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Philadelphia Eagles News

RB Brian Westbrook

On his expectations going into Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers: "I except to just go out there and play football, [I] may be just a tad bit rusty but I think I've been practicing hard and [things] have been going pretty well in practice. Once you get a couple of plays in then you are right back to normal, that's how I feel going into the game."

On whether he has a feel for how may touches he will get: "You know what, I'm not sure. Hopefully a lot, but [head] coach [Andy] Reid really hasn't given me a great idea of exactly how many times I'll touch the ball. We have a lot of good weapons on this team, a lot of guys that can do things with the ball, so I'm sure everybody will get their opportunities."

On how difficult it has been to come back from his injury slowly: "For me really, I just try to get my timing and I try to get my footwork together, things like that. I try to get timing [down] with the offensive line during run periods and of course with [QB] Donovan [McNabb] during the pass periods. I've been able to get pretty well at that. I think it's just one of those things where you don't want to take a pounding early on in the season, so coach Reid has been very careful with my reps during practice."

On whether he is okay with being an 18-22 touches per game guy if the team gives more carries to the other backs: "I hope that they mix it up a little bit. I still would love to touch the ball a lot. I think I can still do a lot of dynamic things with the ball in my hands. We just really have to wait and see how the game goes."

On whether he is eager to get a fresh start now that he is healthy: "I'm just happy to be able to go out there and feel relatively healthy. My knee, my ankle, I feel pretty good about it right now. I'm just excited about going out there, being healthy, being in pretty good shape, and working with a new offensive line. With all the weapons that we have out there defenses have to concentrate on those guys just as much as they concentrate on me, so I'm excited about that as well."

On whether he thinks being a 30-year-old running back is as big of a deal as some people make it out to be: "I don't think so. Everybody is different. Everybody's body is different. Everyone has different perceptions of being a 30-year-old running back. I think I still can be very effective. I still think I can do some of the things that I've done in the past and I really just have to wait until game time to be able to show it."

On whether it was a drawback to not play against Jacksonville in the third preseason game: "I don't think it was a drawback at all. I still worked very hard throughout practice during the week. I went out and did everything I could to get myself prepared for the game. Coach [Reid] just made a decision not to play me in that game, so it was just one of those things."

On his training camp, preseason and not being able to get out onto the field: "It was definitely different. I feel a lot fresher as I sit here right now going into the first game than I have in the past, but at the same time it was very different. You are doing a lot of different things, but at the same time hopefully I'm at the same point as I was before where I'm ready to play. I'm definitely excited about it. I'm anxious to get out there and work with the guys."

On whether he is happy that at this point in his career his touches may be limited, which could extend his career: "As a player I'm always going to go full-bore. I'm always going to give everything I have. I'm hopeful that I will touch the ball as many times as I can, as many times as coach allows me to. I don't really think of it as, 'if you touch the ball 30 times a game you have two more years left, or three years or whatever it is.' Every time I touch it I try to do what I do with the ball and let the chips fall where they may."

On what he has seen from rookie RB LeSean McCoy: "I think LeSean's ready. He's worked very hard in training camp, he's taken a lot of reps and he's come along way from minicamp to now. You can tell that he has the makings of a very good football player. He is still very young, so he is still trying to learn some things about the game that he hasn't learned yet. He's come a long way, he's doing a great job and I'm excited to see him play as well."

On whether he remembers what it felt like when he was a rookie getting ready for his first game: "I do remember. I think we were down in Tennessee. I was excited to play. I was happy, I didn't play very much, I played a little bit. It's going to be exciting, it's almost going to be that same feeling for me down in Carolina. I haven't really played very much in the preseason or practiced very much, but at the same time I'm fresh and I'm ready to go. I am mentally stable, I know where to look with the blitzes and I know the protections, so I'm ready to go. I'll be excited just as I was my first game my rookie year."

On whether he feels more pressure now than he has in the past because of his age or his recent injuries: "I think it's a combination of all of it. (Jokingly)I want to prove to myself, prove to coach Reid that you don't have to go through a hard training camp and kill yourself to be ready to play. I have to kind of prove that a little bit, the standard for all the players in the league. (Seriously) At the same time I think I've worked very hard to get to this point and I want to prove to myself that, 'you still can play. You still can do it. You still can make people miss. You still can make long runs and you still can have an impact on the game.' I've prepared myself to be at that point right now. I've done everything I can to be that type of player and now it's just having the opportunity to go out there and do it and that's what I'm waiting for."

On whether he thinks it will take the offense some time to run on all cylinders because so many players missed the preseason: "I hope not. I hope that it doesn't take a lot of time. I think that we have some professionals up there that know how to do it, know how to get it done and have done it in the past. We have some very athletic guys, offensive line, wide receiver, running back, across the board and we know what we're doing, we just have to go out there and do it. Now it's against a very good defense, a team that has a lot of the returning players coming back so we have to go out there and execute against a very good football team."

On whether having new players on the offensive line makes things more difficult for him: "I don't think it makes it difficult. I've practiced with [T/G] Shawn [Andrews] last week when he came back and [G/T] Stacy [Andrews] when I came back, as well as [T] Jason [Peters]. I'm excited to run behind those guys. Those guys are animals, they really get after it and I'm excited to run behind those guys. They want to run the ball. They protect well but they definitely want to get after it in the run game, so hopefully coach Reid will give us the opportunity."

On whether the fact that McNabb is comfortable with Westbrook in the backfield makes the transition with the new players on the offensive line easier: "I hope he feels that way. We've been doing it together for a long time. I hope he feels confident that I am definitely going to get my blocking assignment and then any time I have a pass route that I'm going to get open and he's always able to drop it down to us. The good thing about this team now is that we have guys outside that can stretch the field, we have some tight ends that can stretch the field, so it really gives me the opportunity to be one-on-one with the linebacker and that really goes back to what I was able to do early on in my career."

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