Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Derrick Brooks' top moments

Derrick Brooks' top moments

Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer

vs. Raiders, Super Bowl XXXVII, Jan. 26, 2003

Brooks' shining moment sealed the victory. With the Bucs up 34-21 and less than two minutes to go, Raiders QB Rich Gannon was trying to put together a rally. But Brooks, playing a zone, stepped in front of a Gannon pass and scampered 44 yards for an exclamation point touchdown and 41-21 lead with 1:18 left. It was one of five Bucs interceptions in a 48-21 victory in San Diego. "Today, it means we've come full circle," Brooks said then; "from the laughingstock of the league to the world champions."

vs. Falcons, Dec. 5, 2004

Michael Vick was one of the faces of the NFL in the early 2000s, an electrifying quarterback dubbed "Superman." Brooks was Vick's kryptonite, usually getting the better of him. That held especially true in a 27-0 beating of the division-leading Falcons. Vick left the field limping and with a welt on his forehead thanks to Brooks. Brooks, who spied Vick all game, had 11 tackles, two sacks, forced a fumble and tipped a pass that was intercepted in the end zone by safety Dwight Smith. When that drive started, at midfield, Brooks repeated in the huddle, "No points!" "That's a Babe Ruth-type shot there," Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice said then. "He spoke his words, and his physical actions, everything happened as planned. He said, "No points.' He kept saying that all day."

vs. Rams, Sept. 23, 2002

After losing to the Rams and their "Greatest Show on Turf" offense in the 2000 NFC title game, the Bucs beat St. Louis three straight seasons on Monday Night Football. That included 26-14, during which Brooks played a big role. The game was tight, and the Rams were driving when Brooks stepped in front of a Kurt Warner pass over the middle. Brooks, who had come back after injuring his knee, rumbled 39 yards for the touchdown, one of the Bucs' four picks of Warner that helped give coach Jon Gruden his first win at Raymond James Stadium.

vs. 49ers, Jan. 12, 2003

Brooks helped the Bucs stamp their ticket to the 2002 NFC title game with a 31-6 win. Tampa Bay forced a postseason franchise record five turnovers and held the potent San Francisco offense to just 228 yards. Brooks led the way with seven tackles, an interception, fumble recovery and half-sack.

vs. Vikings, Sept. 30, 2001

Brooks was a model of consistency and production, and this might have been his best game as a pro. Brooks tallied 23 tackles (18 solo) against the Vikings, surpassing the franchise record of 22 shared by him and his mentor, linebacker Hardy Nickerson. Brooks also had an interception in the game. Linebackers coach Joe Barry called the effort Herculean. "We went into that game with a lot of stuff on his shoulders as far as getting everybody lined up and getting the calls, the checks," he said. "And he did not have one blown call nor one mistake. "On top of that, he had 23 tackles and an interception. The guy played his butt off. He played an amazing game, just an amazing game."

vs. Vikings, Nov. 16, 2008

Brooks showed flashes of greatness during his final season. With the score tied late, Minnesota faced fourth and 1 near midfield. Brooks saved the day, making up for a coverage error by linebacker Barrett Ruud and breaking up a pass 30 yards downfield intended for Adrian Peterson. The Bucs won 19-13, and Brooks made seven tackles, including wiping out a double-reverse pass by Sidney Rice. But his pass break-up stole the show. "The one thing that never, ever ceases to surprise me is his preparation," then-Lions coach (and ex-Bucs defensive assistant) Rod Marinelli said. "He knew right now who had that coverage, and he turned and went right to that spot. We're sitting here as a defensive staff and went, 'Wow!' We nearly fell off our chairs when we saw it, and that's Derrick. I think the bigger the play, the bigger the time in the game, Derrick shows up."

 
Comments
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Updated: 7 hours ago

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. today TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 tonight TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38½Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p...
Updated: 7 hours ago
NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

NFL Playoffs: Reconsidering the franchise quarterback imperative

TAMPA — So much for needing a franchise quarterback to reach the Super Bowl.Sure, the Patriots Tom Brady is back in his seventh straight conference championship game and his 12th overall. But check out the other schlubs under center SundayIt's ...
Published: 01/19/18
Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Happy 15th anniversary to the greatest play in Bucs history: Ronde Barber shuts down the Vet

Fifteen years ago today, cornerback Ronde Barber made what's considered the greatest play in Bucs  history, returning an interception of Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb 92-yards for a game-clinching touchdown in a 27-10 win in the NFC Championship...
Published: 01/19/18
Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Jameis Winston shares MLK’s message: Don’t lose infinite hope

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, only weeks removed from a disappointing 2017 season, had a relevant but larger message for teenagers on Friday morning: Don't let small setbacks keep you from your dreams."If you have a phone, if you have a pen and pa...
Published: 01/19/18
Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Greatest moment in Tampa Bay sports history happened 15 years ago today

Happy Friday, Tampa Bay.Fifteen years ago today, Ronde Barber intercepted Donovan McNabb to shut down Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium and send the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Times columnist Tom Jones and many others consider this the greatest moment in ...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

Rick and Tom podcast: Super Bowl berths on the line

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones look back at last week’s playoff games to break down the upcoming conference championship games.Rick and Tom agree that New England should roll over Jacksonville but disagree on Minnesota-Philadelphi...
Published: 01/19/18
Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Rick and Tom podcast: What does it mean when Bucs GM cringes at expectations?

Bucs general manager Jason Licht told Rick Stroud that he cringed at some of the preseason expectations last season, and the outrage from some fans has been more than he expected.In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down what it a...
Published: 01/18/18