The worst-kept secret of the last week is official as Derricks Brooks will be inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor.
The accolades didn’t just stop there either as the Bucs will retire Brook’s No. 55 jersey.
“I guess it will probably hit me Sept. 14 against the Rams when I see the number up there,” Brooks said. “No one has worn it since I left. But to know that it’s part of this franchise’s history is a tremendous honor.”
In August, Brooks will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brooks is the greatest player in Buccaneers history and is considered one of the greatest players in NFL history.
Over 14 seasons, and 224 games, Brooks made 1,698 combined tackles, had 13.5 sacks and had 25 interceptions. He never missed a game during his career.
“I tried to do it the right way,” Brooks said. “Show up, day in and day out and really let my performance send a message. I always said I’m the guy that’s going to grab the shovel and start digging and not ask anyone else to dig.”
He was part of the team that turned the Bucs from a laughing-stock into a Super Bowl Champion in 2002, a game in which Brooks returned an interception for a touchdown as the Bucs beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21.
Drafted in 1995, 28th overall, Brooks, along with fellow Ring of Honor inductee and 1995 draftee Warren Sapp, changed the fortune of the Bucs moving forward.
“If Warren was the heart of our defense, Derrick Brooks was the soul that propelled us to our Super Bowl championship in 2002,” Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer said.
The Ring of Honor game will be held in week 2 of the 2014 season on September 14, when the St. Louis Rams come to Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is at 4:05 p.m.
“I’ve had the opportunity to have my number retired in high school and college, but this is a little different for me because … every time that something goes on in that stadium and they see that number up there, they get a piece of me … That represents something. It’s more about the legacy of 55.”
Brooks is only the third player in Bucs history to have his number retired behind Sapp (#99) and Lee Roy Selmon (#63).
The honoring of Brooks follows what the Bucs did with Sapp last year. Sapp was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2013 as well as the Bucs Ring of Honor. His #99 jersey was retired on Nov. 11.
The FSU product will join Sapp, Selmon, Jimmie Giles, Paul Gruber and coach John McKay in the Bucs Ring of Honor.
“Without you guys, I wouldn’t be standing here,” Brooks said. “I hope I did my best to really make you celebrate and be proud to call me your teammate. For those that actually looked at me as a leader, I hope I didn’t disappoint you. I tried to do it the right way, show up day in and day out, and let my performance send a message.”