The Buccaneers announced Derrick Brooks as the sixth Ring of Honor inductee on Tuesday in a press conference at One Buc Place. Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer also told those in attendance that the team will retire Brooks' No. 55 jersey on September 14.
In what was maybe the most anti-climatic announcement in the history of the Tampa Bay's Ring of Honor revelations, the Buccaneers made it official on Tuesday former Tampa Bay great, linebacker Derrick Brooks, will be the latest addition to have his name forever hung on the inside of Raymond James Stadium.
Brooks joins John McKay, Lee Roy Selmon, Jimmie Giles, Paul Gruber and Warren Sapp as former Bucs players or coache who have been bestowed the honor by the franchise.
In attendance at Tuesday's press conference were a number of former players including Ronde Barber, Horace Copeland, Quincy Black, Chidi Ahanotu, Cosey Coleman, Brad Culpepper, and Ian Beckles, among others. Former head coach Tony Dungy was also in the audience sitting beside current head coach Lovie Smith.
After a short video highlight tribute, Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer introduced Brooks as the newest Ring of Honor inductee, then added a special bonus.
“My family and I look forward to making the trip to Canton this summer to help celebrate the culmination of Derrick’s football journey where Derrick will receive the highest honor pro football can bestow,” Glazer said. “Then in Week 2 of the season as we take on the St. Louis Rams we will honor Derrick as the sixth inductee into Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor and in addition we will bestow Derrick with the Buccaneers highest honor, and that day we will retire the No. 55.”
Brooks took to the podium and thanked a number of people in the audience then turned his attention to his former coaches.
“Coach (Dungy) obviously I have thanked you many times before for instilling in us the values beyond the field,” Brooks said. “As you have said many times before, and I repeat it, if our mission was when you came into the leadership for us to win Super Bowls and that’s it, we all lose. I really thank you for challenging me to really take that message and change the community. And I continue to try and do that today."
Dungy who sat in the front row of the auditorium with the Glazers and Bucs front office was equally as complimentary.
“Derrick’s induction into the Ring of Honor shows how much he has meant to the foundation of what we did as an organization,” Dungy said. “He means a lot not only to our team, but to the community in which he lives because he made this place his home.”
Brooks then went on to talk about his teammates.
“I thank my teammates, all you guys that took time out of your busy schedule to come by here today and celebrate this moment,” Brooks said. “Without you guys, I wouldn’t be standing here and I hope I did my best to really make you celebrate and be proud to call me a teammate. For those who actually looked at me as a leader, I hope I didn’t disappoint you. I tried to do it the right way. Show up, day in and day out, and really let my performance send a message. I always said I am the guy that is going to grab a shovel and start digging. I’m not going to ask anyone else to dig.”
Brooks is the all-time Bucs leader in tackles (2,198) and started 208 straight games, tied for the tenth longest streak in NFL history. Brooks was also chosen to nine consecutive All-Pro teams, earning first team honors five times.
Barber, who was in attendance on Tuesday, talked about his friend and former teammate.
“Derrick Brooks is the kind of player that our Ring of Honor was created for: he is truly a franchise icon,” Barber said. “As a teammate and friend I saw professionalism and dedication reflected in everything he did. It’s well deserved and exceptionally fitting that he takes his place among the all-time greats, both in the Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He has earned it.”
The Ring of Honor induction ceremony and jersey retirement will take place on September 14 against the St. Louis Rams.
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