Rough Start

August 2nd, 2014
Derrick Brooks impact on Tampa Bay, given time, may be bigger on the community than the football field.

Derrick Brooks’ impact on Tampa Bay, given time, may be greatest off the field.

Later today, Bucs icon Mr. Derrick Brooks, “Double-Nickel” as Gene Deckerhoff likes to call him, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Brooks will be the third Tampa Bay player enshrined, following the late great Lee Roy Selmon and, of course, Brooks’ teammate and long-time friend Warren Sapp.

A lot has been made of how Brooks and Sapp changed the losing culture of the Bucs.

Both won wherever they were and when the two were both first round picks in 1995, Brooks from Florida State, Sapp from Miami, both seemed shocked by how losing seemed acceptable. Where the duo came from, winning was accepted and losing was not an option.

In a cool sitdown Brooks did with Nick Kostos of Bleacher Report, Kostos, who is also executive producer of “Schein on Sports,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM Radio, pried out of Brooks just how difficult a task it was to turn the Bucs from laughingstock to feared.

“When the Bucs called, we were excited that I was staying in the state of Florida. It didn’t matter that the Bucs didn’t have a winning history,” Brooks told me.

The head coach at the time was Sam Wyche, who presided over a disastrous four-year run that netted only 23 wins. 1995 would be his last season, and it was a trying one for Brooks.

Brooks said, “[My rookie season] was tough. To come from a winning program like Florida State and be exposed to losing, it wasn’t good. But I kept my positive attitude and knew to hold true to the values I learned [at FSU].”

It wasn’t just Brooks’ on-field values, but his off-field values. It won’t be long before there will be an entire generation of Bucs fans who never will have seen Brooks play a snap of football. But his charitable works and, of course, his Tampa charter high school, lives on.

The impact of Brooks on the Tampa Bay community for those in high school and older is obvious. He helped get the Bucs a Super Bowl title. For the rest of Bucs fans, and for those to come, it will be Brooks’ impact on trying to make the area a better place.

That, friends, is an impact.

9 Responses to “Rough Start”

  1. BoJim Says:

    his charitable works and, of course, his school, lives on.

    That’s the way to do it. So much respect for DB.

  2. bawlmerbucsfan Says:

    I was at his first game ever….a 21-6 victory over the Eagles at the old Vet in Philly. In that game, we were still wearing our creamsicle jerseys, Horace Copeland caught a bomb for a TD from Trent Dilfer, and we were coached by Sam Wyche. Brooks was everywhere on the field. I remember saying to my buddy, “that dude is good!”….man o’ man was that ever an understatement! Congrats Derrick!

  3. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Honor to have him in the Buccaneer family. Yes us fans are included.

    Hmmm… there is that word again RESPECT. I feel the same way BoJim.

    This is probably the year for RESPECT. Our Buccaneer players will experience this from our Head Coach.

    We haven’t played a game and the media is showing how the Bucs are looked at with RESPECT because of Lovie. No more laughingstock. Respect is back! Go Bucs!!!!

  4. biff barker Says:

    It’s a shame how truly shabby Dom and Rah handled Brooks departure.

    I’ve not forgotten.

  5. clafollett Says:

    “Who’s your favorite player?”

    Mr. Derrick Brooks!

    Congrats Derrick! That jacket is well earned. Thanks for the memories.

  6. OB Says:


    As I have said before, he will be NFL Commissioner. He is that good and will bring the game, players, and fans to a new high.

  7. JBuc Says:

    Had classes with him at FSU and he was a top notch guy both on and off the field. No better representative of FSU or the Bucs. Congrats Mr. Brooks!

  8. Macabee Says:


  9. David Says:

    My son is 13 and he watches my DVD of the bucs Super Bowl run more than I do, his two favorite bucs are DB and Mike Alstott! Great kid! Starting to act like a teenager but at least his football head is on straight…lol!