As the NFL unveils their top 100 players of all time, Buccaneers legend and linebacker Derrick Brooks joins Lee Roy Selmon to represent Tampa Bay.
Every year the National Football League polls its current players and asks them who they think are the top 100 players. This year the NFL has introduced the NFL 100 greatest players list in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the league. So far we have seen some legendary players of our time get left off the list for legends of the old days of the league. Making this list is no easy feat to do, this is for the best of the best to ever lace em’ up.
One of two Tampa Bay Buccaneers and hopefully not the last to make the list is the Hall of Fame (class of 14’) linebacker out of Florida State, Derrick Brooks. The Florida native was drafted by the Bucs back in 1995 with the 28th overall pick. Brooks went on to play 14 seasons and all of his career was spent in Tampa Bay. In my eyes Brooks is the best Buccaneer to ever do it. In his 14 seasons Brooks accounted for 1,710 total tackles, 68 TFL, 13.5 sacks, 25 INT’s, 24 forced fumbles and 7 defensive touchdowns.
While the stats are tremendous the one stat that impressed me most is the fact that Brooks played in all 16 games in every season of his career. Brooks started every game he played in with the exception of three games as a rookie. Being so healthy for so many years made Brooks the heart and soul of one of the most iconic defenses of the 2000’s and arguably all-time.
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In the article published by NFL.com announcing the players that made the list they ask former opponents what they think of said player. Unfortunately there was only one quote about Brooks but it came from the greatest linebacker ever and Hall of Famer, Ray Lewis. Lewis was quoted saying “Derrick is so calmly spoken but when he gets on the field, it’s a different mentality. Sideline to sideline was what I was in awe with him about.
From a weakside backer, the way Derrick Brooks scans the field, some of his interceptions were on the opposite side of the hash, places that you don’t supposed to come from if you’re a weakside backer.” High praise from one of the greatest ever for his former opponent. Brooks was a rare talent for Outside Linebacker and it showed on the field as he made 11 pro bowls which is tied for third most all-time among the position.
Derrick Brooks is an absolute legend and deserves all the praise, recognition and accolades that come his way. Brooks is joined by Chuck Bednarik, Bobby Bell, Jack Ham, Ted Hendricks and Lawrence Taylor. To be considered one of the six best to ever do something is truly a remarkable thing to do and he is clearly joined by absolute legends of the game.
Hopefully we will see another Buccaneer make the list to join Derrick Brooks and Lee Roy Selmon.