Brian Westbrook retired as a member of the Eagles today after a 9 year NFL career, 8 of which were spent here in Philadelphia. He spoke today at a press conference at the Eagles’ NovaCare complex.
Westbrook reflected on a career that was nearly over before it began, when he tore his ACL in high school. But he was able to catch on at FCS level Villanova, where he set a number of records and caught the attention of NFL scouts. In his own words,
"When I think of myself, I think of Brian Westbrook from Fort Washington, Maryland to DeMatha [Catholic High School] injuries, to Villanova injuries, [and] to Philadelphia injuries. All of the good days [and] all of the bad days. A third round pick who was too small, who would only be a special teams player, to an All-Pro, to a two-time Pro Bowl selection, [and] to the franchise leader in total yards from scrimmage. It's been a great ride and I thank all of you people and everyone that has been here with me every step of the way. Thank you."
He also made sure to thanks Eagles head coach Andy Reid and Villanova head coach Andy Talley, both of whom he credits with being major influences on his life and career. He singled out a number of his former teammates including Brian Dawkins and Donovan McNabb. The former he called one of the greatest players and greatest men he’s ever known and the latter "the greatest QB this city has ever seen."
Westbrook also spoke highly of the Eagles organization under Andy Reid and owner Jeff Lurie. He said how many former teammates had told him that you don’t realize how great the organization is until you leave and he always felt that was just lip service. But he went to San Francisco for the one year he played there, he says realized that it’s true that Reid & Lurie have built the best organization in the NFL.
For more reaction to Brian Westbrook’s retirement, check out our Eagles blog Bleeding Green Nation and our Villanova site VUHoops.