Sunday, May 16, 2010

On Westbrook, Inglis

Free agent, Pro Bowl Running Back Brian Westbrook met with Broncos officials at Dove Valley last Thursday. The meeting reportedly went well, and it is expected the two sides will continue to talk, and possibly work out a contract.

In his prime, Westbrook was one of the most explosive and dangerous player in the NFL. That is about 4-5 years in the past. Yet, he could help the Broncos, as he did the Eagles in recent years. Although his blows to the head have taken a toll, he is a tough guy,
various leg injuries between 2006 and 2009 only sidelined him four games in that span. The concussions are the concern, one more of them and his career would probably be finished.

It has become obvious that Head Coach Josh McDaniels likes backfield committees, he practiced the practice in New England and brought it to the Broncos last season. Then-rookie Knowshon Moreno provided a nice touch along with Correll Buckhalter; LaMont Jordan got a fair share of carries as well. If Denver did add Brian, he would make a great situational player. He still has some left in the tank, and can catch the ball well out of the backfield, while providing a good running attack.

Signing him would be a gamble, because of his injuries, but Josh McDaniels has said he is healthy:
"He's a great person, a great football player and he's healthy now," Josh McDaniels told the Denver Post. McDaniels went on to add, "I think he fits in with the molds of our backs. They're not one dimensional and he certainly isn't either. If we have the opportunity to add him we just think it would make our football team better."

Andrew Mason of says Westbrook, who is a risk worth taking, should have some reasonably productive years ahead of him and fits the McDaniels offense well.

NFL teams including the Broncos and Bills have expressed some interest in Australian rugby star Greg Inglis, according to the Sunday Mail in Australia. According to the Herold Sun, up to four NFL teams would like to trial the bustling Australian Test centre at three-day camps in September.

Inglis is a young, big dude (6-foot-5, 238 pounds, 23 years-old) who won the "Golden-Boot" award as the best Rugby player last year. With the similarities between rugby and football, his skills could possibly be tweaked, giving him a shot at Pro Football.

Going from one sport to American Pro Football would be a hard, and unlikely task. That's not to say it hasn't been done before. Wesley Duke played basketball in college before joining the Broncos in 2005. That season he scored a Touchdown, but multiple ACL injuries prematurely ended his football career. Had it not been for his knee problems though, he may have become a good Tight End.

With that said, going from Basketball player to Football Tight End is very different from going from Rugby Center to Football Returner or Linebacker. The kid does have skills though and good moves, with nice speed. Playing with a helmet and pads would probably slow him down, as well as home sickness. Inglis’s agent Allan Gainey told the Sydney Morning Herald,
"Inglis is such a natural athlete that it would be hard to imagine he’d struggle at NFL. What he may struggle with is being homesick. He loves being close to his friends and family."
Being homesick isn't gonna earn him a roster spot, but in his on-field skills could. There's no harm in giving him a tryout.

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