More Philly Leftovers: Why the Redskins Should Consider Brian Westbrook

Evan HuntleyContributor IMay 11, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Running back Brian Westbrook #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles practices during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex on May 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The newest of the ever-present batch of offseason reports for the Washington Redskins has long time Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook slated for a visit this coming Wednesday.

Westbrook, who was released by the Eagles after suffering two concussions last season, has also visited the Rams.

This is an entirely unexpected move by the Redskins, considering they already have three of the top running backs from 2005 and 2006. 

The notion in signing Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to complement Clinton Portis was to give all three former powerhouse runners a shot, while breeding strong competition among the ranks. 

Picking up Westbrook as well would be a surprising move by the Redskins, considering both the talent and experience levels already present in the backfield.

Imagine the shock as a Redskins fan, hearing your favorite announcers with their play-by-play: "McNabb drops back...hand-off is to Westbrook."  

Bizarre, isn't it? If you had told me in 2006 that I might hear that on a broadcast of a Redskins game one day, and that they wouldn't be playing the Eagles, I'd have called you crazy.

Yet now, the possibility is here that the 'Skins might pick up another former Pro-Bowler cast off by the Eagles. 

At first glance this is an overkill move. 

With three solid backs who, with the help of the offensive line and a new scheme, might be able to produce like their old days, what would be the point of taking Westbrook?

While it would seem to the rest of the NFL that Mike Shanahan is merely collecting former stars now (see also: Joey Galloway), it might be the move of a coach who knows how to hedge his bets.

It might not be the most likely scenario that Portis, Johnson and Parker all return to their glory days and have breakout performances once again. The chances are better that at least one of these guys has a comeback.

By bringing in numerous former stars in addition to the players already on the roster, Mike Shanahan not only forces competition, but also creates insurance policies for each position as well.

If Portis doesn't seem like he's going to pan out, you've got two other backs with similar resumes who are ready to go. 

This brings me to Westbrook. 

Most analysts are saying, and will continue to say that the Redskins shouldn't sign Brian Westbrook for the plain and simple fact that the backfield is already crowded. 

I don't see what it honestly hurts.  

It isn't as if Westbrook will cost much to obtain, and this would certainly light a fire under the running backs already signed. 

Mike Shanahan could simply let the four of them duke it out, and take the top backs into training camp. Consider it another insurance policy at the running back position.

Four eggs are better than three, aren't they?

Imagine the pleasure as a Redskins fan, watching the boys in burgundy and gold beat the Eagles, and with their own former QB and running back doing the damage.

I wouldn't mind.


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