Derrick Brooks, one of the best LBs of the late 90s and the 2000s, will answer the call to Canton on August 2nd.
Besides being one of the key members of the dominant Buccaneers’ defenses of the late 90s and early 2000s, Derrick Brooks is on the short list with Ray Lewis and Dick Butkus as one of the greatest MLBs of all-time.
Accomplishments: 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 11 Pro Bowl Appearances, 9 All-Pro selections, 2000 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, won Superbowl XXXVII with the Buccaneers.
Why He is Deserving: Derrick Brooks may have been one of the best tacklers of the last generation. Brooks played his entire 14-year career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he recorded over 100 tackles in 12 straight seasons, making 10 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1997 to 2006. Middle linebackers don’t usually get a lot of sacks, so Brooks made up for it by making plays in Tony Dungy’s defensive invention: the Tampa-2 defense. Brooks recorded 25 interceptions and 24 forced fumbles and his 6 interceptions returned for a TD are 2nd in franchise history.
Most Incredible Season: 2002. On his way to being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the eventual Superbowl Champion Buccaneers, Brooks 5 interceptions – a league leading 3 of which he returned for TDs – he also had a fumble returned for a TD and recorded 117 tackles. In Superbowl XXXVII, Brooks had a 44-yard INT-TD against the Oakland Raiders which helped seal the Buccaneers’ first Superbowl win.