Press Pass: Derrick Brooks

In this edition of "Press Pass," Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks talks about the Bucs being the chaser in the NFC South, if the Saints have an advantage in preparation after a long week off and contending with Saints RBs Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister.

On if it's personal that the Buccaneers aren't the team to beat in the division

Year-to-year, you look at our division in the South and I think it's the most competitive division in the NFL because we've had multiple division champs. The same group is not defending it the prior year. We've always had a different winner. Now it's our turn to chase New Orleans – not only us, Carolina and Atlanta. I agree they are the defending champions, and we've got to catch them.

On how hard it is to chase instead of being chased

To me it's no different because every year is different. We all start at the same place. Not until the end of the season will it be determined who the division champ is. But since we all start at the same place, it's really no different whether you're defending or chasing at this point.

On if the Saints have an advantage because they played on Thursday and the Bucs had a long trip back from the west coast

I wouldn't say that. That goes back to the bye week. Does one team have an advantage coming off a bye versus another? Who's to say? If we win, will it matter? If we lose, will it matter? To me, it doesn't matter. We're going to play Sunday's ballgame and that's that. Right now, they're a very good football team, and they swept us last year. We want to open our home games with a win, so it's going to be a very competitive game on Sunday, and we're going to do all we can to get a win.

On if this is a critical game in order to swing the momentum back in the Bucs' favor

Every week you can argue is critical because wins are so hard to come by. But more important for us is we want to establish getting on track to a winning record. And getting off to a 1-1 start is very important for us right now.

On how you make the home field a tough place for an opponent to play

You've got to win games. Plain and simple, there's no other way about it. We've got to find a way to win and to use the home field to our advantage. We've got eight opportunities to do it, and the first one is Sunday.

On contending with Saints running backs Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush

What we do is really give ourselves a chance by concentrating on what we do. Because they've got so many weapons, if you go try to game plan to stop everything that they throw at you, you're playing right into their hands. So we're going to make a real concentrated effort from a defensive standpoint to let it play into us. Really focus in on what we do. Playing at home, make sure we're on top of our communication. We can't have any blown coverages as we did last year a couple of times. There would be crowd noise and we blew some coverages. They hit us with some big plays. We can't have those types of breakdowns this year. They're a very tough football team as a whole. Defensively, we've really got to wire-in starting today and making a concentrated effort on what we do and how we execute our defensive calls.


Bucs Blitz Top Stories