Philadelphia Eagles News

RB Brian Westbrook

On whether there's a point at which playing with his ankle and knee pain becomes too much and he has to take himself out: "I communicate with (head) coach (Andy Reid) and let him know how I'm feeling, what's going on. We communicate during the week and we communicate during the games as well. I try to give everything I have and go out there trying to help this team. It will be coach's decision, as well as mine, if I'm not helping this team, to get somebody else in there. I'm still trying to do everything I can to try to help this team win. I'm trying to go out there and compete. Get healthy enough to compete on Sundays, that's where it's at really."

On whether he anticipates playing with pain for the rest of the season: "I'm pretty sure it's not going to be completely healed, this week or next week or whenever. It's one of those situations where you try to get it as good as you can get it on Sunday and then play through it."

On having a couple good runs in the 2nd half at Cincinnati and whether anything changed at halftime to cause that: "We did a couple different things in the run game. We ran more directly at them; we didn't run as many outside zones. The play selection was just a little bit different."

On whether it's hard to get into a rhythm when he runs the ball 14 times: "As a player, you go out there no matter what play is called, run play or pass play, and you try to effectively go out there and make it work. You don't really question the coach as far as 'Why is he not running?' or 'Why is he running?' or 'Why is he throwing the ball?' or whatever. You try to go out there and make things work. Coach does a great job of studying film and seeing the defense's tendencies so we always defer to him as far as the plays; the calls. We believe and we have confidence that he'll call the right plays, whether it's a run or a pass. For me, of course I want the ball in my hands, but I don't call the plays; I don't make those types of decisions. I do have confidence in him and faith in coach that he'll make the right decisions for us."

On whether he feels like he has a responsibility to give play-calling input to Coach Reid during the week: "We talk about it. We talk about it all the time about 'We want to run the ball.' But, at the same time, he is the coach. It's hard for us to change his mind, but I think that, if we had more success early on during the game, that would definitely change his mind. For us, we have to try to find a way to effectively run the ball earlier on during the game so that he'll come back to it."

On who he is referring to when he says "we": "Everybody, me and coach, me and the running backs, me and everybody on offense. We want to run the ball and we have the ability to do it. Coach is seeing something in the defense that's making him call those plays or he feels comfortable with those plays and that's what he's going with."

On whether his ankle or his knee is bothering him more: "A little bit of both."

On whether he's able to still make cuts on the field: "Yeah, I'm able to make cuts."

On whether this injury is tougher to play with than in the past when he has played through pain: "With the ankle injury, it's a little tougher just because it's harder to cut and harder to do the things that I'm able to do; make people miss and some of that. It is a little bit different this time as opposed to the knee, which I've been dealing with that for 10 years now, or however long. It's a little bit tougher with the ankle because it gets healthy enough to play in the game and then during the game, you basically re-injure it again."

On whether he was frustrated by his limited carries at Cincinnati: "I tried to answer the question before. I don't make the play-calls, I don't look at the sideline and say 'Coach Reid, why aren't you running the ball?' I try to make sure that every play, run or pass, I go out there and give everything that I have. Of course, it's frustrating when you don't win. It's frustrating when you're not touching the ball a lot and, when you lose, that's frustrating. But, if we ran the ball ten times and we won, that's not as frustrating. For me, I'm a team player. I want us to win, so for us to go out there and tie, that's disappointing and that's frustrating. I feel as though I can help this team win football games. Hopefully, I can get those opportunities."

On whether it's a bad message for the running game when he doesn't get the ball on 3rd-and-1 plays: "No, that doesn't send that message to us. That sends a message that, obviously, there's something else that we think that we can do. I'm sure our performance on the last third-and-one, fourth-and-one situation against the Giants probably played a little part in that. But, that's something that we have to get better at. When we have those opportunities, we need to be able to run the ball too."

On what it takes to get better at things during the season: "I think more so than anything, everybody needs to do their job; block the proper people, you have to run hard, things like that. It's not getting better as a player, it's more getting better at technique and your responsibilities getting better."

On whether Coach Reid's message has gotten across to the players this week: "I think the message was received, yes."

On whether he thinks the recent criticism of Coach Reid and QB Donovan McNabb is fair: "No. I think, of course the coach is going to get blamed for a lot of stuff, the quarterback is going to get blamed for a lot of stuff. It's definitely not all their fault. The running backs, receivers, linemen, tight ends, we all have a part in it. Donovan's taken a lot of blame for it with the overtime stuff, but, when I look at the tape, I see the things that we were able to do in overtime. I don't see a quarterback out there not holding up his end of the deal; trying to get to the second overtime. I don't see that. I see a guy going out there and trying to make a play and do everything he can for us to go down and score. He's getting criticism for some things that he said, but, when you look at the tape, that's not what you're seeing. You're seeing a guy that's going out trying to score points for his team. Coach Reid is, of course, going to get criticism because we're 5-4-1 right now. But, he's still coaching this team and I still think he's a great coach. This team has to take some responsibility and, if we take that on our shoulders and handle it the proper way, we'll have some success. You can't blame two people in a team game for the success or failure of the team."

On whether he's surprised that he's escaped criticism: "I wouldn't say 'escaped.' I just think that, sometimes, the media and other people outside look at certain people and put all the blame on them. I don't think that's fair or, in this case, correct."

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