One Way or Another: Weighing the Good and Bad of the Brian Westbrook Deal
Right now, the Green Bay Packers are arguably a team that is Super Bowl-bound.
The 2009 season brought new things for the Green Bay Packers, and when it looked like it was all but close to over, the Packers dug deep and produced a playoff game that won't be soon forgotten.
But now we arrive to the next hurdle in the history of Green Bay, the possibility of a Brian Westbrook signing. Before I continue, let me put forward two clear and concise scenarios that could arise from this signing.
Scenario One: "Touchdown Brian Westbrook, and the Packers are heading to the Super Bowl!"—Joe Buck
Scenario Two: "Gee, the Packers just have no third down running game, I bet Ahman Green is laughing right now back home in his comfy recliner"—Al Michaels
So I ask Packer Nation, which one you would prefer? Scenario one or scenario two?
Before you answer, have you considered the good and bad that a Brian Westbrook could bring to the Green Bay Packers?
It's lengthy, but it paints a promising yet worrying picture.
Brian Westbrook is an old timer.
He's no Brett Favre, he's close to running out of gas, and he is as injury-prone as Blake Griffin returning for the Los Angeles Clippers. However, fortunately for Brian Westbrook, he has a lengthy highlight reel that keeps the ever-so-hungry Mike McCarthy interested and willing to buy into the Brian Westbrook phenomenon.
The first point that has to be brought up is Brian Westbrook's speed and strength that he brings to the table. Sure, the Packers already have much of this with Ryan Grant beginning to pile up the stats and finally provide Green Bay fans with something to cheer about, but compared to the Brian Westbrook of young, Grant doesn't leave a mark on this NFL veteran.
When this argument first arose, the first point that writers demonstrated was that Green Bay has no third down running game. Like Brian Westbrook, Ahman Green is in the later stages of his career, and when he touches the ball nowadays no one knows for sure just how Ahman will fair.
No disrespect to the Packer legend, but does Ahman really have what it takes to get through another rigorous season of pain and lack of playing time to pull through for the team? I think not, as Ahman seems to be one and done and simply clinging on to the last shreds of his career in the NFL.
If you look at it that way, Brian Westbrook is a great option.
Now on to my second point: the catching ability of Brian Westbrook. It isn't a skill that is often intertwined when analyzing Westbrook's NFL career, but indeed he does have some strong hands above those rough and strong legs, and when given the opportunity can catch a pass and knock a few guys over toward a first down.
Can Ryan Grant do that? The jury is still out.
Now we arrive at my third and final point, the experience factor. For those that don't know, Brian Westbrook is 30 years old, meaning he's had his fair share of cuts and bruises in this league, and pretty much knows when and when not to make a mistake.
When looking at the Packers offense, not many experienced and veteran guys emerge, apart from of course the delightful duo of Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Brian Westbrook is a guy that could also calm quarterback Aaron Rodgers down, and maybe just prevent that last minute fumble in overtime against the Arizona Cardinals and boost us toward a Super Bowl win.
It's a gamble, I know, but it's one that could pay off for Green Bay.
I think you'll find that the good far outweighs the bad for Brian Westbrook, but there are of course negative aspects to Brian's game.
The first is Brian's lack of yards. Only twice in Brian's career has he posted above 1,000 yard seasons and when you look at a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, it is puzzling as to why Brian has struggled on the ground game.
For the Packers, this isn't bad news, as Westbrook looks to be a predominantly third down running back, but if Brian does fail to get yards and touchdowns, the deal will end up being almost meaningless.
The second point is just the age factor. How much can Green Bay really squeeze out of Brian Westbrook, especially if the Packers are to make a long and lengthy playoff run next season?
This brings me to my next point, Brian's injury. Last season Westbrook went down with a devastating knee injury, only to come back in the remaining two weeks to have very little effect for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brian for the most part looks healthy, but with knee injuries it is always a gamble. An injury to an older player is always more lethal than a younger guy, so therefore the Packers must consider this when looking at Brian Westbrook.
Like I said earlier, the good obviously outweighs the bad, but the bad tells a very strong story. Brian is old and possibly only has two to three more years left in him. If Green Bay is looking for that final push toward the Super Bowl, then this is a prime signing for them to take.
If Green Bay is looking for a strong and tough third down running back, then keep Ahman Green; there is no point in letting someone go that already gets the job done.
With this said, Brian Westbrook could add some stability to the Packers roster, and help out young Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant when the going gets tough. It's a controversial signing, I know, but one that could pay off or fail for Green Bay.
So, at the end of it all, which scenario do you think is more likely? A failed or a successful signing? Let's just hope scenario two lives up to it's role, and Brian Westbrook fits the green and gold expectations.
For more Packer news, check out my new blog: http://Letstalkpackers.com
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