Brooks, Lynch surprised by Bucs' defensive struggles
Bucs fans may have noticed the juxtaposition in Thursday night's 43-28 loss to the Falcons of the current team's defensive failings -- Atlanta never punted -- and the presence of several Bucs defensive greats on hand as John Lynch was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor.
Former Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks, on hand with fellow Pro Football Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Tony Dungy and others, also picked up on just how poorly the defense played Thursday, and talked about it during his weekly radio appearance on 620 WDAE.
"I'm not saying I've been wearing blinders. My football eyes are very clear," Brooks said. "My friend John Lynch, for the first time seeing the Bucs in this capacity, kind of summed it up for me in these words: 'Brooks, what is wrong with our defense? You live here. You see them.' He said it to the point where I felt like he was blaming me. I said 'John, I'm seeing what you're seeing right now. It just appears we're just having a few issues.' But I will not lose the faith.
"From an emotional attachment, obviously, what he was feeling with his honor of going into the Ring of Honor, it was just surprising for him to see live just the small subtleties of this football team not executing, some simple things as effort. Yes, it was some effort plays. I felt our defense gave up to that Atlanta offense and it just was pure effort that we did not win. It wasn't scheme, it wasn't right play bad defense. It was just effort, of want-to, and that was a little bit concerning."
Brooks said there were moments that were exciting for him against Falcons, but the overall struggle was concerning for him halfway through the season.
"It's time to look in the mirror. It's not about making any more excuses. It's simplifying the process to say 'What are we going to accomplish today?' Not eight games from now. What are we going to accomplish today? Are we going to win today and get back to winning and establishing that solid foundation from a play-in, play-out basis ... Compete every day in practice and get each other better. Make the practice the game. I'm not concerned about injuries. Heck, you can't get more injured than what you are right now. It's a matter of if it's a next-man-up mentality, compete in practice and make sure the next man is prepared the best he can by facing the competition he's facing in practice. ... Then you can live with a maximum effort on Sunday."