Saturday, February 6, 2016

Westbrook top dual-threat RB ?

It's May, and that means new lists and rankings emerge on a daily basis as we kill time before training camp.

Westbrook top dual-threat RB ?

Brian Westbrook was recently ranked the league´s top dual-threat running back by the National Football Post. (AP)
Brian Westbrook was recently ranked the league's top dual-threat running back by the National Football Post. (AP)

It's May, and that means new lists and rankings emerge on a daily basis as we kill time before training camp.

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post sparked a lively debate here earlier this week about whether Donovan McNabb is a franchise quarterback.

Bowen is back, this time ranking the top dual-threat running backs in the league.

Coming in at No. 1 is Brian Westbrook.

Writes Bowen:

Westbrook’s numbers were down last season because of injuries (he had 90 receptions in’07), but he still is considered the toughest match-up for defenses in the NFL. He can align in the slot and at the “X” position on the backside of formations. Five receiving TDs is a big number for a running back.

Statistically, Westbrook had his poorest season as a receiver since 2003, catching 54 balls for 402 yards and five touchdowns. His 7.4 yards per reception average was the worst of his career.

Westbrook ranked fourth among RBs in receptions and seventh in receiving yards.

In terms of rushing, he averaged 4.0 yards per carry, which ties the worst average of his career.

But those are all numbers.

Westbrook is still a playmaker, and he showed as much with the 71-yard TD reception in the wild-card win over the Vikings. How much will a real fullback and a revamped offensive line help his effectiveness? That's what we'll have to wait to find out.

Meanwhile, John Mullin of ranks the league's top backfields, and puts the Eagles at No. 5:

Who: QB Donovan McNabb; RB Brian Westbrook

Add/subtract: LT Jason Peters is a franchise addition in front of McNabb and Westbrook, and Stacy Andrews is another starter-grade OL addition. Drafting Jeremy Maclin in the first round this season and DeSean Jackson in the second last year does nothing but make McNabb and Westbrook more dangerous.

Questionable: The heavy load on Westbrook has worn him down and McNabb is high mileage at 32.

The Thought:
With the draft of Pitt RB LeSean McCoy in Round 2, McNabb and Westbrook now may feel like they're in Kiddieland.

The backfields ranked ahead of the Eagles (from the top) are the Chargers, Giants, Cowboys and Patriots.

More later so check back.
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for 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 or by clicking here

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