Wednesday, August 29, 2012

36 West officially makes final stop in Philadelphia

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Former Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook officially retired as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday.

"I spent eight of my best years of my life in Philadelphia playing for the Eagles," a composed Westbrook said during a press conference at Lincoln Financial Field.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Westbrook played with the Eagles from 2002-09 and is the franchise leader with 9,785 total yards from scrimmage. He currently ranks second in team history in rushing yards with 5,995.

"When I think of myself, I think of Brian Westbrook ... a third-round pick that was too small, who would only be a special teams player, to an All-Pro, to a two-time Pro Bowl selection, to the franchise leader in total yards from scrimmage.

"It's been a great ride and I thank everyone that has been here for me every step of the way."

The Villanova product, who played one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2010, will be honored at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23 during halftime of a game against the Washington Redskins.

Westbrook became the third former member of the Eagles to retire with the organization this offseason, joining former teammates Brian Dawkins and Tra Thomas.

"This guy did it all," Birds head coach Andy Reid said. "He’ll go down as one of the all-time great Philadelphia Eagles, and obviously by the number of yards he produced offensively, being the leader in that category, I’m kind of stating the obvious there."

Among Westbrook's highlights were his 84-yard punt return for a touchdown in the final moments of a 14-10 win over the New York Giants at the Meadowlands in October of 2003, a victory which pulled Philly even at 3-3 and helped propel them to another NFC East crown; a memorable long clock-killing, near-touchdown run at the end of a 2006 Christmas Day victory in Dallas, and a 71-yard TD scamper off a screen from Donovan McNabb to seal a 26-14 win over Minnesota at the Metrodome in a wild card game in January of 2009.

"You’re the best fans in the world, and I hope the passion I played with on the field and the way I carried myself off the field represented you guys well and made you guys proud," Westbrook said. "Thank you for all the cheers, the love and support throughout the ups and downs of my career."

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