NFL

Former Eagles RB Brian Westbrook Made the ‘Terrible Decision’ to Buy a Horse Farm

Brian Westbrook helped make the Philadelphia Eagles must-see TV in his prime.

An explosive running back, Westbrook spent the bulk of his career alongside gunslinging quarterback Donovan McNabb on an explosive Philadelphia Eagles offense.

It has been nearly a full decade since Westbrook played his final NFL game. Amid his career, Westbrook made a “terrible” decision that still sticks with him today — and it involves horses.

Brian Westbrook had an excellent career with the Eagles

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A shifty running back from Villanova, Brian Westbrook had the opportunity to stay local.

The Philadelphia Eagles used a third-round pick on Westbrook in 2002, and he immediately had 193 yards on 4.2 yards per carry as a rookie.

Westbrook saw increased action in 2003, picking up 613 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 5.2 carries. He also turned 37 catches into 332 yards and four touchdowns.

That breakout season foreshadowed what was to come, as Westbrook transitioned into an excellent all-purpose back.

From 2003-08, Westbrook ran for 5,528 yards and 36 touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry. Westbrook also had 392 catches for 3,523 yards and 28 touchdowns in that span.

Across a full 16-game season, Westbrook averaged 1,053 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while also catching 75 passes for 671 yards and five touchdowns. That Westbrook only made two Pro Bowls in those six seasons is still surprising.

Westbrook is an all-time Eagles legend

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Brian Westbrook easily has a case as one of the most underrated NFL players from this century.

Westbrook’s excellent 2007 season is the perfect example of how he has been forgotten in the annals of time. The dynamic Westbrook had 1,333 rushing yards and 771 receiving yards, giving him a league-high 2,104 yards from scrimmage and All-Pro honors.

Westbrook’s 5,995 rushing yards currently rank third all-time on the Eagles’ all-time list, trailing LeSean McCoy (6,972) and Wilbert Montgomery (6,538). Westbrook and Steve Van Buren (5,860) are the only other players with at least 5,000 rushing yards in an Eagles uniform.

Speaking of McCoy, the Eagles pivoted to “Shady” as their No. 1 running back after the 2009 season and cut Westbrook.

Brian Westbrook became a horse farmer when he retired

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Brian Westbrook closed his career in San Francisco, running for 340 yards and four touchdowns on 4.4 yards per carry in 2010. Westbrook also caught 16 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown in 14 games and five starts. 

That was it for Westbrook in the NFL, although one has to wonder if he would have gotten work if not for the 2011 NFL lockout. 

Westbrook has stayed busy in retirement and spent a few years on the Eagles’ post-game TV show. His true passion, however, became horses.

In a 2016 interview with The Baltimore Sun, Westbrook recalled taking a trail ride with a horse in the midst of his career. That day gave Westbrook an indiction of what was next for him.

“And at that point I made the terrible decision to buy a horse farm. Because I thought it was a good business. And it’s not a great business. It’s fun. It’s enjoyable. Of course you’re not going to make a lot of money doing it, but you’re doing it out of love, and I love doing it. And I love the horses.”

Westbrook still owns the Westbrook Horse Farm in Upper Malboro, Md. He often shares photos of the horses and the farm on his personal Twitter account.

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