Thursday, May 20, 2010
By Bill Williamson
Most Denver fans who responded to our sound-off question are interested in the team signing Brian Westbrook.
Denver brought in the former Philadelphia Eagles running back for a visit last week. The team remains interested in signing him. Westbrook, 30, was a fine player, but he has been hampered by knee, ankle and concussion issues.
I think the move would only make sense if Denver used him as a third option and didn’t overpay him. Westbrook has to prove he can stay healthy before he can be counted on. It seems most fans who responded this week feel similarly.
Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:
Dan Seier from Colorado Springs, Colo.: I believe Westbrook would be a good signing for Denver. He can be a game-changer. Also Buckhalter & Arrington both have proven to be injury prone so maybe between these 3, collectively, they would provide great backup to Moreno.Also, I believe McDaniel's increase of the 2-back set includes a role for Tebow. I'll bet in some packages... he is one of the 2 backs.
Adam from Nampa, Idaho: I think my Denver needs Westbrook! I think that with his ability to catch the ball out of the back field will really open up our passing game and a great runner. Even though he will be a part time player I think as the season moves along I really think he will play more! I think Westbrook has alot to prove to us fans and to himself. Shoot he may get into the starting line up with an injury and I think he will be a great asset to our team either on the sideline or on the field. His expierence will help all our running backs! SO Denver should sign Brian Westbrook soon!
The Donald from Fort Collins, Colo.: On Brian Westbrook it's an interesting idea, he was great running screens in Philly. So if Orton is still the starter last year showed that teams are queueing in on the short throws so his experience in these plays may be helpful. BUT I don't think that this aspect of his game puts him above moreno and buckhalter as explosive plays and with his durability issues he is not really a goalline option either. All in all i don't think this is the right choice for my Broncos.
Jeff from Arlington, Ma.: Bill, I'm not a Broncos fan, but I am a Westbrook fan. I think adding Westbrook would be a great move for Denver. Sure he has had injury problems, but the guy's only 30 - do you want a laundry list of guys over 30 still playing productively in the NFL? I would argue that when healthy, Westbrook is the equal of any running back currently in the league. You wouldn't want to have to rely on him as your only solid RB because of the injuries, but he'd be a great addition to any team.
Jarrad from Logan, Utah: I think Westbrook would be a good fit in Denver, for the right price. He has proven that, when healthy, he can be a dominant force running and catching out of the backfield. Denvers offense is full of screens and misdirection plays that should allow Westbrook to have the ball in space. He has proven that when he has the ball in his hands, and a few yards cushion, that he can do great things. His injury history is a concern, and the Broncos would need to take that into account when deciding the amount of guarenteed money in his contract. That being said, if he is healthy now, and can be picked up at or near the veteran minimum, Denver should pull the trigger.
Francisco Sandoval from Arvada, Colo.: No I don't think Westbrook will be a good fit for the Broncos. They have enough running backs and he would be a waste of money to the team. Moreno, Buckhalter and Arrington will suffice for this team.
Perry West from Monument, Colo.: I am fairly sure that if he were being considered for a change of pace or third down back he would be a very good fit. The problem I think would depend on what kind of money he is trying to obtain.
Josh H. from Kansas City: Denver should definitely sign Westbrook if he is willing to take a contract that a role player should take and not look for a starting RB's salary. He's a playmaker in the passing game and running game, and he'd be a good mentor for Moreno. However, I wouldn't be extremely disappointed if Denver didn't sign him as he is, just that, a role player.
Conrad from Parker, Colo.: BW, I really don't want Westbrook in Denver. That would mean the Broncos would have 3 injury-prone RB's on the roster. They need another young backup to groom behind Knowshon.
Jeff from Gainesville, Fla.: When you look at the Broncos' group of running backs, the only one with a similar skill set as Westbrook is JJ Arrington who was just re-signed after having micro-fracture knee surgery a year ago. Knowshon Moreno is more of a power back with good elusiveness and toughness but doesn't have great speed. Buckhalter is very similar except he is 31 and far more injury prone than even Westbrook. Westbrook is a guy who is arguably one of the best receiving running backs in the NFL and has big play ability, something Denver lacked last year from its running backs. We also can't discount how much emphasis Coach McDaniels has put on getting high character guys in the locker room, and Westbrook has received a lot of praise in that area from former teammates. He gets a chance to rejoin Buckhalter in the same backfield as well as being on the same team as Brian Dawkins again. Without Brandon Marshall, the Broncos need all the veteran receiving help they can get.