After an impressive rookie season by running back Miles Sanders, is it to soon to say he may just be the next Brian Westbrook and more? I may be crazy, but I'm calling it early. This rookie running back may just become better than the Eagles Hall Of Famer ( or at least has the opportunity to).
I see a lot of Westbrook's style and playmaking ability in Sanders. After Sanders had a slow start and transition to the NFL, he eventually found his rhythm and broke out of his shell and became pretty much the face of the offense the last few weeks of the 2019 campaign. Westbrook did not have that impressive rookie season, as he only rushed for 196 yards with just 86 receiving yards on top of that (Sanders rushed for 818 yards and added 509 receiving yards). Yes, I know that going off of just first-year numbers could be seen as disrespectful to a player of Westbrook's stature.
The truth is, I know Westbrook will always be one of the greatest running backs in Eagles history. But his historic career has paved a way for how the Eagles should handle Sanders' career. The budding star can learn from Westbrook's usage in Philly to improve and mold his play in B-West's likeness.
Sanders already has pulled off a similar move that Westbrook made -- instead of running for a touchdown against the Cowboys, they both took the safer route by sliding down to ensure the win. I just remember shouting "he just pulled a Westbrook!" at the TV as soon as Sanders pulled up early (the play can be at a 1:28 mark below).
Now Sanders and Westbrook both know how to piss off fantasy football fans and the Cowboys.
Another thing they have in common is they are both duel-threats. They can run all over the field but can also come up with clutch catches when needed. Westbrook was used heavily by Andy Reid in his pass-heavy offense, and now Sanders is playing under Doug Pederson, who is Reid's protege and is also pass-happy.
Sanders has a long way to go to consistently be in the talks of an elite-caliber player like Westbrook, but if he can manage to keep going the way he is on track to, there is just no knowing how high he can raise the bar.
So if Sanders can be even half as good as Westbrook was, then he is already ahead of the game. There is no other player that I would love to see break Westbrooks' high-ranking career numbers, and in the future be in the discussion of who was the greatest running back in Eagles history.