Brian Westbrook Retiring as an Eagle
Brian Westbrook, one of the most integral players in the Eagles most successful years under Andy Reid, will retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. The 32-year-old will be honored prior to the Eagles game against the Redskins on December 23 at Lincoln Financial Field.
“I think everybody knows what I think of him, I think the world of the guy and he’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached, just a phenomenal mind on him,” Reid said. “
Westbrook played eight seasons with the Eagles from 2002 through 2009 before spending a year with the 49ers. Westbrook ended his time in Philadelphia as the franchise’s all-time leader with 9,785 total yards from scrimmage.
Westbrook was a prolific pass catcher at the running back position and is one of just six players in NFL history with more than 30 rushing and receiving touchdowns in a career. Westbrook has 41 rushing touchdowns and 30 through the air.
Marshall Faulk, James Brooks and Frank Gifford are three of the others.
Westbrook set the standard for Eagles running backs in Reid’s offense.
“Well listen, we’ve been blessed with some good running backs and I’d put him up against anybody,” Reid said. “He’s a great runner, great blocker, great route runner and catcher and you can move him all over the place. He had the aptitude and capacity where you could take him and put him anywhere you need to put him.”
Current Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has frequently talked about looking up to Westbrook and getting advice from him.
“I will always remember Brian for the electrifying, game-changing plays he made during his great career in Philadelphia,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. “He was one of those players you knew could score from anywhere on the field and one of the most exciting players I have ever watched.”
Westbrook went to two Pro Bowls and received All Pro honors after the 2007 season, when he led the NFL with 2,104 yards from scrimmage.
Westbrook is currently second in Eagles history with 5,995 rushing yards, third with 426 receptions and third with 68 total touchdowns. He leads all Eagles running backs with 3,790 receiving yards and 29 receiving touchdowns.
He’s also the franchise’s leader with 591 career rushing yards and six total touchdowns in the playoffs.
As a return man, Westbrook ranks fourth all-time in Eagles history with 12.8 yards per punt return and he returned two punts for touchdowns.
One will likely go down as the lasting image of Westbrook in an Eagles jersey – his 84-yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter to give the Eagles a 14-10 win over the Giants on October 19, 2003.
The return gave the Eagles the win despite being outgained 339-134 and saved them from falling to 2-4. The Eagles went on to the NFC Championship game in that season, falling to the Panthers.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.