Brian Westbrook Press Conference
Brian Westbrook (Getty Images/Jim McIsaac)
Brian Westbrook (Getty Images/Jim McIsaac)

Posted Jun 10, 2008


Brian Westbrook talks about training camp, the Eagles' backfield, the NBA Finals, and more in a recent press conference. Details inside.

RB Brian Westbrook Press Conference

6/9/08



On whether he is happy to hear of Michael Strahan’s retirement:

“He had a long career. Very solid career, hall of fame type career. I’m glad not to face him two times a year though. He’s a great player. It’s hard to come up with words to describe the type of player he is. Great player. Long career. Glad we’re not playing him anymore though.”


On how he attended the second game of the NBA Finals last night:

“It was good. It was a very good game. I was rooting for the Celtics. It was definitely exciting for me. I like Kevin Garnett. I just like the way he plays. I’ve liked him since he was in Minnesota. I’ve always been one of his fans.”


On what he thinks he needs to do to follow up his 2007 season:

“For me I always try and figure out what more I can do for this team to help us win. I think that for me it would be more of the same. Try and continue to do the same things I’ve done in the past. Try to present match-up problems for our offense and provide leadership as well. Those are the things I can help this team with and those are the things I hope to bring to this football team this year.”


On whether it has become clear as to how he and RB Lorenzo Booker will be used in the offense:

“I think that just the way I’m seeing it now, and everything changes from time to time around here, especially from mini camp to training camp and to the season. We’re just trying to get more speed on the field. Give the defense a lot of different things they have to cover, a lot of different things they have to worry about. Lorenzo brings a big play capability as well to the field. He’s very fast, very shifty, has very good hands. We’re just trying to put more playmakers on the field at the same time.”


On the heat during practice today:

“It was hot out there. It was a great practice and it kind of gauged where you’re at as far as conditioning. I think that everyone did a pretty good job, so a great gauge where you’re at.”


On the capabilities of the offense for this year:

“I’m excited about our offense. I was excited about our offense last year and I think we’ve improved a little bit from last year to this year with the addition of [WR] DeSean Jackson, Lorenzo, and [TE] L.J. [Smith] being healthy. We know that [WR] Kevin [Curtis] and [WR] Reggie [Brown] are going to get it done on our side, so I’m definitely excited about those guys as well. We are another year mature, another year playing together as an offense. The younger guys are getting older and another year underneath your belt helps out your offense and with the addition of the two younger guys, more speed on the field and that definitely helps our offense.”


On whether there is concern about QB Donovan McNabb not throwing much in practice:

“I don’t think so. I don’t really see Donovan being too concerned. I haven’t talked to coach about it or anything like that or Don or even the medical staff. I think it’s a more precautionary type of deal. You don’t want to throw out a quarterback’s arm in mini camp before you even get to training camp before the season. Donovan, he’ll be ready. He always has been and I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.”


On how long it takes him to recover from a season and when he starts going full force again:

“I usually try to give myself a month off and then do small things a couple of times a week. It takes your body a little while, maybe two months to recover just to get back to where it was before the season. Then in May and June I start hitting it a little bit harder just trying to get ready for the season.”


On what skills are needed in the fullback position to complement him:

“I told Thomas [Tapeh] last year and I told Jon Ritchie and Cecil Martin even before we met to just get in the guy’s way. As for blocking for me, they don’t have to run them over, that’s a plus if they can do that. But if they can just provide a little crease then we have the running backs here that can get through those holes. If they provide those creases then we have the guys that can get it done if they can do that. I think probably the biggest thing for us on the fullback is that they have to be able to protect the passer, protect Donovan when they’re in. They have to be able to pick up the blitzes. To be honest with you, with the addition of Lorenzo and DeSean I don’t know how many times we’ll have a fullback in the game.”


On CB Lito Sheppard not showing up to OTAs and how he’s never gotten to that point in his own contract talks:

“Everybody’s an individual, as far as your decision to show up. As everybody knows, these things are not mandatory, they’re voluntary. I made the decision to come just because I like to get a good workout with the team and try to get in shape that way. But, I’m sure Lito’s out there working hard. I know he’s working hard, I talked to [CB] Sheldon [Brown] about it, and he’s out there working hard and taking care of his business so that, when the season comes around, he’s ready to play.”


On whether these camps are still beneficial to him:

“I think, personally, they’re beneficial. They’re not as beneficial as they were when you’re younger, of course, because I know pretty much the whole offense and things like that. I think now it’s more of the leadership aspect of things and getting in shape and maybe learning some of the new wrinkles in the offense that coaches have put in in the offseason. I’m here to help the younger guys learn, as well as getting in great shape and [learning] the different things that they’ve put in.”


On whether it’s reassuring to him that the team drafted WR/Return Specialist DeSean Jackson:

“I think that just shows [head] coach [Andy] Reid’s commitment to correcting things that are wrong. I think last year one of our big mistakes is that we didn’t really have a playmaker in the punt return and return games. I think [RB] Reno [Mahe] did a great job of doing what we needed him to do as far as catching the ball, but he’s not a playmaker like DeSean will be this year for us. And, hopefully [RB] Lorenzo [Booker] can return kickoffs. He has speed, he has the ability to make a move, make people miss, and that’s what you need. That’s what our offense was missing a little bit. There’s a big difference between going 80 yards and going 60 yards or 70 yards. There’s a big difference in the NFL. There are not many offenses throughout the NFL that are going to consistently go 80 yards on a pretty good defense.”


On what training camp is like for him:

“Not good. A lot of players say they like training camp, but I don’t like training camp at all. I think that we need the work, but I think that training camp is a little bit too long. (Jokingly) Is Coach Reid listening to this? I’m not a big fan of it. I think that we don’t need that much of a training camp to get ready for the season, but I do think that this team, and all teams, need a little work together to try to get everything situated. But, I’m not really looking forward to it.”


On whether there’s something he does to get through training camp:

“No. I just take it one day at a time; try to look at the light at the end of the tunnel, really. It’s one of those things that you have to go through to play through the season.”


On what the team needs to do to get back to the playoffs:

“We have to get out of the gate fast. We have to get some momentum from the beginning and get our swagger. I think last year we lost our swagger along the way. That goes along with injuries and things like that and missing players, but when you get that swagger back, and we have some players that can provide that, especially with [QB] Donovan [McNabb], the younger guys, [WR] Reggie [Brown] and those guys. We have playmakers on defense as well, we have to try to find ways to win football games and, for our defense, that’s getting turnovers and pressuring the passer. For our offense, that’s scoring points and getting into the red zone and not accepting field goals, but scoring touchdowns. We have the ability. We have the players to do it, we just have to consistently do it over time.”


On whether he did anything different this offseason to get his body ready for the season and whether the coaches have talked to him about lightening his workload:

“No, they haven’t talked to me about lightening, or anything like that. I’m a fan of carrying the ball, and having the ball in my hands, but I also want the best for this team. I know sometimes it’s better to spread the ball, allow them to get the ball into different people’s hands so that we can present problems for a defense. I love having the ball in my hands. I think I’m a better player when I have the ball in my hands. And, as far as working out, I continue to work hard everyday. I continue to try to strengthen my muscles around my legs, my knees, ankles, and everything like that so that I can play the whole season.”


On whether the coaches will try to limit his touches at all during training camp:

“I think, at some point, they’ll limit the things that I do. Coach usually does a great job of taking care of the players during training camp and things like that so their legs and arms can remain fresh, and I don’t see that changing this year.”


On whether he talked to team owner Jeffrey Lurie about a new contract at the recent NBA Finals game they attended:

“No, we were just there, enjoying the game; enjoying the Celtics victory, really.”


On whether he feels his contract should be reworked:

“I think if you play at a high level, you should be rewarded for that. You see guys that are the best players in the league, traditionally they’re rewarded for their play. I feel, as a player, and I’m sure a lot of other players feel like they should be compensated for the things that they do, and of course I feel the same way.”


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