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Bryant Westbrook
Replace this image male.svg
Position(s)
Cornerback
Jersey #(s)
32, 30
Born December 19, 1974 (1974-12-19) (age 35)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Career information
Year(s) 19972003
NFL Draft 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
College Texas
Professional teams
Career stats
Tackles 236
Interceptions 13
Touchdowns 3
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards
  • No notable achievements

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

College career

Westbrook played college football at the University of Texas at Austin where he played cornerback.

Westbrook is known for a moment in a 1995 rivalry game against Texas A&M when he 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]

Professional career

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 was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2000 until he suffered ruptured left Achilles tendon at Minnesota 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 outstanding 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. He signed with the Green Bay Packers later in the 2002 season and was back to Pro Bowl form until he suffered from another achilles tendon rupture. He was released from the Packers in 2003, and due many injuries, he retired from professional football. Since he was picked fifth overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, considering his high expectations, he is considered somewhat of a draft bust.

References

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