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Tampa Bay Buccaneers' release of Derrick Brooks dismays other NFL veterans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Count Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner among those dismayed by the unexpected release of Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks on Wednesday.

"The one part about this business, especially as players, that we don't like to see is guys do that much and contribute so much to an organization — and then at some point in time they have to either get cut or leave and go somewhere else," said Warner, participating in ESPN the Weekend at Disney World. "He's just got such a great legacy. I know what he does off the field is probably more important. But if you just talk about what he's done on the football field, the way he carries himself and the way he plays the game, he's the ultimate pro."

Warner, an 11-year veteran, faced Brooks in several classics, including the 1999 NFC Championship Game as the Rams' quarterback. What does he remember most about No. 55?

"There are so many memories," he said. "But I think the thing that stands out to me most is maybe not one play but the way he played the game. There are very few guys in this business who have football instincts, who really understand how to play the game and just feel the game. And that was the one thing that always scared me every time we played the Bucs — it was Derrick Brooks, because you never knew where he was going to be."

Brooks' release also surprised linebacker Donnie Edwards, cut Tuesday by the Chiefs.

"Derrick Brooks, we're part of the same club," said Edwards, a 13-year veteran. "He came out a year before I did, and he's had an outstanding career — and now he's a free agent as well."

Edwards said the Bucs could have a problem replacing the leadership Brooks and the other veterans, such as Joey Galloway and Warrick Dunn, provided.

"I've been fortunate to have guys like Derrick Thomas and those veterans when I was young," he said. "I could learn from them. And now that I'm a veteran, I can teach the young guys how to be a pro. And if you've got just young guys, which we only had last year in Kansas City, that's part of the reason we went 2-14. It makes a huge difference, and it's unfortunate."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' release of Derrick Brooks dismays other NFL veterans 02/27/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:25am]
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