Brooks always felt comfortable returning to One Buc Place following his release
Linebacker Derrick Brooks has made it clear he didn't like 'the process,' the Bucs used to release him after 14 seasons. He was part of a five-player purge on Feb. 25, 2009.
So it was probably more important for the Bucs' organization than it was for Brooks to make his formal retirement announcement at One Buc Place Thursday.
Brooks was introduced Wednesday by Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer. In an eight-minute opening statement, he made no mention of general manager Mark Dominik or Raheem Morris, who informed him of his release about 18 months ago.
"I stated what I stated last year that the manner in which my release came about, I was able to stand in front of you guys and voice my opinion and I did at that time,'' Brooks said. "But at the same time, I stayed in constant communication, not only with my teammates, but with the Glazer family...about what my future endeavors were and what I was doing.
"I can only speak for me. I say this time and time again. My days start, I wake up as a man and my days end as a man. I'm going to treat people how I want to be treated and that has never changed from the last time I stood in front of you guys collectively until today. A very honest assessment of that, you'd have to ask them. But for me, I'd be comfortable walking into this building no matter what because of what I gave to invest in this building. So I'll always be comfortable.''
How can fans get over any hurt feelings toward the Bucs for releasing the franchise's most popular player and 11 time Pro Bowler?
"How did they get over Doug Williams' situation?'' Brooks said. "I don't know. I always keep it very spiritual with our fans. If the Lord can forgive, who are we to say we can't forgive? That's where it starts and ends with faith.''