in 1994, (1) kickoffs moved back from the 35 to 30 yard line;  (2)  If a kickoff went of out bounds, the receiving team had the ball at the 40.  If the ball went out of bounds outside the 40, the receiving team took over at that point.  Previously kicking out of bounds meant a five yard penalty and a rekick. (3) Missed field goals came to the spot of the attempt rather than the line of scrimmage.  If inside inside the 20, it was a touchback with play beginning at the 20.

–Another fan noted that in 2003,  Westbrook’s injury cost the Eagles the NFC Title Game and a trip to the Super Bowl.  The Carolina Panthers defeated the Eagles 14 to 3.  Philadelphia had to win final regular season game at Washington to assure home field advantage in the playoffs.   Earlier,  Philadelphia had lost 21 to 20 at Dallas and, in overtime, 30 to 27 at Lincoln Financial Field to the 49ers.   The Eagles won the final game easily, 31 to 7,  but lost Brain Westbrook until 2004.  Had the Eagles won either of these two earlier games, they could have treated the final weekend as an exhibition.  Westbrook and other starters would have been on the sidelines.

–In 2007, Brian Westbrook made an unselfish gesture depriving himself of a touchdown but saving his teammates the bangs, bruises, and energy associated with a kickoff.  At Dallas, the Eagles were leading 10 to 6 with the ball at the Dallas 30.  It was inside two minutes and clock was moving.  Brian broke loose and fell down at the Cowboys one.  The Eagles easily ran out the clock.  Wonderful man.

–We should monitor Westbrook’s health in the future to determine the impact of his injuries.

I do have questions about his play in 2008 and will write about it later.

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