The Washington Redskins look to add another weapon to their offensive arsenal by inviting Brian Westbrook for a visit to their facilities on Wednesday. The invite was influenced by new quarterback Donovan McNabb, a long time teammate and friend of Westbrook.
Mike Shanahan looks to begin his Redskins legacy by bolstering an already dangerous backfield with two time Pro-Bowlers Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis, and Willie Parker. Parker is also a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Westbrook brings an impressive resume of his own to the nation’s capitol. In his seven year career, the former Eagles running back has rushed for 5,995 yards, with a 4.6 yards-per-carry average, and 37 touchdowns. The versatile running back is also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield, grabbing 426 receptions for 3,790 yards, and 29 touchdowns.
The Redskins are hoping the arrival of Westbrook will distract some of the team and media attention from the absence of their best defensive player, Albert Haynesworth, who has not reported to any of the team’s voluntary workouts.
Players in the locker room are upset at the absence of the 100 million dollar tackle, who expressed concerns about playing in defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s new 3-4 defense. The two-time All-Pro defensive player told reporters at the end of last season that he would prefer a trade instead of coming back to the team.
“There is no room for negotiation at 4-12,” said defensive end Phillip Daniels. “I’m here, [London] Fletcher’s here, everybody’s here.”
“He’s got to understand that. We need him to come here, be here and show these young guys that the veterans have bought in and that we want to win games,” Daniels added.
Many players are concerned that if they do not have 100 percent participation on everyone’s part, all of their off season preparation will be for naught. Offensive tackle Mike Williams explained that many of the young players, offensive and defensive, look up to Haynesworth.
“Albert carries so much weight with him, there’s a lot of young guys that look up to him,” Williams told the Washington Post. “But you got to be here. He’s a grown man. With that comes responsibility. I think a lot of people say, ‘Hey, you have a responsibility to this team.’ There are a lot of other guys here that would like to be home. But obviously not, because there is a responsibility we have to this team.”
Online Sportsbooks place the odds for the Redskins to win the NFC at 13/1, to win the Super Bowl at 25/1. If the Redskins are to improve on their 4-12 record from last season, they will need help from both Westbrook and Haynesworth.