Westbrook: Reid can get it done
Brian Westbrook spent eight seasons with the Eagles.
And only once, in 2005, did he experience a losing season.
Now, nearly two years after Westbrook was let go, the Eagles are closing in on what can only be described as the most disappointing season of the Andy Reid era.
Westbrook, who played last season with the 49ers, was asked today what he thinks about Reid, DeSean Jackson and the franchise that drafted him in the third round of the 2002 draft.
Appearing on a variety of ESPN programming, Westbrook said he still believes Reid is the right man to lead the Eagles.
"For me, it makes sense to bring Andy Reid back," Westbrook told Mike & Mike in the Morning. "Do you have another guy out there that can take his spot and take this collection of great athletes, high-paid guys, and make them win? I don't know. I know Andy Reid can do it though."
Westbrook talked about why Reid hasn't won this year, saying the lockout probably hurt the Eagles more than any other team in the league.
"With the lockout, this team in particular, struggled because of that," Westbrook said. "You have a new defensive coordinator coaching a new group of guys. You have no clue who these guys are. The defensive coordinator has no clue how to control these guys. He's trying to figure out how to be a better defensive coordinator. He's been an offensive line coach his whole career."
Which, of course, begs the question: Knowing all those things beforehand, why did Reid decide on Juan Castillo in the first place? Specifically given the difficult circumstances?
But I digress.
Westbrook also discussed Jackson's contract situation and the wide receiver's relationship with the team.
"It's a tough situation," Westbrook said, when asked about Jackson. "I think that he needs to handle his business on the field better than he's handling it. I've talked to DeSean and I said 'Listen, make sure you're handling everything you can on the field as a professional, period.'"
Westbrook explained that he's been in the same situation. In his fourth season with the Eagles, Westbrook held out before eventually signing a five-year, $25 million deal. In 2008, that contract was re-worked after Westbrook felt he had outperformed it.
"The problem for the team is you want to pay him [Jackson] the least. The player wants to get the most. Somewhere in between, you have to meet, but you cannot disrespect the player in the meantime," Westbrook said. So if you're saying [to] DeSean Jackson, 'We're going to pay you like the worst receiver int he league and we're going to offer you that,' then that's going to disrespect the player. Now he's going to go work out during the offseason, thinking about 'Hey you know what? They don't think I'm good enough. So my effort may not be there.' And that may not be the professional way to do that. But as a person, as a man, that's the way things happen."
Westbrook added that he thinks Jackson and the Eagles will be able come to an agreement, saying the Eagles' wide receiver is too good and too important to let go.
Earlier today, I posted What they're saying about the Eagles.