|Brian Westbrook's younger brother plays his role for 'Skins|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 13 September 2007 13:21|
The younger Westbrook is a practice squad cornerback on the Redskins. Brian Westbrook is one of the league's top running backs with the Eagles. Since Washington (1-0) plays at Philadelphia (0-1) on Monday night, Byron played Brian's role on the scout team.
``I'll probably give him a call and ask for some tips,'' Byron said during the week.
Brian spent a couple of off-days with his sibling. He wouldn't give any advice without getting some information in return.
``I quizzed him on all the defenses and everything like that,'' he said with a smile.
The Westbrooks both attended DeMatha High School in the Washington area and took slightly different paths to reach the NFL, each overcoming long odds in the process.
Brian had a record-setting career at Division I-AA Villanova, but was considered too small - he's 5-foot-8 and 203 pounds - to be more than a third-round pick. The Eagles took a chance on him in 2002, and he's developed into perhaps the team's most valuable player.
Byron had 18 interceptions and was a return specialist at Division III Salisbury. He signed as an undrafted rookie with the Redskins in May, and earned a spot on the practice squad with a solid training camp.
``Any time he can continue his playing career, I'm definitely happy for him,'' Brian said.
The pair's mother, Zelda, will be in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field watching her older son play. Byron knows Eagles fans are a rowdy bunch, but he plans to give his mom a Redskins hat or scarf to wear.
``Hopefully she won't get booed,'' he said.
If Washington's defense contains Brian Westbrook, it could make for a tough night for Philly's offense. Donovan McNabb had a so-so performance in his first regular-season game since tearing a knee ligament. Still, the Eagles would've beaten Green Bay in the opener if it weren't for two muffed punts.
Greg Lewis fumbled the first punt and the Packers recovered in the end zone for their only touchdown. J.R. Reed dropped the last one in the final minutes, setting up the winning kick in Green Bay's 16-13 victory.
Reno Mahe, a sure-handed receiver, re-signed with the Eagles and will provide stability in the return game. But the offense has to get it going and put up more than 283 yards and 13 points.
``We have to execute,'' McNabb said. ``We have to block well. We have to run the ball. We have to pass the ball well, just total execution. We have to be consistent, be able to set up the run, and now the play-action and drop-back opens up. In our offense, you can't be one-dimensional.''
McNabb has put up big numbers against Washington in his career, going 9-3 in 12 starts. It was against the Redskins in his second season back in 2000 that McNabb ran for 125 yards, including a highlight-reel 21-yard touchdown scamper that's been replayed thousands of times over the years.
McNabb raced past Bruce Smith, faked Mark Carrier with a stunning open-field move and dragged Matt Stevens into the end zone. He also had a career-best 54-yard scramble in that game.
``He's played the best against us of any one single player,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ``I think he's an exceptional player.''
The Redskins took the first step in their attempt to rebound from last year's 5-11 record, the worst in Gibbs' Hall of Fame career, with a 16-13 overtime win over Miami last Sunday. Antwaan Randle El had a career-high 162 yards receiving and Clinton Portis ran for 98 yards.
Randle El and Santana Moss could take advantage of Philadelphia's depleted secondary. Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard is out with a knee injury, forcing Will James to move from the nickel spot into the starting lineup. Quarterback Jason Campbell had a shaky outing against the Dolphins, throwing two interceptions and no TDs.
``It's going to take time,'' Eagles safety Brian Dawkins said. ``He's still going to make mistakes, and then there are times where he's going to look amazing back there, because he is an athletic guy who can move. He does look a lot more comfortable back there than he did last year.''