Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/28/12

Short of the late Steve Van Buren, Brian Westbrook is widely regarded as the best running back to ever put on an Eagles jersey.

He was always a viable option for Donovan McNabb, whether on the run or the pass.

Brian Westbrook played eight unforgettable seasons for the Eagles, before wearing the red and gold for only a year. 

Westbrook is a type of player that is rare in this league, he was just as deadly in the air as he was on the ground.

He was a threat on every play, as he never averaged lower than 4.0 yards per carry, even in his time in San Francisco.

In 2006 Westbrook ran for 1,217 yards, and scored seven touchdowns, and through the air Westbrook racked up 699 yards and four touchdowns. In 2007 he broke his previous record, and ran for 1,333 yards, and went to the air for 771 yards and a combined 12 touchdowns. 

Something Brian still isn't praised for too often, was his ability to hold on to the ball. Rarely, especially in this day and age, do we see a running back play the full year without fumbling the ball.

Brian Westbrook fumbled just three times running on the ground, and lost two of them. That's right, in eight seasons, Westbrook only lost the ball on running plays twice. Something many players would kill for today. 

Unfortunately concussions and injuries forced him to take a seat in the 2009 season, and that's when we saw the emergence of LeSean McCoy. Maybe not so unfortunate after all.

Either way, it was hard to watch him go after so many years. That's why it is such good news to hear, he will retire an Eagle. Maybe even work with Duce Staley as a coaching-intern. Imagine that, Brian once again working under Duce? 

I could go on for hours, highlighting Brian Westbrook's career. Instead i will take the time to thank him, for playing full and committed for so many years.

Without Brian Westbrook, all of those trips to the NFC Championship would have been non-existent. 

It's hard to watch players retire I grew up watching; I almost prayed Andy Reid would try and pull Dawkins out of retirement to fill a much-needed safety void.

At the end of the day, Westbrook will join an incredible group of players when he retires an Eagle.

He will join a handful of players from the Andy Reid era to retire an Eagle.

Including Brian Dawkins, Jeremiah Trotter, Hugh Douglas, and many more. By the way, we all know McNabb is right around the corner.

It shows a respect and love for the city of Philadelphia, when players come back to their proving grounds to hang up their numbers. It shows what type of support and passion Andy Reid gave his players, and the confidence he instilled in them. 

Brian Westbrook, thank you for making my Sundays exciting for so many years.



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