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All Over the Board: Brian Westbrook

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All Over the Board: Brian Westbrook

Postby daullaz » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:08 pm

Obviously, in a point-per-reception league, his value skyrockets. For the sake of this discussion, let's stick to basic scoring, 10/6 and no reception points. Where do you think Westbrook ranks?

He did finish as the 10th best RB last year. He is electric when he has the ball in his hands, and with his open-field explosiveness, I think he could score on almost any play. Somewhat of a poor man's Priest Holmes. The main knock on him seems to be: 1) his health, and 2) being yanked at the goal-line.

To answer concern #1, he played in 15 games each in 2002 and 2003, and 13 games in 2004. Remember, the Eagles wanted to rest him the last couple games heading into the playoffs when they had nothing on the line. While it seems he's been banged up from time to time, he doesn't really miss much time as a result.

And as for concern #2, Westbrook's value does not stem from the ability to get goal-line carries. Last year, he only had three rushing TDs, while getting SIX through the air. He combined for 1500 yards in those 13 games. Buckhalter returns to play the role of Dorsey Levens 2004, but exactly how many rushing TDs can he steal? Westbrook only had 3.

I don't see that number declining this year, if anything, I think he breaks a couple and puts up 5 rushing and 5 receiving at least, giving him 10 TDs. And 1500 yards total sounds like a good number to me. He did it last year with only 250 touches; I think he gets that many touches again this year. Who did Philly bring in to steal carries? Ryan Moats? I don't see him being much of a factor. Levens had nearly 100 carries last year; i can see Buckhalter and Moats splitting that 80/20. Who did Philly bring in to steal receptions? Reggie Brown? He has a long ways to go before even seeing significant playing time.

Bottom line, I don't see why Westbrook is falling to the late second, early third round territory, and sometimes slipping even further than that. He is a very motivated player, always trying to prove people wrong when they say he's not big enough, he can't be good cause he wasn't from a D-I school, etc. Hes playing for a big contract; if not in Philly, then somewhere else during the offseason. I think Westbrook should be a top 15 player overall.

What do you think?
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Postby GreatestShowOnEarth » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:16 pm

The main concern i have with Westbrook is Corel Buckhalter. He is finally healthy and will compete for carries with Westbrook. I am worried about them splitting carries unless Corel gets hurt for the third year in a row. He is a strong runner who would provide a different look for defenses.

I cannot deny that Westbrook is a skilled athelete. If he were a featured back i would say he is a top 15 back. He has big play capability for sure. He might be worth a mid round pick but seems to get picked to early for his value.
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Postby maddog60 » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:22 pm

Westbrook is a steal in the late 2nd round, because he'll be one of the better #2 RBs in your league, especially in a league that awards points for receptions. He's head and shoulders better than the guys he's ranked with usually (Lamont, Jackson, Bell, Chris Brown, and sometimes even the rookies). Of course, it would be redundant for me to explain my position.
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Postby Free Bagel » Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:49 am

One thing worth mentioning, and that I was planning on doing a study on eventually which will then warrant it's own post is that for whatever reason, almost every RB out there that's a good receiver tends to have their best receiving year in or before their 3rd year with the team, and then see their numbers drop off signficantly after that.

My theory is that by their 4th year they're expected to be comfortable enough in the system for their coaches to have enough confidence in their blocking to leave them in to block more often, rather than prancing out into the flats.

Whether that theory is correct or not, the numbers still show an extremely low percentage of backs that put up receiving numbers in years 4 through 10 that are comparable to the numbers they put up in the first 3 years.

Offhand, some of the better receiving backs I can think of off the top of my head all had their best receiving seasons in or before year 3 with their team, and all have had trouble getting back to that point since then:

LT
Priest
Alexander
Deuce
Edge

The only notable exception I see offhand is Ahman, and that's really only because he had 5 receiving TDs in 2003, though his yardage numbers were still quite a bit lower than in his first 3 years.
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Postby Daddymike59 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:01 am

I think that you will see C Brown get more recpts. this year due to Tenn lack of recvs. Even though he only had 147 yds in recpts. last year in an injury plagued year he is a fine rec out of the backfield. Deuce only had 228 yds recv. For that matter Suggs had 178 and 1 td recv.
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Postby eaglesrule » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:14 am

good point about declining receptions.
I would say that this eagles offesne is pretty darn dynamic.

The fact that mcnabb is always a threat to run, and westrbook is always a threat to catch, is a big advantage that reid won't just let slip through his fingers.

laugh all you want, lord knows I do -- but the reality is pinkston is fast as hell and does stretch a field (if he isn't being knocked down). I think if TO doesn't play westbrook could stumble, but then again, will be more of a focal point. But if TO plays, it is simply too hard for defenses to have to cover TO, worry about mcnabb taking off and westbrook's dual ability.

Reid seems pretty sharp, I doubt he makes westbrook stay in to block.
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Postby PSU All Day » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:14 am

I like Westbrook to have a better year this year than last for the following reasons:

1. Buckhalter helps not hurts. He is coming off back to back years of knee injuries and will not be getting more carries than Levans did especially early in the year. He will be there to spell Westbrook to keep him healthy. You may even see both in the backfield with Westbrook moving to the slot receiver position in play action or at the snap.

2. Reggie Brown will be better than Fred Ex. This will help spread the field for Westbrook and keep teams from putting a corner on him. Westbrook vs LB = TD.

3. TO's situation. If TO plays this year for the Eagles he will be better than last year and teams are going to have to put more attention on him than last year. If he doesn't play Westbrook will be counted on even more.

Westbrook is a special talent that the Eagles constantly try to get the ball to. That will not change this year.

I would take Westbrook in a reception point league as a #2 RB and if you can get him as a #3 you are going to be very very happy.
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Postby skinsfan » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:20 am

He is electric and eclectic. One week you could get 3TDs and the next few get none. Like Brandon Stokely at RB with better week-to-week stats. Not worth a pick to me except as a backup.
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Postby Sixxgunn » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:39 am

So basically the general concensus is that the guy that makes Westy his #1 RB will be one sorry chump, but if you get him as a 2 you will be satisfied with his production. Makes me feel good getting him as a 3 then!
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Postby Daddymike59 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:55 pm

Sixxgunn wrote:So basically the general concensus is that the guy that makes Westy his #1 RB will be one sorry chump, but if you get him as a 2 you will be satisfied with his production. Makes me feel good getting him as a 3 then!
I got him after LT and Rudi so I feel pretty good about #3.
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