Westbrook: 'I want to win right now'

Brian Westbrook will be the primary backup to 49ers running back Frank Gore. (Steven M. Falk/Staff file photo)

Looks like October will be old home month for the Eagles after Brian Westbrook agreed to a 1-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers today after passing a physical.

First, they face Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins on Oct. 3 at the Linc and then it's Westbrook in San Francisco on Oct. 10. On Oct. 17, Michael Vick gets to his old friends from the Atlanta Falcons one more time.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Westbrook's contract called for $1.25 million guaranteed plus performance-based incentives that could be worth another $1.25 million. There also is a roster bonus.

"I feel as though I’m a quality guy and I feel like I can help this football team win, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m here," Westbrook said. "My urgency level is I want to win right now. I’ve always been like that. I’ve been like that in Philly. I was like that at Villanova in my college years and my younger years as well. Anything that I can do to help this team win, that’s what I’m going to do. "

Westbrook comes off a season in which he suffered two concussions and played in eight games. That after having surgery in June to clean up some bone spurs in his ankle and knee surgery in February.

“I am fully healthy," he said. "In my mind, last year was a tough year for me. I spent the whole offseason rehabbing. I didn’t have an opportunity to prepare myself for the season so I kind of went into the season blind without any preparation at all. For me, it was just a tough year. I was playing catch-up the entire season and obviously I wasn’t able to do that. This year, I was able to rehab and able to really spend my whole offseason preparing for a football season. Now that my body is completely healthy, I’m ready to go out there and perform.” 

The 49ers were in the market for another running back after the surprising retirement of Glen Coffee. San Fran was looking for a backup to Frank Gore, although it did get a strong performance from Anthony Dixon in the preseason opener (100 yards, 21 carries).

In Westbrook and Gore, the 49ers now have 14,438 yards from scrimmage (10,411 yards rushing, 4,027 yards receiving) since 2005, ranking tops among any active running back tandems in the NFL.

"Frank’s the man," Westbrook said. "He’s done tremendous things in the past, Pro Bowls, a talented guy. I’ve respected his game from afar. In Philly, I watched and studied him an awful lot. I respect him a whole lot. I’m going to go out there and push him as much as I can, help him as much as I can and I’m sure he’ll do the same thing for me, continue to make me better. Of course, he’ll be the starter, but I’ll be the guy right behind him pushing him and I’ll be ready for any chance I get go out on the field and make plays.”

Westbrook said there had been no conversations about how many touches he would get, but he also described himself an every-down back. He later said he realized he was at the point in his career where he needed to share the load with another back.

"As a player, you always want the ball in your hands no matter what situation you’re in," Westbook said. "You want to be out there on the field. For me, I think the smart move for my body, for my game, for this team is to share the load.”

Reports had indicated that Westbrook wanted to make a decision by today. He also had drawn interest from the Redskins and Rams.

As for whether he was close to signing with the Rams, he said, "I had talked to their coaches several times. I had talked to several teams’ coaches. I guess we were just as close as any team. It never happened and it never materialized. For me, it’s not about what happened in the past. For me, it’s what I can help this team do in the future and helping this team win football games is the reason I’m here.”

Westbrook, 30, provides another safety valve for quarterback Alex Smith, who has yet to live up to the promise expected of the a No. 1 overall draft pick.

He will wear No. 20, the number he wore at Villanova.

"I look at Brian Westbrook, I think he adds a lot to a very young offense," coach Mike Singletary said. "We have a lot of tools, young guys and I think he’s a guy that really adds a lot of value in terms of the leadership, the experience, having been a part of a good football team. So, that adds a lot to our team and on the offensive side of the ball.”