Could the Washington Redskins be planning a Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb reunion? With the way head coach Mike Shanahan is talking it sounds like they’re trying hard and the team would be smart in trying to do so. Yes, the Redskins have a very crowded backfield. Yes, BWest has other options (the St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers) but the ‘Skins have something the others don’t, family.
“I’m trying to talk to his brother a little bit, trying to get in good with him,” Shanahan said per the Washington Post. “I’m not sure it’s helped a whole lot, but I’ll keep on trying.”
I know, I know playing with his brother shouldn’t make that big a difference in his decision but it actually kid in this scenario. Brian knows he’s on the last legs of his career and he doesn’t have that many options in front of him. Not many think he can be the back he once was and he probably isn’t sure himself after all the injuries he’s suffered. So in reality he’s playing more for the love of the game, the enjoyment of putting on the pads and going to war ever Sunday afternoon. So don’t you think the opportunity to play with your own brother would make some sense at that point?
Brian’s brother, Byron should play a role in the recruitment process but what it’s really going to come down to is playing time. The ‘Skins backfield is absolutely loaded with former stars who all have question marks. You’ve got Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. They all have had injury issues over the past few seasons but still can all provide the occasional highlight reel.
Personally, I hate the Redskins but I think it would be a great idea for them to sign Westbrook. He may not have what he once did but he is much versatile then the other backs he’d be competing with this summer. Don’t get me wrong there is no chance he’ll be a starter again, but as a third down back he’d be much more valuable then Parker or Johnson. He provides something that none of those guys can, receiving and blocking skills.
Portis, Johnson and Parker all have different styles but all would give coach Shanahan pretty much the same thing, guys who can run the ball and catch the occasional pass. With Westbrook in the game on third down, defenses would constantly have to guess on what type of play is coming. It could be a draw or toss to BWest. It could be a screen pass to the back. It could even be a regular old pass play with solid protection from the running back for #5, Donovan McNabb.
Westbrook also brings something else to the table, familiarity with the quarterback. Both would be learning a new offense but there would be at least one receiving option that Donovan can trust, and trust with a receiver is always big for a QB.
“We have some healthy competition,” Shanahan said. “We have some guys with a lot of ability. I’m looking forward to when the pads are on, show us what they can do in game situations.”
Now if Brian is signed and is healthy, there is no way the Redskins will keep all four running backs, the odd man out would probably come from the Portis/Johnson group. Knowing owner Dan Snyder, he might implore Shanahan to keep all four, just in case. Regardless it would be a good situation for Shanahan to have so many backs competing with each other, it will definitely bring out the best in all of them.
Will he sign with the ‘Skins who knows, I think it would be in his and the Redskins best interest. Now here’s some food for thought, mainly for my Philadelphia Eagles fans. How crazy would it be if Terrell Owens also signs with Washington?? You’d have BWest, TO and #5 all together again but facing the Eagles twice next season. That would be crazy.