Longtime Philadelphia Eagle running back – turned member of the media Brian Westbrook recently voiced some very insightful, and in my opinion, accurate thoughts on the Philadelphia Eagles. Westbrook has become a regular NFL analyst, and if he keeps up these kinds of appearances, he will have a career in broadcasting as successful as his career in the NFL.
Westbrook said that initially the departure of team president Joe Banner was a shock, but after he took some time to think about the situation as a whole, he felt it made sense. “I think Joe, he’s had a lot of situations with different players, as far as the contract side, that has left bad, sour taste not only in the players mouths, but also people in the organization’s mind.” He went on to speak as to how the Eagles have been grooming Howie Roseman for quite some time to take on more responsibility within the organization. It appears as if that time has come.
Banner was great for the Eagles in some respects. He made the team a boatload of money and managed the salary cap better than just about any executive in the league. The main thing that I feel ultimately led to the parting of ways is the fact that Banner saw nothing other than the bottom line. If a signing or contract did not make immediate, as well as long term financial sense for the organization, Banner was quick to cut ties with the player. This led to many players being prematurely released by the club when they still had some gas left in the tank and could have contributed more. This philosophy was frustrating not only for the organization and its players, but also the fanbase.
Westbrook went on to say that one of the major issues players had with Banner during negotiations was that he had a tendency to discredit players and discount their abilities when explaining why the team was making a specific offer. Not only would he compare the statistics of a player, such as Westbrook to someone else in the league, but he would also say what he felt the player could not do. This was his impetus for not making a more lucrative offer. Obviously, that did not sit well with anyone involved in those situations.
About the current state of the Eagles team, Westbrook is confident, going as far to say “I definitely feel as though they will win the NFC title. I think they’re a serious contender for the Super Bowl.” He thinks that DeSean Jackson with a chip on his shoulder is going to be dangerous for opposing defenses. B West went on to give some credit to his successor, saying that current Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was “playing out of his mind.” And, as the Philadelphia faithful will tell you, Westbrook hit on the fact that the one big worry on offense is the absence of Jason Peters. His replacement, Demetress Bell, who took over for Peters with the Buffalo Bills, is a quality player as long as he can stay healthy.
In 107 games in an Eagles uniform, Westbrook ran the ball 1,308 times for 5,995, averaging 4.58 yards per carry and scoring 37 touchdowns. In addition, he caught 426 balls for 3790 yards and 29 touchdowns.