NFL NEWS: Derrick Brooks
New Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, arguably the best Tampa Bay Buccaneer to have ever lived, has always risen to the occasion even in retirement.
“Now that I’m part of this team, it’s gonna be a better team,” Brooks said. “Because I’m gonna work my butt off to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame a better team.”
The first ballot inductee and Co-Owner/president of the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm accepted a position with the NFL and players’ union as an appeals officer. Brooks will hear player appeals of on-field discipline replacing Matt Birk, who’s now the NFL’s director of football development.
Brooks joins fellow Bucs the late Lee Roy Selmon and his former teammate and first-balloter Warren Sapp. While Sapp exuded the mouth of the team and backed it up with dominant play, Brooks always let his play do all his talking for him. On Saturday, Brooks made sure he didn’t leave anyone out of his speech Saturday during his induction.
Two notable names were kicker Martin Gramatica, whom he credited with helping to deliver victory in plenty, lower-scoring games with his foot; and defensive Simeon Rice, whom he called “one of the best if not the best pass rushers of my generation.”
The 11-time Pro Bowler played 14 seasons in the NFL only for the Bucs garnering numerous honors including nine times as an All-Pro, Walter Payton Man of the Year (2000), AP NFL Defensive Player of the year (2002), Super Bowl winner (2002), and made NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. He also amassed 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 interceptions and seven touchdowns during his career.
Brooks was very involved on as well as off the football field contributing to the local Tampa Bay community charities.