I can’t say I was overly surprised that Brian Westbrook was released by the Eagles this week. Maybe it would have been more of a shock if Brian Dawkins hadn’t left for Denver last year, but Andy Reid showed then that he won’t allow sentiment to interfere with his vision of a winning formula.
The word ‘legend’ is thrown about all too casually these days, but can anyone argue that Brian doesn’t deserve this accolade? No Eagle has ever gained more yards from scrimmage than he has and his eight years with the team have largely been successful, with only one losing season in that time.
Even legends have to call it a day eventually; that includes Brett Favre at some point too! The cost of keeping Westbrook for another season would have been a gamble after his ankle injury and, of course, the two concussions.
I believe that the Eagles’ roster over the past eight years has been one of, if not the strongest, not to have won a Super Bowl. This is highlighted when you compare Brian’s stats with the Super Bowl winning running backs of his time. I’ve identified the highest ranked running back of each Super Bowl winning team over the past eight years (regular season only) and compared them with Brian’s achievements.
Brian averaged 4.6 yards per rush during his eight years against the Super Bowl winner’s average of 4.4 yards. His receiving yardage averaged 8.8 against 7.7. He scored an average of 8.2 touchdowns per season and the running back of the Super Bowl winners only managed 6.2. Perhaps most impressive of all though, is Brian’s ball security. In eight years he lost the ball nine times. NINE times in EIGHT years!
Will Brian Westbrook win the Super Bowl ring he so clearly deserves? Well, if the Eagles don’t win in 2010, then I sincerely hope so. My only reservation with that is he hasn’t ruled out playing for another NFC East team. Pleeeaaase not Dallas!
Andy Reid was asked during the Westbrook press conference if he’s short of leaders on offense. He reminded the reporters present that he still has Donovan McNabb as quarterback, but with Dawkins and now Westbrook gone is the time for another change upon us?
Cheers from the UK and GO BIRDS!