Saturday, March 06, 2010

Bye-Bye BWest

The greatest WOW Eagles player of the past 10 years. He was the definition of the multiple threat out of the backfield. Explosive runner, good hands catching the ball, and excellent at picking up the blitz. There wasn't anything that he couldn't do on the football field.

Looking back over the past 10 years of Eagles football, the 2nd greatest play (4th and 26 being #1 of course) was 36's punt return for a TD against the NYG to single handedly save the season. At the time, he wasn't even their returner anymore, but Reid tossed him back there because he was their best playmaker and boy did he ever make a play.

The most disappointing thing about Westbrook's career is that all his injuries probably took away 1.5-2 seasons of games. Just imagine how much greater he'd have been if he could have stayed on the field. The concussions this past year were just the final straw. I truly hope he has not done any irreparable harm to himself.

And beyond all that, a decent, classy, professional guy as demonstrated by his taking McCoy under his wing this past year.

Brian Westbrook, Eagle Great, you will be missed.



Blogger David said...

Nice Post fella. Missed your gems. It's been too long. is it football season yet?!

It truly is amazing how quickly an elite RB breaks down. Tomlinson, B Wes, Portis-all seem to have hit that age wall. i guess at a position like that where guys are either trying to dismember you in angry bunches or you're facing a mismatch as you pick up a rabid blitzer, your body is going to quit on you.

Thoughts on the Birds needs? Like the Weaver re-signing-was a must do. Surprised they cut Witherspoon as he was their only legitimate LB at points. Hopefully they have something up their sleeve because they have an awful lot of holes to fill on that defense.


9:21 AM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

I don't think Westbrook "hit an age wall". In my opinion, he has clearly been declining for at least the last 3 years. I think he had 4 years where his burst was world class and then the past several years he's been a step slower and 2 steps slower this past year. His constant stream of injuries (a concern for him coming out of college even though he didn't miss any games there) probably hastened the end. But I think it's wishful thinking to say he all of a sudden lost it.

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger The Happy Apologist said...

And none of that in any way lessens the impact he had on this team. Teams set their D game plans to stop 36. Not McNabb, not whatever TE they tossed out there, and definitely not any of the WRs that have paraded through over the past 8 years. I think TO had the numbers he had solely because teams planned to stop Westbrook and not him.

11:26 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think TO had the numbers he had solely because teams planned to stop Westbrook and not him."

Wow. And why did TO rack up the HOF numbers anywhere else he played? Wake up, Phil.

Ed Wade

Thank God it's baseball season...

9:12 PM EST  
Blogger The Mean Guy said...

i'm sad to see bwest go. he was a very good player when healthy.

he, along with mcnabb and dawk, will always stick in my mind as the keys to this era of eagles football.

as always, i'll also offer some additional (likely contrarian) viewpoints.

one thing i never got is how westbrook was so beloved and mcnabb so vilified considering their career parallels.

- both players were dynamic playmakers

- both players were oft injured (westbrook even more than mcnabb)

- both players had serious flaws (mcnabb's accuracy and westbrook's inability to gain tough yards)

- both players had trouble consistently coming up big in "big games"

so why was westbrook loved and mcnabb hated? i see it based on two things -- 1) mcnabb is an odd guy who is hard to like and 2) people here love running backs and hate quarterbacks.

i'll miss westbrook's dynamic playmaking ability, but i've always considered him a scatback miscast as an everydown back... just like mcnabb is miscast as a worst coast offense qb but could have been a prototypical joe gibbs qb.

12:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points fellas. TMG, I think another reason people liked Westbrook is that he was viewed as an underdog. He was a division 2, second round (or later) pick. Smallish and wasn't expected to be the type of player that he turned into. But he had a burst that Buck & Duce didn't, and developed into an excellent returner, receiver and blocker. He was the "little" guy who could and was exciting to watch b/c you never knew when he might take on to the house. Sure, he struggles at times on 3rd and 1 - when everybody and their brother knew it was coming and the fatguys couldn't drive block because they were backing up the whole game. McNabb came in as the #1 pick, and has been expected to be an all time great, so despite his winning% and general success, we are disappointed at no SB victory.
Phil, TO had success because he had all the tools and was a great receiver. Big, fast, good enough hands. The Eagles were succesful that season specifically b/c teams could sometimes contain TO, or BWest, but rarely both (and of course - Freddie Mitchell in the Minnesota game).
And TMG, other than a fumble in a Giants game, I seldom recall the Eagles losing a big game directly because of BWests performance (or lack thereof). But we have all ranted on this forum about losses directly attributable (in some of our opinions) to Andy's decisions or Mc5's play. His aloof personality doesn't help either. I would agree though, that BWest was over-used at times.


1:06 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

TMG is back in the hizzle!

I feel an odd feeling. the Birds have done nothing this off season and I don't care. Neither happy nor upset. i am underwhelmed by the free agent class and think guys like Rolle and Peppers were grossly overpaid for who they are at this point in their careers. On the flip side, the Birds got the living shit kicked out of them their last two games and beat exactly one team with a winning record last year. they need lots and lots of help on D, and a gimpy Marlin jackosn playing a position he's never played ain't it.

SO why can't I care? Maybe it's because the Phils are so much better than they are at this point and sort of go all out to win (still cannot forgive that massive Cliff Lee gaffe, and don't tell me about prospects who are getting pummeled in spring training). Maybe it's because the Birds need to regroup, step back and rebuild and are worlds away from SB caliber. Maybe it's because the organization is overt in their desire to fill their coffers vs. their trophy case. Whatever it is, I just cannot care less about what they are and are not doing this off season.

Am I alone? I need some guidance here.


9:18 PM EST  
Blogger David said...

TMG-I sort of see your point on B Wes. He never came up huge in the playoffs. I don't remember a single useful thing he did outside of that big run vs. the Vikes in 2009 playoffs. That said, i do agree that the expectations were and should have been much higher for Don as the face of the franchise and the number two pick.


9:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bumble !!! What about BWest game-winning punt return in the super bowl ?? -- Oh wait! That was a dream I had about 2 weeks later, sorry.
The Eagles window is closed. They are a whole defense, o-line & RB away from being contenders with an aging QB who won't be here when the other areas are improved. It's a shame they couldn't have assembled this quality of TE & WR's a few seasons ago when the other areas were better, but that's how Andy works .... and that's why nobody cares. The team is now on the decline and everybody knows it. They were COMPLETELY exposed by the Cowboys in the last 2 games of the season, although the signs were there earlier in the year. Then in the offseason they acquire some dude with 2 bad knees, a 5'8" WR who hasn't played in 2 years, and Hank Baskett - who aside from his hot wife, doesn't excite me in the least.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are gearing up for another run (although I'm with you on Cliff Lee, Bumble) and appear to be at least contenders for the National League.
And maybe this is just me.....but for some reason I feel like the Phillies finally "get it" and give a sh*t about the fans. While the Eagles make me feel like they're better than me and I should be grateful to THEM for something, not sure exactly what. Anybody else get that ?


1:38 PM EST  
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