Sunday, August 15, 2010

Will Brian Westbrook Sign with the Rams Tomorrow?

We all heard the reports on Saturday by ESPN's John Clayton, claiming that Westbrook would sign with the Rams on Monday. But those reports were shot down by the Rams Front Office. It doesn't mean that it won't happen, it just means that it is not confirmed by either side. But let's take a look at how Westbrook fits in St.Louis...

First, let's talk about why he might choose the Rams over the other teams with interest. The two other front runners are the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins. Denver is probably out of the running. There has been no news in the past two weeks indicating Denver still has interest. So it will be a shocker, in my opinion, if Denver is Westbrook's destination.

Washington is still very much in the race. Westbrook said he wants to go to a winner, and although the Redskins have a better team than the Rams, it is hard for me to believe that they are suddenly a contender (coming off a 4-12 season) just because they added a veteran QB and a new coach. Westbrook isn't winning a Super Bowl with either team, that's a given, but the difference is that he will get playing time in St.Louis. In Washington, Westbrook will have to compete with Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, and Clinton Portis for playing time (along with 3 other young RB's). It is hard to believe that Westbrook brings anything to the table that those other veteran back's do not. Meanwhile, with the Rams, Westbrook will be all but guaranteed the #2 RB job behind Steven Jackson.

But why should we want Westbrook? Here is why: As recently as 2008 he had 1300+ all-purpose yards and 14 TDs; his injuries have not slowed him down, but the concussions make it hard for him to be a full time starter; last year he had a 4.5yd/carry avg. before going on the IR with a concussion; we need a 3rd down receiving threat from the back-field, I believe Jackson's receiving abilities are underrated, but he needs to rest at some point; and finally, if Jackson goes down, the season might not be a total loss if Westbrook can take over and avoid injury (it is unlikely he can carry the whole load again, but it will be at least some form of hope).

Based on the RB's we currently have behind #39 on the depth charts, I'd say it is logical to take a chance on Westbrook. The potential benefits could really put a pop into our offense; and if he gets hurt, then there is no loss, we are back to where we are now.

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