Derrick Brooks who was initially though to have scheduled a press conference with the media on Thursday, spoke with members of the media Friday at One Buc Place. While Brooks is unsure what the future hold for him, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing in 2009 in a different uniform. Thanks to Anwar S. Richardson, of TBO.com as he transcribed the following quotes from Brooks 9:30 am press conference.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: We’re going to look at all options. I think that’s the beauty of who God made me. I live every day to its fullest and my single-minded approach was always to prepare yourself for a day without football; whether it’ll be decisions like this or injury, I’ve well rounded myself to go in a number of directions and now, I’ll just step back and look at it – football being one of it, but there’s other things, too.
Q: Will you still maintain you connections in Tampa?
A: I’m always here. You never leave the relationships. That’s why I say my approach as a human being is always about relationships first. Those never leave and they’ll always be here if that decision is made to play elsewhere. The things that are set in place here that God has allowed has nothing to do with football. That’s why I said it’ll always be here and Tampa will always be my home.
Q: Do you still have a burning desire to play this game?
A: Again, at this time of the year I’m always fueling the tank back up to go, so my body is in that mood. Again, until something happens and I decide that’s not what I want to do then that’s what I will prepare myself to do. As I prepare, if those options start to look more like a reality, then I’ll pursue them. If not, then I won’t.
Q: Do you feel your passion has diminished?
A: I always seek prayer and counsel. I figure the Lord will make it possible. Some of these decisions in the next time going forward will play themselves out one way or another.
Q: When you talked with Jim Bates [defensive coordinator], did you think your role might be different?
A: I met with them to go over terminology and defensive schemes. My meeting with them last week and Joe Barry was all about preparation for this season. Obviously, a lot of things were changing and I wanted to get a jump on everything we were changing so I could be better prepared to deal with the players when they came back. I was getting a lot of calls from players wondering what we were going to do, how we were going to do it and I could answer those questions. I started my preparation in that aspect earlier to get to know Coach Bates and our defensive scheme. That’s what those meetings were all about. As I said to couple of these guys, the news was shocking.
Q: How should other players on this team step up to replace your leadership?
A: I would suggest that no one try to be me. Because I didn’t try to be anyone else but myself. I think the leadership has to come naturally. As situations occur, people will take on roles and it will kind of hopefully evolutionize itself,. But to designate a guy, that’s to much pressure. You just can’t do it. God made only one of me. As he made only one of Hardy Nickerson, Lonnie Marts, so I didn’t’ try to be those guys. I didn’t try to be Warren [Sapp], I didn’t try to be John [Lynch], I was just who I am. Over time. The situation kind of took itself for me to be the leader. There’s a lot of young guys in there, and I don’t know where it’s going to come from. I just really hope no one tries to step up and make themselves be that guy. Kind of let it come to them as situations happen.
Q: What lesson can kids who look up to you learn from this?
A: I always tell them that God put me in this position for a reason. And again, I’m going to be a leader in this situation just like I am in all my challenges. I look at it with the three Ps – prayer, perspective and purpose. That’s how I look at this situation and see where God takes me next. But it’s going to be up here because I see a bigger situation than myself, and people outside of this sports arena and the struggles that some of my fellow citizens are going through, I want to be someone they can look to and say Look at him and how Derrick carries himself and give me motivation to keep on going and keep on moving forward.
Brooks, a 14 year veteran, an 11 time probowler is sure to have a bust in Canton someday, the only problem is will it be in 2014 or 2015 as he will be a first ballot Hall of Famer, when and if he decides to hang it up this year or next.