With Brian Westbrook approaching the typically critical age of 30 for NFL running backs, I want to know how he feels physically and what his emotions are about the new and returning cast of characters that will make up this 2009 Philadelphia Eagles.
Q: I have to ask, how is the knee feeling?
A: Feels as good as it ever has. I'm not worried about it. It's good.
Q: Realizing that you are hitting an age of diminishing ability for most NFL running backs, what do you think your role will be in 2009 and the years to come?
A: For starters, I feel great. I'm ready to contribute however the coaches see fit. I still have the big play ability and I'm looking forward to dismissing the critics who think I have durability issues as I have in past seasons. It's the NFL and players get nicked up, I expect to play with a certain level of pain at times, it's just part of the game.
Q: What do you think about Shawn Andrews return and the acquisitions of Stacey Andrews, Jason Peters and Leonard Weaver?
A: Well these are the guys that make it happen for me. I love running behind Shawn. Stacey and Jason are gonna be dominant and great at creating space and protecting Donovan.
I was always fortunate to have great blockers in Trae and Jon, I don't know what I would do without these guys. As for Leonard, that guy is gonna be a great asset to this team, whether blocking or running or catching passes out of the backfield, he's going to be great.
Q: When Desean Jackson dropped the ball before he entered the end zone against the Cowboys, you bailed him out going over the top. I saw it looked like you hurt your lower back on that spectacular effort. Did you in fact get hurt and if so, was that frustrating to you and did you hold any grudges about the situation with Desean?
A: Yea, I got nicked up on that play, but it comes with the territory. I was just doing my job. Everyone once in a while when Desean starts acting a little cocky, I remind him that I bailed him out (laughing).
Q: When you see a young spry Lesean McCoy dashing around the field with all the energy of a bright eyed NFL rookie, do you ever want to sneak weights in his cleats to slow him down?
A: No (laughing), I want to see that kid do well. He's a good guy and it will be nice to get his fresh, quick legs in the game when I need a breather. He's an explosive player. I just want to help him as best I can in developing into the best NFL running back he can be.
Q: Do you see any of yourself in Lesean McCoy?
A: Yea, a little bit. I see him do some things sometimes that make me think of things I had done before. He's gonna be a great running back for this team.
Q: How many more NFL seasons do you see yourself playing?
A: I feel like I can play five or six more years. I don't feel like I'm slowing down, so I really can't imagine retiring right now.
Q: Do you think you will retire as an Eagle?
A: I would really like to... I love playing in Philadelphia. This is a business too, so things don't always go how you want them to, but I'm here to play as long as I'm needed.
Q: Do you think you are the greatest Eagles running back of all time?
A: (Laughing) Of course. But for real, I would have to say there have been some great backs in Eagles History, Steve Van Bueren, Wilbur Montgomery, Keith Byars, Ricky Waters, Herschel Walker...just to name a few. I guess I would just like to be considered with the likes of those guys.
Q: What do you see for yourself in 2009?
A: I'm just going to go out there and try to give everything I have. I'm gonna do what Andy and Marty ask of me and try to capitalize on every opportunity. That's all I can do.
Q: Do you believe the Eagles will win it all this season?
A: I definitely think we have a team that is capable of winning it all. You need a little luck and need to stay healthy in the critical positions. We have a lot of depth and talent so I feel like we have a really good chance. We have to go out there and play football as a team to the best of our ability, leaving it all on the field week in and week out.
There it is! Thanks to Brian Westbrook, always a class act and hard not to be a fan. We wish him and his Eagles the best in this upcoming season as they charge for their first Superbowl victory.
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