Chicago Sun-Times

If healthy, Westbrook could thrive in right role

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Brian Westbrook wants to continue his career even if the Eagles have made it known that it won't be in Philadelphia.

The veteran running back might be a good fit in Chicago, where he has the all-around skills to excel in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system and would complement Matt Forte.

"Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is even a better person and leader," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen.  I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know. This is by far the most difficult part of this job. We wanted to make this move now in order to maximize Brian's chances of landing with another NFL team."

Signing the nine-year veteran isn't without risks. Westbrook has had knee and ankle problems and the repeated concussions he suffered in 2009 jeopardized his career.

"Brian Westbrook is one of the most electric players in the history of this franchise and is certainly also one of the most popular," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "He was personally one of the my favorite players to watch each and every Sunday and his playmaking abilities, leadership and values will be missed."

Said Eagles president Joe Banner: "We all know how valuable Brian was as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and he will certainly go down as one of the greatest Eagles of all time. But what really showed me how special a person Brian is, was watching the way he interacted with my children. That said more to me about Brian than anything else he could have done on the playing field.  We will miss him both as a person and as a player."

Westbrook's days of being a workhorse are over. For the right price, however, he may be worth a look as a veteran change-of-pace back who can also do serious damage in the passing game. His medical history is a real concern. But if he remains healthy he could thrive in a limited role in the right offense.

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12 Comments

Westbrook isnt the answer in Chicago. Though I think he would make a great fit I just dont think he will hold up for no more then 12 games. On top of that I doubt he would sign a vet. min. contract. I understand it is an uncapped year to this point but you dont want to pay a player for 16 game when knowing he is only good for maybe 12 unless you get that player for a huge discount.
As far as signing a back up running back in free agency at this point in time, its just a waiste of time. Since I dont have the insider like Bill H. or the brass of saying a million things and hope one hits like Creighton then to brag about it and through it in people faces for 3 years,.... Im thinking that the Bears wont sign a Running Back untill the end of the draft thats if they sign a running back at all.

Peace!

Brian Westbrook was one of the leagues better all-purpose backs, especially over the past 10 seasons. But, the injuries would keep me away from Westbrook. Chicago needs to get younger and healthier at the position, and an upgrade is also needed big time as far as depth behind Forte. I would part ways with everyone behind Forte, Kevin Jones, Adrian Peterson, and Garrett Wolfe all gotta go.

The Bears already have 2nd year back Kahlil Bell, who looks to have promise. He's a start, the next move is to bring in a free agent back who isn't past his prime and fits the scheme. And then maybe draft someone, or maybe a rookie free agent type to develope on the practice squad

It should be interesting whoever the running backs end up being this summer. I'd also like to see 2nd year fullback Will T'ufo'ou and how he's developed, maybe he'd be an upgrade over Mckie? GO BEARS!!

If the Bears work him out and his health ckecks out ok then heck yeah you bring him in! Westbrook has been crazy good in the passing game all his career which is what you should be looking for if Mike Martz is your offensive coordinator.

And if you just want him to spell Forte as a 3rd down back then it should be a no brainer. He can run and catch with the best of them; smart guy too. If I ran the Bears, I would definitely kick the tires at least. You know the Vikings will.

My first thought was - he is too injured to help us, I cant believe the Eagles would let him go unless he has major issues. But after thinking on Mikes response, I feel we have to bring him in or at the least test the water, thats just the smart thing to do. Doubt it would work out, but still....
and I havent seen Forte run yet, who knows whats going to happen there?
Same as Url, we have no idea if these inj. guys will be any good this year, same as Harris/Olin, we have alot of questions on this team. I figure Lovie knows whats what with these players though.

the only place he'll fit is on IR with the rest of the Nancy's that the bears sign and never play (Pisa, for one)....Neal Hayes, why would you even post this, you sound like someone from Minnesota who hasn't a clue about who the bears are or what they need. Next you'll start spouting out about obscure nobody coaches and players from the vikings that would be a good fit for a real team like the Bears.
Leave the unfounded wishful, irrational,irrelevant thinking to thro w away people like Creighton.

Are you just gonna throw every player who gets cut out as a possible bears? Only player i agree with is Antrel Rolle because he has cornerback skills and plays FS. LT wouldn't want to come here, he wants to go to a team set to win the championship next year. I think we'll be decent but probably not championship contenders.

Don't waste the money and time on Westbrook. He was a great player but the Bears have greater needs and need a longer commitment than what Westbrook or LT could give them. There will be younger and better investments coming forward soon that the Bears should look at. Go Bears!

I don't think "complements" is the right word. Both LT and Westbrook are similar to Matt Forte in that they have some open-field moves and catch the ball well out of the backfield. But that doesn't mean they would be complements to Forte.

A healthy Kevin Jones would be a complement to Matt Forte -- someone who runs with power between the tackles. Or someone like Darren Sproles, whose game is predicated on quickness and explosion. Those backs have different skill sets than Forte, which means they would complement him well. They are strong where he is weak.

Hey Zimmer did you just refer to Bill Holland as having an insider? Hahahahahaha, yeah you should get together with Bill and hang with all his buddies from Halas Hall. That will be a nice romantic dinner for two and I think Bill would really like that. By the way they just brought in a big blocking TE, like I said they would.

Wow stuckinasheep, you are so angry. Venting on Hayes, venting on Jensen, mad at me for being amazing. So much hate, and so much suck rolled into one person, it must be really hard being you.

By the way your not stuck in wisconsin, thats just where I decided you belong, with the rest of the Packer fans. You really miss Brad don't you. You know sense you hate Hayes and Jensen so much and me of course, why do constantly read everything we write? You don't have to read it. Brad is over at the Trib writing the exact same stuff as these guys.

Westbrook is a WCO player and I doubt he is intrested in being a backup in a new system on a struggling team. Given the new offense you need a back with explosive speed who can run misdirection and the counter trey. Faulk had sub 4.3 speed, the entire offense is based on speed. Chester Taylor is not fast, niether is Forte. Westbrook may be slower than both. They need speed, if Lamarcus Coker drops into the 6th or later I could see Angelo making a low risk move and drafting him. Brandon James if he falls to the 5th but Coker is faster, really fast, well he may not be as fast without all the coke.

In FA they may look at Kampman, or even Little. Goon is still an option at end. But Kampman is the best Bang for your buck on the market. Ryan Clark should be an option to look at in FA as well not sure why nobody has mentioned him, he is solid at FS.

If I was the Bears Kampman and Clark would be the FA targets.

Trade Olsen he doesn't fit the system and couple of teams may give you a second rounder for him. Both the Giants and Pats are said to belooking for an athletic pass catching TE in the second round.

Lets say you get that second for Olsen then you target as your number 1 choices:
2nd Kyle Calloway
3rd Mike Johnson (Athletic gaurd who fits Martz protection schemes)
4th Geno Atkins(totally fits the system, plays like Culpepper)
5th Nate Byham (blocking TE for Martz)
6th Lamarcus Coker

Other names to consider for undrafted FA, or guys who may be, Dorrin Dickerson in the 7th or Cory Jackson, Martz needs a FB who can block.

Not sure if my fist post went through.

Oh hahha. Hahaha. A round of appluse for for my good buddy stuckinwizCONEson. Aww whats wrong do you miss the big bad Creighton putting you in youre place? I believe its time for me to smack you around you a bit like a do Brando buthats probably what you want. So I ll just ignore you. I t will drive you crazy I am sure. Here why dont you check out my myspace page to keep yourself busy. That should hold you over looser.

Westbrook has had a good career but he has been injured the whole way. I still think the Bears are bestter off brining Leon Washington sense he is still young and has nevewr had to carry the load. He is like a young Chester Tayloer but with less mileage and more talent. Actually that is the only good move the bears could make so they probably wont do it. I did here though that the bears were looking at Peppers. He is a 2 gap system player but in the Cover 2 I think he should fit in nicely.

Westbrook's problem lately is he missed a few games with a concussion. No one wants to deal with a player under those circumstances. 2007 killed him. All those yards meant a lot of contact. But with Martz at the helm and the guillotine being sharpened for failure you never know what might happen. If they traded Olson how would Cutler feel about that? That's his buddy and his go-to guy. They did enough to cater to him lately I don't see them doing an about-face and pissing him off. In my opinion Olson is too one-dimensional. He is awful trying to block. I can't say that he ever looked even adequate doing it.

hey creighton - everything you post is BORING & way to long!!!!!!!!!! shut your face for a while please.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 23, 2010 2:45 PM.

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