Bryant Westbrook

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For the running back, see Brian Westbrook.
Bryant Westbrook
No. 32, 30
Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-12-19) December 19, 1974 (age 39)
Place of birth: Charlotte, North Carolina
Career information
College: Texas
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 1997 for the Detroit Lions
Last played in 2003 for the Green Bay Packers
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 236
Interceptions 13
Touchdowns 3
Stats at NFL.com

Bryant Antoine Westbrook (born December 19, 1974 in Charlotte, North Carolina) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League.

College career[edit]

Westbrook played college football at the University of Texas at Austin where he played cornerback and was known for making powerful tackles that would cause the victim to get up very slowly.

One such moment occurred in the 1995 rivalry game against Texas A&M when Westbrook landed a devastating hit on Aggies running back Leeland McElroy. It caused color analyst Dick Vermeil to yell "Holy mackerel! Whoo!" Westbrook picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct call for taunting because he strutted next to a stunned McElroy and looked down at McElroy as he walked by. The broadcast team calling the game did not like the call. When Vermeil learned the referee called the play taunting, Vermeil responded by saying "just shoot the official." Ultimately, the play was not a factor in the game's outcome or even that drive. The penalty did not result in a first down since the Aggies were inside the 15-yard line. Half the distance to the goaline was not enough yardage for a first down. The Aggies were forced to bring out their field goal unit.[1]

Westbrook is also known for a brutal hit against Notre Dame in 1996. In the play, Irish QB Ron Powlus pitched the ball out to TB Randy Kinder on the option. Unfortunately for Kinder, Westbrook read the play perfectly and had a full head of steam when the ball got to the tailback Kinder. The ensuing hit caused legendary college football announcer Keith Jackson to instantly say "Uh oh! Hello! Bryant Westbrook!" then fall silent for 10 seconds. Then he said, "The important thing right now is to make sure Randy Kinder can find a place to lay down... 'cause he really took a hit."[2]

In yet another memorable instance of his powerful hits, in the 1995 Sugar Bowl, Westbrook "laid the lumber" to FB Brian Edmonds of Virginia Tech, knocking him unconscious. The hit caused ABC announcer Mark Jones to say, "Somebody answer the phone, because there's a bell ringing, and it's Bryant Westbrook." Then later after some replays and analysis of the play, he further commented about Edmonds, “When he comes to, his clothes will be out of style.”[3]

Professional career[edit]

Westbrook was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, where he played from 1997 to 2001. He returned his first career interception for a touchdown in 1997 and led the Lions as a rookie with 20 passes defended. After the season, Westbrook was named to the 1997 USA Today All-Rookie team. He suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon against the Minnesota Vikings on November 30, 2000, and was placed on injured reserve on December 4, 2000. He earned Chuck Hughes Most Improved Player award, as voted by teammates. Despite the premature ending of 2000 season, he registered 52 tackles (43 solo), career-high six interceptions and led team with a career single-season high of 21 passes defensed. Westbrook later played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2002 and was cut due to poor play in the opening season loss to the Houston Texans.

NFL stats[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumbles Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Longest Interception Return Touchdowns Passes Defended
1997 DET 15 44 41 3 0.0 0 0 0 2 64 32 64 1 21
1998 DET 16 73 59 14 0.0 0 0 0 3 49 16 34 1 21
1999 DET 10 34 31 3 0.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
2000 DET 13 49 36 13 0.0 0 0 0 6 126 21 101 1 19
2001 DET 10 20 19 1 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4
2002 DAL 1 3 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2002 GB 6 7 7 0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Career 71 230 196 34 0.0 1 1 0 13 239 18 101 3 73

[4]

Post NFL Career[edit]

In January 2011, Westbrook was the new Defensive Back coach at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, Arizona. As of 2012, Westbrook is currently the defensive back coach at Cactus High School in Glendale. He is currently an assistant football coach at perennial Arizona powerhouse Saguaro High School.[5]

References[edit]