Any time you prod LeSean McCoy on talking about his ascending stardom, inevitably the conversation shifts to Brian Westbrook.
McCoy credits his mentor for every game-changing gallop, for every sack-saving block. Even when he punched Andy Reid in the gut a few weeks ago, he mentioned Westbrook as his inspiration.
With Westbrook in town yesterday for ESPN’s Chalk Talk event at Lincoln Financial Field, the former Eagles back talked about McCoy’s development.
“He’s a top five back in the league, probably top two,” Westbrook told Metro. “This year, he has taken his game to another level. But he’s still young, still growing, so he’s got to keep working.”
Westbrook said the two talk often whether by text, on the phone or via Twitter.
“I’m his biggest fan, but also his harshest critic,” he said. “I’ve tried to be a big brother to him. He always tells me, ‘B-West, I want to be like you. I want to be just as good as you.’”
“But, as a player, I want you to be better than me and that’s what I tell him. If you’re just as good as me, as your mentor, as the person helping you, then I failed. I want you to be better than me.”
For his part, McCoy defers to the old guard.
“I’ve got a long way to go to fill Brian Westbrook’s shoes,” McCoy said last week. “I don’t really get too wrapped up in who’s who and who I’m better than and who I run like. That stuff will take care of itself.”
Beloved B-West returns
Brian Westbrook was one of three former Eagles standouts at ESPN’s Chalk Talk event.
He was joined by Jeremiah Trotter and Jevon Kearse, but Westbrook drew the loudest cheers from Eagles fans. In fact, half the room gave him a standing ovation.
“No regrets, I treasured my time here,” said Westbrook, who lives in Maryland.
After playing in San Francisco last season, Westbrook has been unable to catch on. However, the back said he hasn’t filed retirement papers. He had a workout with Miami in September, but remains unsigned.
“We’ll see what happens,” Westbrook said. “I’m keeping my options open.”