June 3, 2010

'Skins Extend Offer To Westbrook

Looking back in NFL history, fans should realize that Mike Shanahan has never, ever met a running back he didn't like.

A year away from the game certainly didn't lessen his penchant for stacking a backfield.

Shanahan has already added Larry Johnson and Willie Parker who are competing for the starting tailback job with incumbent Clinton Portis. Now Shanahan has admitted the Redskins have extended an offer to former Eagle Brian Westbrook.

Shanahan told reporters Wednesday that "we want [Brian Westbrook] to sign with us. Like I said, it could be some great competition. I really like Brian, what he's done and how he's handled himself. I'm sure he's weighing some options. It's not too far away from home. Any more I can do?"

For a league filled with coachspeak, that's about as real as you're going to get. Shanahan wants Westbrook on the team.

There are a million viewpoints on the Redskins backfield. No one can tell why Shanahan is embarking on a running back spree of this magnitude. Could it be that he plans to cut Portis? Is he afraid one these backs will suffer an injury ? Is he uncertain as to what to do in regards to the RB position?

One thing's for sure if Westbrook is added, this could be the most decorated backfield ever. The foursome have two Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl appearances, eight Pro Bowls, and 12 1,000 yard rushing campaigns between them.

Of course, the 'Skins have made their mark as the team who buys former stars who have nothing left on the field. This could very well be a repeat of past mistakes, but you have to think Shanny has hit the mark with at least one of these backs.

Portis has been named the starter going into training camp, but he hasn't produced since early in 2008. However, an improved offensive gameplan might just kick him back into gear.

Johnson has possibly the most talent out of any of the backs on the roster, but has off-field issues that have clearly affected his performance the last fews years. This change of scenery could be just what Johnson needs to get back on track.

Parker is presently the third-string back. He is injury-prone, but his one-cut style fits well with Shanahan's scheme.

Should Westbrook be signed, he is the third-down, change-of-pace back the 'Skins have lacked for years. He can catch passes out of the backfield and is a legitimate threat to score on each touch.

The 'Skins can protect Westbrook by using him as a situational player. Westbrook can make an impact without playing every down, which is something the other three backs can't do.

Stay tuned.

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