Monday night's nationally-televised game against the Washington Redskins will have even extra meaning to star running back Brian Westbrook. For the first time in his nine year career, Westbrook will be lined up on the opposite sideline of his brother.
Byron Westbrook is a backup cornerback and special teamer for the Redskins who spent the past two years on the teams' practice squad before finally making the final cut this September.
"I'm very proud of him," Brian Westbrook said of his brother. "Two years on the practice squad and finally he made the team this year, so I'm very proud of him. He's come a long way from a D3 school to make an NFL roster. It's amazing. It really speaks to his character and his work ethic. He didn't let it get him down. He continued to fight, continued to push himself, continued to get better, and he fought his way to get on the roster and I'm very proud of him.
"I've talked to him a lot these past couple of days, telling him to watch out for the Wildcat and the Wing T and the triple option and all the different plays, things like that. I'm sure they're down there preparing for us."
So who will Westbrook's parents be pulling for?
"I hope they root for me," Westbrook said laughingly. "They will be rooting for just their sons and they want us to both have success, and hopefully, because I'm older, they'll want the Eagles to win."
Westbrook will hope to have a big game in front of family Monday night after the Oakland game in which he totaled 141 yards from scrimmage in only 15 touches. Westbrook was so productive that he was asked whether he should be getting the ball more.
"I think I can make some plays when I have the ball in my hands," he said. "It's very hard to show people what you can do when you don't have the opportunities. I think as the season goes on I will get those opportunities, and when I do, I think I will show people that I can still play.
"I'm a positive person. I'm always thinking of the next series I'll get the ball, next play I'll touch it. Whenever I do get a chance, I'll make a play and that's just the way I think about every possession, every play, and so I constantly remind myself of that. I really don't get too down during the game. Of course after the game you look at the stats, you look at production, things like that and you kind of say 'wow,' but at the same time we've had a lot of success throwing the football. We're going to need to run the football as well. But if we hit some of those long balls down the field like we did in the first couple of games, the game would have been a little bit different. We didn't do that. Now there is a glaring line that you have to run the ball."
Westbrook said there are so many talented players on the offense that it's often difficult for everyone to touch the ball enough.
"We have a very good quarterback and we have very capable receivers outside, so we're going to throw the ball," he said. "We're a passing team, so we're probably not going to stop doing that."
Westbrook also talked about his role in mentoring rookie LeSean McCoy, especially when it comes to ball security.
"I've talked to LeSean a lot about ball security," Westbrook said. "His style kind of lends himself for the ball to be loose a lot, and so, me, the other running backs and the coaches have talked to him a lot about just trying to secure the ball.
"He swings the ball a lot when he runs. Like I said, in this league the guys are just too fast. In college you could get away with it a little bit because they're a lot faster than the other guys and the defenses aren't attacking the ball as much, they're just trying to make a play. But in this league, guys are too fast, too strong and they are trying to get the ball out of your hands."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 5:23 p.m., October 22