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News » Eagles Notes: Westbrook wants Eagles to run

Eagles Notes: Westbrook wants Eagles to run

Eagles Notes: Westbrook wants Eagles to run
Eagles Notes Even though the Vikings' defense ranks No. 1 against the run and No. 18 against the pass in the NFL, Brian Westbrook hopes the Eagles will try to establish a ground attack when they play Minnesota in a wild-card playoff game Sunday.

"I think our goal is to try to go in and try to establish the run and push them around," Westbrook said yesterday. "We've played against teams that are very good against the run, and we've had success. I think for us it's very important to go out there and at least try to establish the run."

The game will match two of the game's premier backs: Westbrook and Adrian Peterson , the league's top rusher. Westbrook said he didn't need to be in the same game with Peterson to get motivated.

"Adrian is a very good running back," he said. "I motivate myself, not based on somebody's assessment of him. I think he's a great running back. I worry about myself and about this team winning Football games."

The Eagles contained Peterson last season, when the first-round draft choice out of Oklahoma was a rookie. They held him to 70 yards on 20 carries. But Brian Dawkins said Peterson looked improved since last season.

"I think that he doesn't look to bounce everything. Last year, he was bouncing everything," Dawkins said. If the hole "was closed off, he would bounce it quick and sometimes give up the hole inside and use his speed" to turn the corner.

"This year, he is more patient."

That playoff feeling The Eagles said their mad scramble to get into the playoffs had put them in the proper frame of mind for the Vikings.

"We've been in playoff mode for a long time now," Dawkins said. "In our minds, we could not afford to lose one game. Yes, we lost one game against Washington, which almost cost us, but in our mind it was playoff game after playoff game after playoff game. So that's been our mind-set."

The Eagles' playoff hopes seemed shattered after a 36-7 loss to Baltimore left them at 5-5-1. They climbed back into the chase with three straight wins before they seemed out of it again after a 10-3 loss to Washington two weeks ago.

Even second-year linebacker Stewart Bradley, who has never been in a playoff game, believes he has the postseason vibe.

"We've been in a playoff mentality the past five weeks," he said. "The five weeks since the Ravens game. We got a mulligan against Washington, and we used it up. The energy around here is different. Everyone has a bounce in their step. The slate for everyone is clean."

Injury report Bradley (rib, groin) and offensive tackle Jon Runyan (knee) didn't practice yesterday, but they are expected to be ready Sunday. Tight end L.J. Smith (shoulder) and Westbrook (knee, ankle) were limited at practice. Defensive end Victor Abiamiri (sprained foot) is not expected to be ready for the game.

The 1979 Rams are the only nine-win team in the 16-game era to get to the Super Bowl. . . . The Eagles had 606 pass plays during the regular season and allowed only 23 sacks. The ratio of one sack per every 27.326.3 attempts is the best in team history.

- Ray Parrillo

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 1, 2009

Victor Abiamiri Name: Victor Abiamiri
Position: DL
Age: 22
Experience: 2 years
College: Notre Dame
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