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Westbrook has been the focal point of the offense since taking over the starting position in 2004. Although he was a capable runner on the edge and between the tackles, Westbrook made his biggest impact in the Eagles dynamic passing game. One of the best examples of the pass-catching running back of his time, with the help of the Eagles nimble offensive linemen, Westbrook turned the screen play into an almost unmanageable home run threat. One of the elements of his game that could prove to be irreplaceable for the Eagles will be his pass-blocking. At 5′10″ (and having met him, that feels generous) Westbrook was able to stand up some of the best pass rushers in the league and he never missed an opportunity to chip a guy hard on his way into the flat.
The Eagles have been criticized for “using Westbrook wrong” in the past. A lot of fans and some analysts think that he should have been a third down back who came in on passing plays, spelling the powerbacks that never seemed to show up in the off-season. I felt as though Westbrook proved his ability as a pure runner in 2006, but he simply could not keep his name off of injury reports. After suffering two concussions last year, his return seemed unlikely pretty early on in the 2009 season. With Leonard Weaver, Lesean McCoy, Eldra Buckley and former CFL standout Martell Mallett on their roster, I’m not sure the Eagles will look to replace Westbrook with anything other than a late round draft prospect.