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Westbrook snubbed

Two of Andy Reid's former first round picks made the pro bowl yesterday, Andrews & Lito... but it was maybe his most creative and highest value pick that was snubbed.

Brian Westbrook came into the leauge as a 3rd round pick from a division 1AA football school. Since then, he's blossomed from a change of pace 3rd down back to an every down dominant one who is having one of the best seasons ever by an Eagles RB.

Andy Reid sure thinks he's a pro bowler.

"He's a slam dunk," Reid said. "I think if he's not the best running back in the league, he's definitely one of the best. I watch all the guys in this league, and he can do everything and do it all pretty well."

So did Dawkins...

"When I heard the announcement and he didn't make it, that was a huge shock to me," Dawkins said. "Because knowing what this cat means to this team and this offense... . Rushing yards may not be up there with some of those other guys, but I'll tell you what, I'll take this cat over those guys any day. He does so many things for this team, and he causes so many matchup problems for the opposing team."

Kevin Roberts gives the stats...

Westbrook's credentials are obvious. Westbrook is the first running back in Eagles history with 1,000 yards rushing and 600 yards receiving in the same season. He leads the NFL in yards per touch (6.1), he's racked up his first career 1,000-yard season and he trails only Dallas' Marion Barber in scoring among NFC running backs. Sunday against Barber's Giants, in a must-win game for both teams, it was Westbrook who stepped up with the bigger day.

As it turns out, the kid is turning into a leader as well...

Eagles coach Andy Reid first noticed it two weeks ago, when the offense gathered on the sidelines before the last series against Washington -- when it was absolutely critical that the Eagles hold the ball and run out the clock. A different player was doing the talking. A guy who normally doesn't say much was making the most noise.

Brian Westbrook is doing more than carrying the ball, as he's putting together one of the best seasons ever by an Eagles running back. He's carrying the team.

"He's stepped up his game a notch," Reid said, after Westbrook rushed for 97 yards and scored twice, while adding a game-high five catches for 40 yards against the New York Giants on Sunday. "He's become an outspoken leader, which I don't know if we've seen from him before.

"He's always encouraging guys. When things seem like they're not too optimistic out there he steps up with encouragement. You saw it in Washington at the end, when he gathered the whole offense up and said: Let's go."

Oh well, Westbrook will probably have to settle for a playoff appearance, which is something that Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, and maybe even Tiki Barber will not get.

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