Brooks Says Competition Absent From WorkoutsJune 16th, 2011
Don’t get confused here: Bucs icon Derrick Brooks many times has talked about the value of building team camaraderie through OTA days and now via player-only workouts.
Joe’s all on board with that, which is a primary reason Joe didn’t hesitate to hold captain Jeff Faine accountable for saying he didn’t see why he belonged at Josh Freeman’s Tampa workout sessions.
However, Brooks doesn’t want fans to think these player workouts are anything close to a substitute to OTAs even for veterans, so he explained yesterday alongside the dean of Tampa Bay sports radio, Steve Duemig, on WDAE-AM 620, during their weekly “Legends” hour.
It’s an excellent take.
“You can only conditition a certain way when you’re under the microscope, when you’re under the coach’s watch. Your body responds differently; your mind responds differently,” Brooks said. “You can’t [simulate] that. You can do the best you can through the player-only workouts going on right now. And that’s going to have a certain seat at the table. And I respect … each player that’s doing it. But you can’t replace the work that’s going to have to get done under the watch of the coach. You can’t, because your body, everything about you responds differently and the competition level, that picks up. You’re not necessarily competing out there in player only workouts. Who are you competing in front of? Who are you competing for?
Brooks went on to predict more early-season injuries than ever before in 2011 because of players not being as mentally and physically prepared as in previous seasons.
“Your body’s not going to have time to process what it has over months of under being under the microscope [like in previous seasons],” Brooks said.
Brooks makes a great point. Nobody’s competing right now, as they would be in OTAs or even in the One Buc Palace weight room, where the strength coach can deliver feedback to Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris. Only a year ago, the Bucs coaches watched Mike Williams compete in rookie camp and determined he was their No. 1 receiver and groomed him as such.
Time will tell on Brooks’ injury prediction. All the more reason for NFL hatchetman Roger Goodell to ensure football returns by July 4.