Quotes from Training Camp

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker <!--Default NodeId For Derrick Brooks is 789826,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:789826]>Derrick Brooks</A> comments during Monday's training camp

(On the first day in pads)
"Obviously it has been a while since we put the pads on, and honestly it felt good to get out there and get a switch up at practice. It gives you a chance to measure guys physically, where they really are at, with pads on. It also measures how guys are mentally. (We see) if they can turn the switch on mentally and still have as good of a mental practice than physical. We are going to play hard and we are going to play fast, but with the change of pace you have to keep up mentally and not have a lot of mental breakdowns."

(On how what he can do to build on last year's performance)
"You just try to do it again to be honest with you. As Simeon (Rice) stated yesterday, it has been a long time since a defensive player won the MVP, so that's out there. But even more important than that is repeating as Super Bowl champions, that is everyone's goal but more importantly ours. We just want to be able to get to that big dance and whatever individual awards come with it we'll accept them. But obviously holding that trophy again is the most important award I can go after."

(On if he thinks his play is now taken for granted)
"It's easy to say (that my play is expected), but at the end of the day that is what is expected. If I don't do it, we will have problems. It's expected of me to do what I do, so I do it. To say that I feel unappreciated or taken for granted, I hate to say that, because I don't. I just go about my business the only way I know how, and that's letting my play do the talking and lead by example. But on the other side of it, I hope they don't take my play for granted. I just have fun. I love what I do and I'm just trying to teach the young guys. That's more or less is what gives me my joy, besides winning on Sundays."

(On Dwayne Rudd's impact on the defense)
"Dwayne is fast. His athletic ability can compete with the best of them. I think now, being amongst a team that is just as athletic as him, he feels that he needs to bring a lot to the table. But we try not to have him feel that pressure. We need him to just blend in. He'll have his chances to make his plays. We also are a very reliable defense and expect him to do his job, more importantly making plays when they come. He doesn't need to pressure himself into feeling that you need to do something when you don't. That's when this defense gets hurt. I've been through that, John (Lynch) has been through that and Warren (Sapp) has been through it. So we don't need him to feel the pressure, just play hard and his plays will come. You have to honor the trust system and I think he's buying into it."

(On if Dwayne Rudd is faster than him)
"We'll see. I like to think I'm the fastest person on the field, but there are a lot of ways to measure speed, though. In my mind, I don't think any can think as quick as me on that field. So that is where my speed comes from, mentally, and it comes out physically. I am a very quick thinker out there. I don't think anyone can do that, and my awareness speaks for itself. But it would be an interesting race."

(On if Dwayne Rudd is adjusting to his new position)
"It's unfortunate he was sick. You don't want to start with a new team, when you are sick. I can understand him being hard on himself, but we need him. That's the message we tried to convey to him. ‘Don't pressure yourself back, when you get back we don't want it as a problem.' With the seriousness of injuries in sports, and guys that are getting sick and tragic cases, we don't want that here. So take your time and don't feel the pressure. We want him when he's healthy. This is one of the longest preseasons we've had. We want him to take his time and get in when he is fully healthy."

(On the play of Shinzo Yamada)
"He's kind of impressed me. He's catching on. He asks a lot of questions, but that is good. I just had the chance to talk to Todd Pratt, who was one of my coaches as a rookie and ironically was Shinzo's coach in Japan. So we just talked about him a little bit and he is doing well for what they are asking of him. He's showing up, paying attention, and trying to give his best like everybody else."

(On if Shinzo Yamada has taught him how to speak any Japanese)
"I asked him how to say a couple of words, but I haven't gotten them down yet. He said he will teach us some words to get by and understand what someone is saying to us."

(On any advice Shelton Quarles gave him after Shelton's Japan trip)
"We gave him advice not to sumo-wrestle, but he didn't listen. He just said that if you are used to a certain junk food, to bring your own because it won't be the same junk food you're used to."

(On what the focus of the number one defense in the league is going into the season)
"We made mistakes last year. I know it's hard to believe, but we made mistakes. We need to build on that. We need to make sure we hit the field better than we did last year, and clean up on some areas of concern that other teams might have picked up. Each individual also needs to find a way to get better and we will get better collectively as a team. That is something we were able to do the past few years and we have gotten better. That's one of the reasons you come to training camp, to get that bond and re-establish that bond we had last year."

(On what areas, personally, he needs to get better at)
"I had too many pass break ups, I want to finish the deal. I had some picks and I want more and I have the chance to do it. Some missed tackles late in the ball game. We need to learn how to play when we are ahead. When we get a lead, like the Minnesota game last year, we don't play our best defense. We need to learn how to play ahead and clean up some things. We are ahead, but we need to keep the same aggressiveness, from the players to the coaches. We need to learn how to play ahead in the fourth quarter instead of playing evenly or behind. We need to keep that same intensity when we are ahead, and we expect to be ahead with this offense.

(On Coach Gruden's way of motivating him)
"He finds his ways. With me, he will say something good that the offense did. He finds his ways to get to me. He just tries to keep things fresh, as always. He really doesn't talk about last year because he wants us to turn the page. He's constantly telling us to turn the page, making sure we are doing things to get better. He always is challenging you. Whether it's putting up offensive stats to the defense or whether he's on the offense about how well the defense did, he's always finds creative ways to keep you motivated and keep the competition fresh."

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