In the NBA there is constant talk surrounding the ”big 3″ of each team. Most of the time that does not translate to the NFL, but as with anything else, there are always exceptions. The Philadelphia Eagles have had many great players, but in most recent years when I think of an Eagles ”Big 3″ the names Brian Dawkins, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook resonate in my mind.
On August 29, 2012 at 11:30a.m., Brian Westbrook officially retired from the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Surrounded by family, coaches, players, friends and Eagles employees including the cafeteria staff, Westbrook reminded us all of his journey.
“When I think of myself, I think of Brian Westbrook from Fort Washington, Maryland to DeMatha injuries, to Villanova injuries, to Philadelphia injuries. All of the good days, all the bad days. A third-round pick that was too small, would only be a special teams player, to an All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowl selection, to a franchise player in total yards from scrimmage. It’s been a great ride and I thank all of you people and everyone who’s been here every step of the way. Thank you.”
Westbrook spoke with the same modesty and poise that he will always be remembered for. He touted McNabb as the greatest quarterback that has ever played in Philadelphia, thanked Brian Dawkins for being a terrific role model and even remembered his own moment of glory, that famous punt return against the New York Giants by thanking the 10 players who blocked for him in order to make that play possible. Never once did he stop to dote on the fact that he is one of the greatest offensive players in Philadelphia Eagles history, but he did stop to pay homage to the fans.
“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,” beamed Westbrook. “Thank you for all the cheers, the love and support throughout the ups and downs of my career.”
During his time with the Eagles, Westbrook notched 9,785 yards from scrimmage, which is a team record. The former running back totaled 5,995 rushing yards placing him in 2nd on the Eagles all-time list. Number 36 scored 66 touchdowns, went to the Pro Bowl twice and in 2007 was named an All-Pro player.