NFL | NCAA Football

L.T. & B-West: Deadly Combo or Duds In The Water?

LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian WestbrookIs it football season already?! Less than a month after The New Orleans Saints pulled off the impossible in lifting the Lombardi, both LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook are looking for new homes. Both have lead amazing careers in the NFL. Both have tasted playoff victories, with Westbrook going to the Super Bowl with the Eagles. One more thing in common? They both have had injuries that have kept them off the field. A team that is struggling right now is considering this a miracle. Is it the answer a team like the Lions or Redskins are looking for? Or are both number 21 and 36 a little too late to be a threat?

As you have seen in my previous football columns, I am an avid Eagles fan. I was one of the many here that loved and embraced Westbrook. When he was drafted in 2002, who would have guessed the 91st overall pick in the 3rd round would go down as one of the 3 best running backs in Eagles history. Yes, we knew what he was capable of, and his stats do not lie, but one thing that haunts him is he hasn’t played a full season. Yes, he has had 5,995 rushing yards, and 3,790 receiving yards in his career, but as stated, he has done this in only 15 games most a season. This past year was understandable, with receiving 2 concussions he only played 8 games. Westbrook is made for the mold of his position. The burst of someone 5’8”, at 200 pounds is incredible. He can drive the ball into the end zone, no doubt. I feel as if he has more miles in the tank. He can be a huge help to a team like the Browns, or the Raiders, if he stays healthy. Many will miss him, some may not. When another team picks him up, and he comes back to The Linc, the Eagles D better be ready to stop him, as long as injury doesn’t plague him elsewhere.

The name L.T, like Westbrook, has sent shivers down many opposing defensive lines over the past 9 years. Ladanian Tomlinson was drafted in the 2001 draft, 5th overall. He has played in all 16 games in his career, except 2 this past year. He has 12,490 rushing, and 3,955 receiving yards in his career in San Diego. In the latter years, he has shared some ball time with Darren Sproles, but still managed to add more to his legacy. Tomlinson has an incredible slew of awards backing him, such as MVP, Walter Peyton Man of the Year, not to mention he has been to the Pro Bowl five times, compared to Westbrook’s two. He has been an All Pro three times, again more than Westbrook’s one. Altogether, Ladanian Tomlinson is better on paper than Brian Westbrook. I feel his only downfall is the fact he has played in every game, and his age will catch up to him sooner rather than later. To do what this 5’11”, 221 pound man has, and is doing, is only sealing the deal more for a sure pick into the prestigious NFL Hall Of Fame. Call me crazy, (like many did when I wrote about what if Michael Vick were to become an Eagle) but do not be surprised to see a team such as Baltimore, Atlanta, or Pittsburgh to take this super charger, and turn him into a champion.

In the end, 2 teams, or maybe even one, are going to be getting two proven running backs. Will all the hype of years past prove worth it in the years ahead? Will Tomlinson finally get that Lombardi trophy, and the honor of wearing a Super Bowl ring? Can Brian Westbrook stay healthy for a couple more seasons, and be as dominant as ever? There are a lot of questions surrounding these two, so my main question I ask is: Who is going to step up, and make the most out of the cards they were handed? Someone is going to float, and someone is going to sink.

Josh Usher has been a fan of sports and sports entertainment for over 20 years.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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