Eagles expect Westbrook to be ready
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With Brian Westbrook recovering from ankle surgery and a lot of inexperience behind the star running back, some might wonder if the Eagles should sign one of the veteran running backs still standing in the unemployment line.
The Eagles say no.
"We're a little inexperienced, but at this point at running back we think we have some real quality people there," Eagles president Joe Banner said Wednesday. "We expect that we're going to go into camp and the guys we have are going to put us in a good position to be successful. Running back is one of those positions where younger players can step in and have success."
Warrick Dunn and Edgerrin James are among the veteran backs still available.
The majority of work at running back during training camp will go to Lorenzo Booker, LeSean McCoy and Kyle Eckel. Banner said the Eagles also view fullback Leonard Weaver as a contributor at running back.
Another reason the Eagles aren't in a hurry to add a running back is that they say Westbrook will be ready for the Sept. 13 season opener at Carolina.
"We're very optimistic about Westbrook," Banner said. "He's doing great. He's ahead of schedule, but we're still going to be very conservative with him."
Maclin update. After climbing Mount Whitney in California earlier this week, Eagles consultant Andrew Brandt was back at his NovaCare Complex office Wednesday working on a contract for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, the team's only unsigned rookie. Brandt said his negotiations with agent Jim Steiner have been positive.
Brandt, a former agent, said that some agents take the approach that a rookie has reported to camp on time as long as he checks in with the veterans. A lot of teams do not have separate reporting dates for rookies and veterans.
The Eagles, however, expect their rookies and some selected veterans to report to Lehigh University by Sunday night, with the remainder of the squad expected to arrive Wednesday. The team wants Maclin to report with the rookies because coach Andy Reid wants rookies to get a refresher course on the Eagles' schemes before being joined by the veterans for full-squad workouts.
Brandt said he has stressed to Steiner the importance of Maclin's reporting Sunday.
First Published July 23, 2009 12:00 am