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Head Coach Andy Reid On Brian Westbrook

Opening remarks: "As you know, this is a tough day for the Philadelphia Eagles. Anytime you have to release a player like Brian Westbrook, that's not an easy thing to do; neither for us or for Brian. I had an opportunity to talk to Brian this morning about the situation and inform him that we were going in a different direction. Brian was tremendous with it and very professional with it. I think we all know that Brian is one of the all-time great Philadelphia Eagles. For what we've done here over the years, Brian has been just a huge part of building this program to the level that we're at now. My heart will always be a Brian Westbrook fan as we go forward here. I mentioned in the release that I have a hard time believing that there's another running back that's played in the National Football League that's been as valuable to a team in so many different ways that what Brian has meant to us; both on the field and off the field. As great, and I mean I'm talking great, as great a football player as he is, as smart a football player as he is, he's even a better person off the field. That's what makes these things very, very tough. We did this at this particular time so we can allow Brian an opportunity to hook on with another football team if he chooses to do that with a new league year approaching us here on (March 5). So, this gives both he and his agent an opportunity to pursue other opportunities if that's the direction that they go."

On whether he would consider bringing Westbrook back as a coach or at some other non-player position in the organization if he does not sign with another team: "He does have that Villanova education. (Villanova head coach) Andy Talley and the professors up there taught him well. He is a very, very intelligent guy and if he decides not to play, I would always invite him back. He, to me, is a Philadelphia Eagle and he's the kind of people that you want in your organization."

On what he saw in Westbrook that led him to this decision: "I'm not going to get into all of that. These types of things happen in the National Football League. We know how the league is. That doesn't mean Brian's not going to go on and play for somebody else; I don't know that now. We just went in a different direction."

On whether he considered asking Westbrook to restructure his deal: "I don't want to get into all the specifics on that. I just kind of keep it focused on the actual part that it happened here."

On whether Westbrook expected this decision: "I don't know that. I didn't ask him that. We just casually talked professionally. Part of it was professional and part was from a friendship standpoint. So, I don't know that. I didn't ask him that."

On whether he feels that Westbrook will play somewhere else: "You'll have to ask him. I don't know that for a fact, but I think he might want to do that, yeah."

On how worried he was after Westbrook's second concussion during the season: "This isn't about that. That's not what this was."

On Westbrook's regular season finale and whether it indicated something to him about how Westbrook was physically: "No, not necessarily. We went a little bit more with (RB) LeSean (McCoy) that last (playoff) game. Again, I'd like to keep this more focused on Brian than on LeSean, but obviously that's who's going to take the ball from here, as you'd say. That's what we chose to do."

On what stood out about Westbrook and what made him so great: "You know what, he had no weaknesses. There wasn't any one thing that you could pick out that he was not good at; he was brilliant. There are just certain guys that are just football smart and he was one of those guys. You never had to tell him anything more than one time and it was done and you had confidence that it was going to be done. He's a great pass blocker, he's a great receiver and we all know he's a great runner. He can run inside, he can run outside, strong for his size; he was very, very strong. He gave you great flexibility there."

On Westbrook's unique talents and whether that allowed some creativity and additions in the playbook: "You noticed that when you brought in other running backs. All of a sudden, you go 'Okay, this is what we have.' You have this package that is enormous. Then you fully grasp Brian's really exceptional knowledge of the game. Thank goodness he was here to help the younger guys progress and that he was willing to share with them things, for them, as professionals. Which made it easier but, still, we had a large package for them."

On whether this lends any weight to the adage that 30-year-old running backs start to decline in light of the recent releases of Westbrook and Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson: "I don't know that. I think everybody is different. I know I'm saying that and you're asking me a question, but they're both the same. As far as age, close to it. I haven't thought much about that. I think, again, I think they're all different."

On whether there is something about the running back position that there seems to be no twilight: "I mentioned this before, that is a tough, tough position to play. If you're not running the ball, then you're blocking. It is a physical, physical position. You have to be a tough nut to do it."

On whether the team now has to put a little more emphasis on the running back position with the draft approaching: "We'll look at that. (GM) Howie (Roseman) and I will keep our eyes open and just see what's out there. We haven't gotten that far yet with that."

On the emotional toll this takes when making a business decision like this: "This is absolutely the worse part of the job. If you're fortunate enough to stick around long enough, you're going to see these things happen and you're going to develop these relationships and because this happens, that doesn't destroy the relationship. That relationship will go on as long as we're around. So, thank goodness the players understand the professional side of it. Not that they like it; they don't like it any more than we like it. They understand that. Again, if they're fortunate enough to leave here and get a few more years in, I'm their biggest fan."

On where the leadership will now come on the offensive side:"Well, (QB) Donovan (McNabb) is obviously here. We've got young guys that I think are good leaders also. We're okay there. That's not what I'm worried about. I will tell you Brian, I think, is a tremendous leader. He does it a little different way that he's quiet, he does it by example. He was never afraid to speak up if he saw something that he knew wasn't about the team."

On whether this was a salary cap reason: "Not necessarily. You just give him an opportunity to find another job if he chooses to do that."

On whether it was a good idea to make the move now heading into free agency: "If you're going to do it, you're giving Brian an opportunity; that's a primary. This guy has been with us for such a long time. You don't want to not allow him to maximize his ability to go get another job; either he nor his agent. We were able to talk to both guys today, both Brian and his agent and explain that to them."

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