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Andy Reid on Brian Westbrook: “Never coached a player as smart”

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Brian Westbrook formally retired as an Eagle today, and Eagles coach Andy Reid remembered Westbrook more for his head than for his legs.

Reid said he “never coached a player as smart,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The most famous of all of Westbrook’s heads-up plays came in a 2007 game against the Cowboys, when Wesbrook took a handoff with the Eagles leading just before the two-minute warning, broke into the clear and then stopped just before reaching the goal line and kneeled at the 1-yard line. The Cowboys had no timeouts, so Westbrook’s play allowed the Eagles to simply kneel three times after the two-minute warning to run out the clock.

Reid credited Westbrook’s parents for his smarts, and Westbrook’s father talked at his son’s retirement ceremony about the family’s emphasis on education.

For his part, Westbrook credited the Eagles, calling them, “the best organization in the NFL.” For several years, Westbrook was one of their best players. And their smartest player.

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36 Responses to “Andy Reid on Brian Westbrook: “Never coached a player as smart””
  1. chrisvegas says: Aug 29, 2012 2:10 PM

    Class Act all the way! One of my favorite players of all time.

  2. dldove77 says: Aug 29, 2012 2:15 PM

    Can we assume he knows the rules to overtime?

  3. angrylionsfan says: Aug 29, 2012 2:16 PM

    I hope he makes it to the HOF. He was always an exciting player to watch on the field. Just as dangerous running the ball or catching it. He gave me 2 fantasy football super bowl wins too! It was a shame to see him get sent to the scrap heap when his age and injuries caught up with him.

  4. thraiderskin says: Aug 29, 2012 2:16 PM

    “Smartest player I’ve ever coached.” He certainly was never going to say that about McNabb.

  5. ravensfansc says: Aug 29, 2012 2:18 PM

    Great player! Wish him the best, that play was one of the best plays I have ever seen. Great player

  6. jbythebay says: Aug 29, 2012 2:19 PM

    I thought he was going to say Koy Detmer

  7. nickynick04 says: Aug 29, 2012 2:22 PM

    I ll agree Westbrook is smart , and a class act.
    But the Eagles are not the best franchise in the league. In a variety of areas and reasons
    One being they are not a Championship winning team. They just cannot figure out how to do that.
    1960 was over 50 years ago

  8. turk2875 says: Aug 29, 2012 2:24 PM

    Nice to see Westbrook, Dawkins, and Tra retire as an Eagle. But it’s also sad to see that these three great birds (along with others) don’t have a ring to show for their great play over the years. Westbrook has always been one of my favorite Eagles and really thought he had 1 or 2 more years in him after he was released by the 49ers.

  9. originalhulkhogan says: Aug 29, 2012 2:25 PM

    Im a cowboys fan and i remember screaming at the TV for the defense to let him score then he just dropped right in front of the goal line. All i could think was DAGGER!

    I feared the eagirls because of him brother!!

  10. eaglebobby says: Aug 29, 2012 2:28 PM

    nickynick04–so shall the historians wipe out every team’s championship prior to the SB?? Because that’s what you seem to be saying. I think when Westbrook said they were the best team in the league–and you can look up several historical articles here, I bet he was talking about how they try to treat their players and coaches as family; plus, they had a propensity, when they had aging players starting, they would seem to always draft for the future.

  11. philyeagles5 says: Aug 29, 2012 2:31 PM

    loved watching him play. one of the greatest Eagles ever.

  12. nflfollower says: Aug 29, 2012 2:31 PM

    Poor Andy Reid…. He’s had to coach mcnabb and vick! Not to take anything away from westbrook, love that guy!

  13. NakedCowboy! says: Aug 29, 2012 2:34 PM

    very very good player… i still remember all those 10-15 yards screen passes to westbrook… killed me as a cowboys fan…

  14. grogansheroes says: Aug 29, 2012 2:37 PM

    I’m sure he is the smartest player Reid has coached. But the bar is very low.

  15. listenupcupcake says: Aug 29, 2012 2:40 PM

    BWest was the best. Great RB, great pass catcher, great pass protector, great PR/KR, great in the clutch, great teammate, great man.

    Who played on very good, but never quite great, teams.

    For a few years in his prime, BWest was as great as was Marshall Faulk, but probably he’ll fall just shy of the HOF due to the middling length of his career.

    Regardless, many fond memories of #36. God bless.

  16. bubba9er says: Aug 29, 2012 2:41 PM

    The 9ers love having him. What a great player. Great receiver, too. Congratulations Brian on a very successful career.

  17. burgundyandgold says: Aug 29, 2012 2:43 PM

    He sure is. He grew up a Redskins fan and probably still is.

  18. chrisvegas says: Aug 29, 2012 2:51 PM

    nickynick04 says:
    Aug 29, 2012 2:22 PM
    I ll agree Westbrook is smart , and a class act.
    But the Eagles are not the best franchise in the league. In a variety of areas and reasons
    One being they are not a Championship winning team. They just cannot figure out how to do that.
    1960 was over 50 years ago
    ———————————
    Seriously bro? I mean cmon man grow up. What do you expect the guy to say about the team that drafted him and where he spent most of his career? Eagles are a well ran franchise. The best? No. But what do you expect a player to say about the team he spent his career with?

  19. bluebongzilla says: Aug 29, 2012 2:52 PM

    I guess I’m the only one that remembers that the Eagles gave him one $3 million contractual bonus TWICE (and the Eagles weren’t even sanctioned for it even though they played the entire 2006 season with $3 million that was not accounted for against the salary cap) and that he didn’t want to pay it back. Eagles fans may remember that they had to file an official grievance to get Westbrook to pay the extra $3 million back in 2007.

  20. bluebongzilla says: Aug 29, 2012 2:55 PM

    By the way… not in the top 60 all-time in any rushing or receiving category. He’ll get in to the Hall of Fame only if he buys a ticket.

  21. profootballwalk says: Aug 29, 2012 3:03 PM

    The most famous of Westbrook’s heads-up plays? Did you not watch the clip you linked to? Westbrook was TOLD to take a knee. In the interview, he says “He told me if I get down to the one, take a knee. I said … ahhh… but he told me to take a knee.” Obviously, not only was it not his heads-up play, but he hesitated to do it when someone else told him to. He had to be told twice.

  22. osrude says: Aug 29, 2012 3:04 PM

    Westbrook joins the long, unfortunate, and growing list of players who deserve a ring and will never have one.

    Its too bad, really.

  23. chrisvegas says: Aug 29, 2012 3:09 PM

    bluebongzilla says:
    Aug 29, 2012 2:55 PM
    By the way… not in the top 60 all-time in any rushing or receiving category. He’ll get in to the Hall of Fame only if he buys a ticket.
    ———————————————-
    Got to love the negative nancies on this site. Doesn’t matter what article you read there is always several post from people like this. Stats don’t always tell the whole story and anyone who watched Brain Westbrook play knows that.

  24. buffalobills2012 says: Aug 29, 2012 3:34 PM

    From a diehard Bills fan, i have an huge amount of respect for BW. All the best and thank you for risking your life playing this sport for our enjoyment. Salute!

  25. chrisvegas says: Aug 29, 2012 3:42 PM

    The only reason Westbrook delayed repayment was for tax complications.

  26. rcali says: Aug 29, 2012 3:52 PM

    Wait, is Coach Reid indirectly saying Michael Vick is stupid?

  27. rcali says: Aug 29, 2012 3:53 PM

    Just in time to sue the NFL! This dude is smart.

  28. derekjetersmansion says: Aug 29, 2012 4:07 PM

    Yeah, the kneel in DAL was propogated by Jon Runyan, not Westbrook. You can see Westbrook look back to the line as he falls. Westbrook said afterwards it was Runyan.

  29. wcdunkenfield says: Aug 29, 2012 6:17 PM

    For me, outside of all of his talents as a runner and pass catcher, what impressed me was his ability to pick up the blitz and/or block. Not to say Donovan didn’t get nicked, but if I were a QB I’d want Westbrook back there protecting me.

    Thanks Brian, for all your great Eagle moments…

  30. thelastpieceofcheese says: Aug 29, 2012 6:41 PM

    The “Westbrook flop” has become a classic in the NFL.

  31. salvi18 says: Aug 29, 2012 9:34 PM

    That punt return against the Giants will always be one of my favorite Westbrook moments, good luck Brian and thank you for the excitement

  32. bluebongzilla says: Aug 29, 2012 10:10 PM

    “Stats don’t always tell the whole story”

    Oh yeah, I forgot about all the Super Bowls he won.

    “The only reason Westbrook delayed repayment was for tax complications.”

    The only reason the Eagles filed an official grievance is because legally, it doesn’t matter if there were tax complications. What matters is that it didn’t belong to him in the first place and he should have paid it back as soon as he found out it wasn’t his.

  33. phillyphann83 says: Aug 29, 2012 10:26 PM

    uh yeah, Runyan is(was?) a congressman in NJ, I’m pretty sure Andy got that one wrong, lol

  34. jelliot1978 says: Aug 30, 2012 12:00 AM

    The Dallas play was a direct result of Runyan. The error that resulted in double payment was a non issue, he paid taxes on it and had to work with the Eagles and the NFL to make sure he didn’t lose money. The eagles only did what they did to cross the eyes and dot the tees, he didn’t try to stick the Eagles

  35. fourthandafoot says: Aug 30, 2012 8:20 AM

    The two above poster are right. It was Jon Runyan who told him to take a knee at the one.

  36. stephenolszewski says: Aug 30, 2012 11:15 AM

    One of the better running backs I’ve gotten to watch in my time being an NFL fan just too bad he had so many injuries in his career

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