Derrick Brooks is one of the greatest players to ever don a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform. In 14 seasons with the team, Brooks earned 11 Pro Bowl appearances and led Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title.
More than this, Brooks is seen as a pillar within the Tampa Bay community. Known for his community work and outrageously generous personality, the Hall of Fame linebacker is a prime representation of what it means to be more than a former football player.
So the idea of Brooks mentoring rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has to be seen as a good thing for both the young player and the fledgling franchise.
And that’s exactly what Brooks plans on doing:
“He’s going to meet with Jameis every day when (Jameis) comes back to Tampa,” Former Brooks’ teammate and current radio host Ian Beckles said of the linebacker, via JoeBucsFan.com. “That’s never happened in the history of the NFL, where somebody takes their time to mold somebody, and Derrick said the same thing I’ve been saying the whole time, ‘Jameis Winston is used to success his whole career, which is cool. The second he fails, how is he going to deal with it?’ And that’s going to be the most important thing.”
It’s already well known that Winston brings a ton of off-field baggage with him to the Buccaneers. Despite this, the team didn’t give it a second thought to draft the quarterback No. 1 overall back in May. While some will question Winston’s character, a lot of his off-field issues at Florida State seemed to stem more from immaturity than anything else.
That’s something Brooks can help Winston overcome as the latter enters his first season in the NFL.
Prior to his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame last August, we piggybacked off a tremendous story regarding Brooks’ desire to help the community that made him famous as a pro football player. From the Derrick Brooks Charities to the formation of a high school in the Tampa area, Brooks passion for the community is well known.
There is not a single person that Winston would rather have on his side here. If Brooks can’t teach him the ways, no one will be able to. Considering Winston seems open to this type of student/mentor relationship, it can only be seen as a great thing for the young quarterback.
Photo: USA Today Sports