Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Westbrook: I'd love to return to Eagles

After spending a year in San Francisco with the 6-10 49ers, Brian Westbrook doesn't sound like he's ready to call it quits.

Westbrook: I'd love to return to Eagles

Former Eagle Brian Westbrook has expressed interest in returning to the Eagles. (AP Photo/Erich Schlegel)
Former Eagle Brian Westbrook has expressed interest in returning to the Eagles. (AP Photo/Erich Schlegel)

After spending a year in San Francisco with the 6-10 49ers, Brian Westbrook doesn't sound like he's ready to call it quits.

The former Eagles great was in town for an autograph-signing event over the weekend and said he would love to return and play for Andy Reid.

"I talk to Coach Reid every week or so," Westbrook told NBC 10 and Comcast SportsNet. "We always talk. And I would love to be back in Philly, so we'll see how things go."

Westbrook carried 77 times for 340 yards (4.4 YPC) and had 16 receptions for 150 yards last season. In two games against the Cardinals, he had 36 carries for 215 yards. In all the other games combined, he had 41 carries for 125 yards.

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But at the age of 31, he thinks he can still play.

"I think I can help out," he said. "I think they have a very good group of young guys on the team, as far as every position. But I still think that I can help this team win."

While the Eagles have generally been open to veterans leaving and then returning (see Jeremiah Trotter and Hugh Douglas), a Westbrook return would seem unlikely.

With that being said, backup running back is a hole that will need to be addressed at some point. Jerome Harrison received a second-round tender last week, but he has five years of experience, and it's unclear what the chances are of him returning until the CBA is resolved.

Harrison carried 40 times for 239 yards (6.0 YPC) in eight regular-season games with the Eagles. But much of that (21 carries, 99 yards) came in the Week 17 loss to the Cowboys when the starters sat out. In the other seven games, he had 19 carries for 140 yards (7.37 YPC). He was effective when he played, but mostly because of LeSean McCoy's success, Harrison didn't see the field much. I also wonder how comfortable the coaches were with him in pass protection.

The only other running back on the Eagles' active roster is Eldra Buckley, who was also tendered last week. Leonard Weaver is an X-factor. He showed a couple seasons ago that he could be an effective ballcarrier, but Weaver's health remains a major concern.

Last year, the Eagles were in a similar position and chose to sign restricted free agent Mike Bell, who didn't work out and was dealt to Cleveland in the Harrison trade.

I don't expect them to address it in the early rounds, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Birds pick up a running back in the middle or later rounds of April's draft.


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
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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Reach Sheil at skapadia@philly.com.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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