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February 1, 2014 @ 8:24 pm
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Brooks Elected To 2014 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Legendary Tampa Bay LB Derrick Brooks was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2014 class on Saturday. Brooks, regarded as the best Buccaneer of all time, joins Lee Roy Selmon and Warren Sapp in the Hall of Fame, but former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy and SS John Lynch fell short in their attempts to get in.
Earlier this year, former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp was elected the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining legendary defensive end Lee Roy Selmon to become the second Tampa Bay player to be given the esteemed honor. 
On Saturday that list grew by one more as standout Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot attempt.

Brook was a first-round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 1995 after a stellar college career playing for Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles. In his rookie season, Brooks started 13 of 16 games, and after that, never left the starting lineup through his career.

 During his Buccaneers career Brooks made the Pro Bowl 11 times, was a nine-time All-Pro, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 and a Walter Payton Man of the Year winner in 2000.

Brooks led the Buccaneers to their only NFL championship, a 48-21 victory over Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season, and had a key pick-six in that game to clinch the win. A member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s, Brooks is widely regarded as the prototype weakside linebacker for the Tampa 2 scheme in which he played. Statistically, Brooks ended his playing career with 224 games played and 221 starts, 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 interceptions and seven touchdowns.

Brooks was the only former Buccaneer to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year as legendary coach Tony Dungy and strong safety John Lynch did not make the cut this year. Dungy, who coached the Buccaneers from 1996-2001, brought stability and respectability to a franchise that was mired in mediocrity for more than a decade. The Buccaneers went 6-10 in Dungy’s first season, which was his only losing season as a head coach, and the following year saw Tampa Bay make the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. 

Dungy led Tampa Bay to the playoffs four times in his six seasons, including the NFC Championship Game in 1999.

Dungy was fired by the Buccaneers after their second consecutive playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

 Dungy was immediately hired by the Colts and coached seven seasons in Indianapolis. In 2006, he led his team to a Super Bowl victory. Dungy became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl.

 Dungy retired to work for NBC Sports after the 2008 season and finished his coaching career with a 139-69 record.

Lynch joined the Buccaneers as a third-round selection from Stanford in 1993 and played with Tampa Bay until 2003. Known as one of the most feared hitters in league history, Lynch’s resume includes nine Pro Bowls, four-time All-Pro selections and the 2000 NFL Defensive Back of the Year. 

After his release by the Buccaneers after the 2003 season due to a shoulder injury, Lynch played four more seasons for the Denver Broncos. For his NFL career, the former Stanford star recorded 1,058 tackles, 13 sacks and 26 interceptions.

Brooks joins former Oakland punter Ray Guy, former Seattle offensive tackle Walter Jones, former Buffalo wide receiver, former Arizona and St. Louis defensive back Aeneas Williams, former Atlanta and Philadelphia defensive end Claude Humphrey and former NY Giants defensive end Michael Strahan as the newest class of Hall of Famers.

The Class of 2014 will be officially enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 2 in Canton, Ohio as the main event of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Annual Enshrinement Festival Celebration.

– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report

Last modified on Saturday, 01 February 2014 20:34

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  • avatar

    Well Buc Fans can you imagine that Selmon then Sapp now BROOKS. what a trio that bucs has in the Hall. I think Lynch and Dungy will be NEXT. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Brooks really is the best Buc of all time. The perfect player really. Like others said, he was a great pro on and off the field. If he hadn't been a first ballot HOFer that building would have lost all meaning to me. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    Apologies to all. I'll amend my post to only say that Brooks is a deserving first ballot entrant. I really hope Lynch and Barber make it in as well, even if it takes a few tries. All three are class acts off the field and were exceptional on it. It will be interesting to see if Rice gets in; I would think so given his sack totals but one never knows. Do you think the A-Train has a shot? I don't know whether they consider fullbacks separately from RB's. Sorry again.
  • avatar

    I played him in a game of Madden on Playstation back in '99 as part of a radio contest. Thought he was going to whoop my but because I always heard those guys spend a lot of time playing them. I was way off because they cut my turn off early after a 28-0 lead after 5min of actual real time playing. I let him take the'99 Bucs and I took All-Time Bucs (70-80's)...lol. Really down to earth guy and his HS friend told us he acted the same as she had always known him.
  • avatar

    I humbly add that this honor couldn't happen to a better man. It has been a thrill watching you play through your career.. Thank you for the memories!
  • avatar

    I don't post as a rule, but who is this Matador dude? Definetly a glass half empty man. Anyways, I was at a Lightning game last year and Mr. Brooks was there promoting the Storm. He was bombarded by fans and other assorted people and not once did he ever stop being a the gentleman he is. I mean people were actualy rude to him and he never lost his composure. #55 will never be replaced in Tampa, thank you so much for being there in the past to class up our city, and thanks for continuing to do so.
  • avatar

    I once had a choice of getting the autograph of Derrick Brooks OR Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. I chose Jackson...screwed up on that one!! Congrats Derrick for some of the best memories in Bucs history.
  • avatar

    Congratulations Mr. Brooks. Well deserved! I agree with you scubog, this is a day to honor 55. BTW, when Sapp won Defensive Player of the Year for the 1999 season, he said that 55 should of won it instead. Next in line is Lynch!
  • avatar

    Way to kill the moment matador. The point of the article was to honor # 55. I suppose you go to weddings and instead of remarking on how pretty the bride looks in her flowing gown you point out the tacky dress the bride's maid is wearing and how she shouldn't have been chosen in the first place. Sapp better than Brooks? Sapp himself would tell you otherwise.
  • avatar

    Derrick, you have always been a class act on and off the field. There is not a more deserving Honoree for this year's induction to the Hall of Fame. You are the true "Buccaneer MAN" for our other players to look up to and mold their career paths after!!! I hope Williams is taking note.
  • avatar

    I'm not a modern, senative male, but I am so happy I could cry. Congrats to a great player and classy man. Got goose bumps.
  • avatar

    Congrats Derrick. -- or should I say -- Mr. Derrick Brooks! Thank you for the man you are and the way you played the game. God bless.
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