Is Brooks miffed?
I posted this in the game blog comments, but thought it was worth it's own entry.
Here's something we'll be monitoring this week: Derrick Brooks may not be crazy about being taken off the field in certain nickel defense situations today. He uncharacteristically did not speak with reporters after the game today. Can't say that it was directly related to the moves in the game, but I've never seen him skip out on interviews. And Gruden admitted after the game that it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to tell Brooks that he would be rotated out in some situations. Gruden's reasoning was that they wanted to have a fresh weakside linebacker at all times. Gruden added that he hoped both players would make the situation work. Truth be told, I think we all know the Bucs are trying to find ways to utilize Cato June more (note his interception today).
Look, Brooks played a splendid game but there's a chance he is going to read this as an effort by the team to replace him. Great a player as he is, Brooks -- like most athletes -- can show his insecurity at times. Should be interesting to see this play out. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now, I suppose, until he has a chance to speak on the topic.
I'll say this though. I asked defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin after the game how tough it was to tell Brooks that he wouldn't be on the field at times. Let's just say that I'm still waiting for an answer. He wouldn't touch that one. Just gave me that sly smile.