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News & Notes: Westbrook Emulates Brother

As the Redskins prepare for Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, they could not have found a better player to emulate Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook.

Byron Westbrook, Brian's younger brother.

Byron, a rookie cornerback on the Redskins' practice squad, has a similar body build to Brian. Byron is listed at 5-10 and 202 pounds, while Brian is listed at 5-10 and 203 pounds.

So it makes sense that coaches would use Byron on the scout team. During practice this week, he has lined up as a running back, giving the defense a look at the closest thing possible to Brian.

"I'm going to try to do my best [Westbrook impersonation]," Byron said with a smile. "Hopefully the defense won't kill me."

Does he think he could have made it in the NFL as a running back?

"I have the skills, I just didn't want to play running back," he said. "I didn't want to get hit every play. I want to do the hitting every time."

The Westbrook brothers both starred at Division III colleges prior to the NFL.

Brian established himself as an elite running back after the Eagles drafted him out of Villanova.

Byron starred at Salisbury University before signing with the Redskins as an undrafted rookie free agent last spring.

As a senior, Byron logged 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and five interceptions. He also returned kickoffs.

Brian spoke with Washington, D.C., reporters in a conference call on Thursday afternoon and said that he has given plenty of advice to his younger brother.

"I just told him to go out there and be the best athlete that he can be and to play a lot of [roles]," Brian said. "You can make a football team on special teams or you can get cut from a squad for not playing on special teams. He was able to earn a spot on the practice squad.

"Now he has to continue to work hard and continue to get better every day, so that hopefully at some point during this season or next season he'll be able to make the active roster."


Joe Gibbs met with Shawn Springs this week to resolve what appears to have been miscommunication between the Redskins' head coach and the veteran cornerback.

Earlier this week, Gibbs was asked to comment on why Springs did not start the Redskins' season-opening game against Miami. He said that there was some concern over Springs' hamstring and emphasized that the team wanted to make sure Springs was healthy for the entire season.

On Thursday, Springs discussed the meeting with Gibbs briefly.

"We had a good talk," he said. "We're on the same page with everything. He was just like, ?We want you to play 16 [games].' And that was it."

Springs said he had asked trainers to wrap up his hamstring shortly after lifting weights. He said he did wrap it due to an injury.

Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot started in Week 1, with Springs serving as a nickel cornerback.

Asked if he expected to start this Monday's game against Philadelphia, Springs replied: "I think I am, I'm not too sure. I'm preparing like I'm the starter."

The apparent miscommunication has caught the attention of Eagles' coaches.

"Shawn is a good player and he has been a good player," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said on Thursday. "They have a situation there where they have good corners. I'm sure Shawn is going to play more. Fred Smoot's a pretty good corner, too. They have a good situation there with their cornerbacks."


Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd was asked on Thursday about the addition of Reche Caldwell and how it impacts his role with the team.

"I think any moves they make are for the betterment of the team, so that's how I want to take it," he said. "I want to win games."

Caldwell is the third veteran wide receiver the Redskins have brought in since late July. The team signed Corey Bradford and Todd Pinkston during training camp, but both were released after preseason.

Caldwell is more of an established wide receiver, however. He led the New England Patriots with 61 receptions last season and caught 16 more passes in three postseason games.

Said Lloyd: "There is no clarification needed--I'm an established guy, too. We're all established guys. [Antwaan] Randle El is an established guy. Santana [Moss] is an established guy. If [Caldwell] is going to come in and help us win games, good."

Lloyd was held without a catch in last Sunday's game against Miami. He caught 23 passes in his first season as a Redskin.

Joe Gibbs said the decision to bring in Caldwell was based on adding depth to the receiver corps.


Defensive end Phillip Daniels (foot) and safeties Pierson Prioleau (hamstring) and Vernon Fox (groin) were limited in practice on Thursday.

Daniels told reporters his injury was steadily improving and that he hoped to be full-go for Friday's practice.

Linebacker Marcus Washington said his elbow held up well in last Sunday's season opener against Miami. Washington sustained a dislocated right elbow during preseason.

"It did pretty well," he said. "Every now and then I feel a little twinge in it, but I was able to play the whole game."


One day after being released by the Redskins, running back Marcus Mason was brought back to the club's eight-member practice squad.

Mason, an undrafted rookie who impressed in preseason, had cleared waivers following his release, allowing the Redskins to retain him.

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