Friday, July 31, 2015

Brown won't be keeping Westbrook's No. 36

Back in March, Brian Westbrook was interviewed and said he'd love to return to Philly to play for Andy Reid and the Eagles.

Brown won't be keeping Westbrook's No. 36

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Ronnie Brown wore No. 36 today, but that is only temporary, the Eagles said.
Ronnie Brown wore No. 36 today, but that is only temporary, the Eagles said.

Back in March, Brian Westbrook was interviewed and said he'd love to return to Philly to play for Andy Reid and the Eagles.

The interest didn't appear to be mutual as the Birds went in a different direction at the backup spot, signing Ronnie Brown to a deal on Tuesday.

Brown's here at Lehigh and met with reporters after the morning practice. At the time, he was in street clothes - a white T, jeans and a Phillies hat.

In the afternoon, he came out with a jersey. But not just any jersey, No. 36, Westbrook's old number.

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It looked a little strange, even though Westbrook has not played with the Eagles since 2009.

But an Eagles spokesman said No. 36 is temporary. The Eagles have 90 guys on their roster and seven retired numbers. That doesn't leave many other options right now.

However, the question will be brought up at some point in the future. Should the Eagles give out No. 36?

And really, it's a discussion you can't have without bringing up Nos. 5 and 20 also.

Brian Dawkins spent 13 seasons in Philadelphia, started 182 games, was an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All Pro. Owner Jeffrey Lurie has said no one will wear No. 20 as long as he's in charge.

McNabb holds many of the team's passing records, including yards and touchdowns. He started 142 games for the Birds, and the Eagles won over 65 percent of the games he started. McNabb helped get the Eagles to five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. He was a six-time Pro Bowler.

Should anyone be allowed to wear No. 5?

And finally, Westbrook. He's the franchise's all-time leader in yards from scrimmage and is second to Wilbert Montgomery in rushing yards. Westbrook also has the third-most touchdowns in franchise history, behind Harold Carmichael and Steve Van Buren. He started 85 games with the Eagles and was a two-time Pro Bowler.

Should anyone be allowed to wear No. 36?

Keep in mind the exclusive group of players who have had their numbers retired here: Steve Van Buren (15), Tom Brookshier (40), Pete Retzlaff (40), Chuck Bednarik (60), Al Wistert (70), Reggie White (92) and Jerome Brown (99).

Do Westbrook, Dawkins or McNabb belong in that group?

This is one of those where I let you tee off in the comments section, so have at it. Based on the response I received via Twitter, there will be some strong opinions on this topic.


You can follow me on Twitter or become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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