Tough Enough

January 8 – Fox broadcaster and Hall of Famer Howie Long attended Tampa Bay's practice Wednesday, but he didn't visit One Buccaneer Place without a purpose. Each season, Long selects a team of Tough Guys from around the National Football League. He then picks one player as his Tough Guy of the Year. This season, Long selected Bucs Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks as his Tough Guy of the Year.

Fox broadcaster and Hall of Famer Howie Long attended Tampa Bay's practice Wednesday at One Buccaneer Place. Unlike the rest of the media in attendance, Long visited the Bucs' headquarters in order to award one of the team's players as his Tough Guy of the Year.

Each season, Long selects a team of Tough Guys from around the league and then picks one player as his Tough Guy of the Year. That player just happened to be Bucs Pro Bowl weakside linebacker Derrick Brooks, who was also named NFL Defensive Player of the Year Wednesday.

"I would have been shocked if he didn't get it," Long said of Brooks being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. "He was more than deserving."

In addition to the recognition and title, Long presented Brooks with a brand new 4x4, four-door truck with an extended cab, which was driven onto the practice field by Bucs Pro Bowl strong safety John Lynch.

"Derrick exemplifies what 'tough' is in a league full of tough players," Long said as he presented Brooks with the award in front of the Pro Bowl linebacker's teammates immediately after Tampa Bay's workout.

Needless to say, Wednesday was a very good day for Brooks, but it was also one he was unprepared for in terms of receiving the two awards.

"It seems like everybody knew about the truck but me," Brooks said. "That was (surprising). I was speechless. It seemed like the awards today that I won, I really saw a genuine love from my teammates. It seemed like they were more proud of me for winning this award than I was myself. It kind of let me know how much they appreciate what I do."


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