The NFL (And Bucs) Don’t Want Veterans

June 22nd, 2009

The fact that Derrick Brooks is still unsigned is beyond puzzling to Joe. Joe is still of the belief not only could he still help the Bucs, he certainly could help some team, any NFL team.

One of Brooks’ greatest attributes is his knowledge of the game. Surely, a team could use this, sort of like a coach on the field.

Peter King of is also perplexed by Brooks’ unemployment. So he started doing some research and found that teams don’t care about that intangible. Former Bucs great Warren Sapp all but told Peter King that a veteran’s knowledge is nearly looked upon as useless by NFL teams.

I understand an NFL team is going to employ between six and eight linebackers, usually, depending on whether the team runs a 3-4 or 4-3, and I understand that Brooks isn’t going to be an every-down player at 36. So the book says if you’re going to have a linebacker playing 20 snaps a game, he’d better play a huge role on special teams. And Brooks, at his age, wouldn’t be the kamikaze type you’d want out there. So it comes down to this: An NFL coach would have to keep one fewer special-teams demon in exchange for having one of the best leaders in the league. And that’s why Brooks sits home in Florida today, waiting for the phone to ring.

But there might be something else.

“I’ll tell you the real reason,” his friend Warren Sapp said over the weekend. “Because it’s not the same for the veterans anymore. The NFL doesn’t need us. In this NFL, the old vets don’t factor in. The kids don’t listen to nobody. Nobody! My last year in Oakland, I’d try to talk to some of the kids. Tommy Kelly, Terdell Sands. But they had no interest. I thought the ghosts in that building were so valuable, but none of the young guys cared. Once in a while, one of the old legends would come in the building, or make a trip. Jack Tatum would be around, and I’d say, ‘You know who that dude is? You know how he played?’ And the kids would be like, ‘Nah, I don’t care.’

“The game’s different now. Look at Vince Young. Why wouldn’t he listen to Kerry Collins? I’m sure Vince thinks, ‘Nobody’s been through what I’m going through. Nobody’s been through my kind of pressure.’ Are you kidding me! Kerry Collins, fifth pick in the draft, has all the ups and downs, gets benched, makes those racist comments, has the alcohol problems, moves from team to team, comes back, has success … Vince Young should suck up all the knowledge Kerry Collins has to offer! There’s no better role model for him.”

While Joe isn’t about to quibble with Sapp, this still shocks Joe. Certainly there must be a team that still values intelligence.

And Joe is still waiting for a detailed explanation how the Bucs are better off without Brooks.

2 Responses to “The NFL (And Bucs) Don’t Want Veterans”

  1. Jeff Says:

    You’ll be waiting a long while for that explanation. I don’t think that there is one that can be made public.

    I sure would love to see him retire a Buc. But then again, I thought the Pats might take him. The NFL will be a lesser league without DB. He is a rare breed.

  2. JK Says:

    Christ almighty Joe. Did you watch the last games last season. Brooks couldn’t run. Not even a little bit. Do you watch or just listen to the games. He was horrible. Don’t get me wrong. I love DB. He just lost it last season toward the end. He won’t hold up over the long haul. Get over it. Blame it on Gruden if you have to. We could use him as a coach but nothing else. There is a reason no one wanted him in the nfl. He is DONE!!