Brian Westbrook is the Plague. Quicksand. A swarm of hornets. Call him whatever you like, as long as it keeps the Packers away from signing the veteran halfback.
Don't get me wrong—Brian Westbrook is one of my favorite players in the league and has been one of the most explosive over the last decade. He has been a staple for Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. His importance in that offense was so drastic, that I dare not try to put it into words.
Alas, his reputation as an Eagle can only get him so far, and should not sway any team, much less Green Bay, into signing him.
Ted Thompson has never been an advocate of signing old players with injury concerns, and this is no time to start.
What concerns me most about Brian Westbrook are the concussions. He is one big hit away from suffering a concussion that could end his career...If the hits continue, it very well may affect his life after football. And those are two things that I don't want to witness on the legendary Frozen Tundra—the farewell of one of the leagues most beloved players.
What else is troubling is the fact that Andy Reid and the Eagles gave up on him so quickly and without hesitation, fairly early into the offseason mind you. What does the Eagles front office know that we don't? We may not get the chance to find out, and I am perfectly fine keeping it that way.
The Packers' current third down back, Brandon Jackson, has received a lot of flack for not living up to expectations coming out of Nebraska...and those same talking heads have come out of the woodwork once more as the Westbrook rumors continue to flare up.
Someone needs to come to Jackson's defense, and it may as well be me. On third down situations the back that has checked in is expected to do numerous jobs depending on the play call..block, run a route, or carry the football, among other things.
I will admit that Jackson is nowhere near impressive when handed the football. But in my mind, he is one of the better blocking backs in the league...Yes, the ENTIRE LEAGUE. And while his receiving is nothing to brag about, he is more than serviceable.
With that said, I believe that Jackson is more than adequate as a third down back, and I believe that Mike McCarthy and Edgar Bennett can get Jackson up to par as a runner. I will take the younger, more reliable option any day of the week.
The one positive you could take from a Westbrook signing is the veteran experience he brings with him. Ah...but not so fast. Anyone remember the Packers midseason acquisition a year ago? That's right. Ahman Green.
Ahman Green is older, but he brings the same (if not more) veteran experience as Brian Westbrook, and doesn't have the same level (albeit, they are there) of injury concerns.
I was impressed with Ahman a season ago. He looked fresh. He looked explosive. He looked like he wanted to knock guys over. He fought for every yard and made sure that none of his opportunities were wasted. Add to that the fact that he is already familiar with our offense, and I say we have a winner.
If you aren't impressed with the options of Brandon Jackson and/or Ahman Green, don't forget about one of the deepest draft classes in recent memory. A Jahvid Best, Ryan Matthews, or Dexter McCluster (among others) could be exactly what the Packers are looking for.
But the question remains...
Why would the Packers look to sign an old, injury prone player who is not familiar with the offense and who would actually be a step down from an underachieving Brandon Jackson?
The answer? They shouldn't.