Monday, August 31, 2015

Run-pass ratio and Westbrook's touches

We figure the civic obsession with run-pass ratio will be back at full steam this season, especially as the Eagles have a new set of offensive weapons to work with. The question takes on heightened interest in the early going, as the Eagles begin with a revamped offensive line that has yet to play together and a running back who did not have a full training camp or play in the preseason at all.

Run-pass ratio and Westbrook's touches

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We figure the civic obsession with run-pass ratio will be back at full steam this season, especially as the Eagles have a new set of offensive weapons to work with. The question takes on heightened interest in the early going, as the Eagles begin with a revamped offensive line that has yet to play together and a running back who did not have a full training camp or play in the preseason at all.

Brian Westbrook was asked Wednesday how he would react to getting 18-22 touches a game with the other backs getting some opporunities as well, especially rookie LeSean McCoy. Westbrook said McCoy as "the makings ofa very good football player" and proclaimed him "ready."

“I hope that they mix it up a little bit," Westbrook said. "I still would love to touch the ball a lot. I think I can still do a lot of dynamic things with the ball in my hands. We just really have to wait and see how the game goes.”

Westbrook turned 30 last week and has been asked a lot about being a "30-year-old running back." Presumably, limiting his workload could help prolong his career and reduce the pounding on his body to help him through the season.

“As a player I’m always going to go full-bore," Westbrook said. "I’m always going to give everything I have. I’m hopeful that I will touch the ball as many times as I can, as many times as coach allows me to. I don’t really think of it as, ‘if you touch the ball 30 times a game you have two more years left, or three years or whatever it is.’ Every time I touch it I try to do what I do with the ball and let the chips fall where they may.”

Asked about Westbrook's workload, quarterback Donovan McNabb said, "Brian is a guy that when the ball is in his hands, defenses have to try to stop. We’re happy to have him and it’s a bonus for us, but you don’t want to just sit there and keep having him run 30 times a game and hope for the best.”

The Daily News recently asked two scouts about the Eagles by position and here is what they said about Westbrook:

Scout 1: "Westbrook is a great player. But you wonder how much he’s got left. There’s only so many carries and so many hits in runners. They get up one morning and they’re done. That’s got to be a concern as he goes forward here. McCoy seems to have picked up the offense pretty quickly and appears ready to take some of the load off of Westbrook’s shoulders. That will keep Brian fresher and healthier. He’s very similar to Westbrook in style, which will help with the continuity when he goes in."

Scout 2: "They’ve got a really good group. Westbrook’s, what, 30? But if they don’t overuse him, he still can be a difference-maker for them for another couple of years. McCoy’s a lot like Westbrook. He’s picked things up fast. The (Eldra) Buckley kid, I really like him. He’s a hard runner. He brings it. He’s a good compliment to Westbrook and McCoy."

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Today is the day for the annual Daily News football section. You can read it by clicking here.

Also, DN executive sports editor Josh Barnett does a chat at 1 p.m. and many of the questions figure to be Eagles related. Feel free to chime in.

 

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