For a while this off-season it sure looked like former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook was going to have to step down and retire. The football gods nearly demand that of all 30 year old running backs. Westbrook had been known for not only his quick cuts and fantastic speed bursts, but also his ability to be a viable receiving threat.
Because of injuries and sharing backfield time for the majority of his career, he only had two 1000+ yard seasons. With the surprise retirement of Glen Coffee last week, the San Francisco 49ers needed another back up running back. Westbrook had been considering the Cowboys, Rams and Redskins, but the lure of being a backup to one of the best running backs in the league and on a up and coming team in a weak NFC West was too much to resist.
Westbrook enters camp as the number 3 back behind Frank Gore and Anthony Dixon. Expect that to change when they break camp and Westbrook should be the number 2 guy. I think this is a win – win situation for Brian as he doesn’t need to worry about the carries anymore, he just needs to spell Gore every once in a while and that should allow his body to remain fresh during the season.
Born in Washington DC, playing college and pros in the Philadelphia area, Westbrooks leaves his comfort zone as far as his home is. Don’t expect huge numbers for Brian, instead see him as a guy that can fill a niche that the niners need. He is the backfield receiving threat that they never have had with Gore. This season I don’t expect his cards to move much but even still, he has 1/1 cards that routinely sell for between $80 – $100 as well as autograph only cards that sell for as little as $4. However things go for Brian Westbrook, he will always be a crowd favorite and really can only help the 49ers this season.