From Buccaneers.com: http://www.buccaneers.com/news/newsdetail.aspx?newsid=5653
Feb 06, 2007 -
The Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Pro Bowl will be back in Hawaii to defend his title this Saturday.
That would be Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, who has made something of a habit out of a February visit to Honolulu. In fact, this is the 10th consecutive (and 10th overall) Pro Bowl selection for Brooks, who was added to the NFCâ€™s roster on Tuesday when Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs pulled out of the game.
Brooks had been chosen as the first alternate at the outside linebacker position in the NFC through a process that combined votes from NFL fans, players and coaches. Brooks, Dallasâ€™ DeMarcus Ware and Seattleâ€™s Julian Peterson will form the conferenceâ€™s outside linebacking corps.
Thus, Brooks has been selected for every NFL all-star game since 1997, his third year in the league, placing him in extremely rare company. Only a handful of players have earned double-digit Pro Bowl selections.
Brooks has been chosen 10 times and this will be the seventh game in which he has played (he was selected but did not play due to injuries after the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons.) He is the only active player in the NFL who has achieved this striking trifecta: 10 consecutive Pro Bowl selections, a Super Bowl championship and an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. The latter of those two accomplishments occurred in the 2002 season.
The list of linebackers who have played in 10 Pro Bowls reads like a special wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Junior Seau (11), Lawrence Taylor (10) and Mike Singletary (10). Those three played in every Pro Bowl for which they were selected.
In the NFCâ€™s 23-17 Pro Bowl victory a year ago, Brooks picked up MVP honors after recording the gameâ€™s decisive play, a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Bucsâ€™ three-man contingent of Brooks, cornerback Ronde Barber and Josh Bidwell was instrumental in the low-scoring win (for a Pro Bowl), as Barber broke up a touchdown pass and Bidwell averaged 48.4 yards on five punts.
The Bucs will send three players to Hawaii again this year, though cornerback Ronde Barber was in danger of making the trip alone just a few weeks ago. Barber, who will start for the NFC in his fourth Pro Bowl (third consecutive) was chosen by the initial voting, with Brooks and special teamer Torrie Cox earning first-alternate status. On January 25, the New Orleans Saints coaching staff, which will direct the NFC team in the Pro Bowl, chose Bucs tight end/long-snapper Dave Moore as the conferenceâ€™s â€śneedâ€ť player. The NFC needed a long-snapper after discovering that none of the other players selected to the team possessed that skill.
Brooksâ€™ election had to wait until the week of the game but was still very well-earned.
â€śDerrick has been one of our defensive leaders for many years, and to reach the Pro Bowl for the 10th time is certainly a very rare distinction,â€ť said Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden. â€śWe are proud that he will join Ronde and Dave as representatives of our organization.â€ť
Brooks holds the Buccaneersâ€™ records for most overall and consecutive Pro Bowls, putting a bit more distance between himself and defensive tackle, Warren Sapp (seven). Fullback Mike Alstott (six), defensive end Lee Roy Selmon (six), linebacker Hardy Nickerson (five) and safety John Lynch (five) round out the franchiseâ€™s top six.
Briggs, voted into the Pro Bowl for the second time this year, pulled out of the game on Tuesday. Briggs was injured during the Bearsâ€™ 29-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI on Sunday.
The Pro Bowl is usually held on the Sunday following the Super Bowl, but this year will be contested on Saturday. It will be carried live on CBS, beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET.