Former Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks, the greatest player in Bucs franchise history, is set to become the president of the the Storm, Tampa Bay's Arena Football League. Brooks retired from the NFL last year after a 14-year career with the Bucs from 1995-2008.
When former Buccaneers legendary linebacker Derrick Brooks retired, many thought he might join the franchise in some capacity given his knowledge of and love for the game of football. But a year after his retirement from 14 years in the NFL, Brooks has switched leagues and will be announced as the president of the Arena Football League's Tampa Bay Storm franchise.
The Storm are currently 1-3 on the 2011 season under new coach Dave Ewart, who replaced the winningest coach in AFL history (211), Tim Marcum, and is in the midst of their bye week before traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Soul (1-3) on Friday, April 15. The Storm franchise began as the Pittsburgh Gladiators in 1987 before moving to Tampa in 1991. The Storm played from 1991-2008 before the Arena Football League folded. The league made a comeback in 2010 and the Storm finished 11-5 and earned a trip to Arena Bowl XXIII where it lost to the Spokane Shock, 69-57. The Storm have five AFL championships in franchise history.
Brooks, the Bucs' greatest player of all time, and a sure-fire Pro Football Hall of Famer, has spent his entire football life in the state of Florida. After a prestigious high school career in Pensacola, Fla., Brooks was an All-American at Florida State before becoming selected by Tampa Bay in the 1995 draft in the first round with the 28th overall pick.
Considered one of the fastest and smartest linebackers in the game, Brooks became the franchise's all-time leading tackler excelling in Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense, which fit his coverage and pursuit skills perfectly. He was considered the prototype weakside linebacker for that defensive scheme. An 11-time Pro Bowler, Brooks was named to the AP All-Pro team six times. He led Tampa Bay to its first and only Super Bowl championship during the 2002 season, in which Brooks was also named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
When Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris took over as general manager and head coach, respectively, in 2009, Brooks was released from the Buccaneers along with several other aging veterans, including linebacker Cato June, wide receivers Joey Galloway and Ike Hilliard and running back Warrick Dunn. Although Brooks received interest from Oakland and New Orleans after his release, he did not sign with a team in 2009 before retiring from the NFL in 2010.
Brooks has been a long-standing member of the Tampa Bay community and has opened the Brooks-DeBartolo charter school in Tampa to help educate less previleged kids. He was also named the 2000 Walter Payton Man of the Year, which is an NFL honor bestowed upon a player that strives for excellence through charity and public service.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.