LB Derrick Brooks has five career AP All-Pro First Team selections, the most in Buccaneer franchise history
It's a year later, but the news is an exact repeat. For the second consecutive season, both Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks have been named to the prestigious Associated Press All-Pro First Team.
Barber and Brooks actually have eight such first-team selections between them – five for Brooks, three for Barber – but last year was the first time that the two were chosen together. Their repeat in 2005 was an honor that reflected the good work of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense, which finished first in the NFL's rankings for the second time in four years.
"I'd like to thank God, first and foremost, and I am extremely humbled by my selection," said Brooks. "I would like to say thanks to all of the defensive players around me because you can never win an award like this without your teammates. Every year, it is extremely challenging to set the standard at the linebacker position, but I accept the challenge and I hope to continue to do so next year while leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship."
Barber and Brooks were also selected for this year's Pro Bowl, but the AP All-Pro honor is actually even more exclusive. The team includes just one player per position on a normal starting lineup, with a few exceptions, such as two running backs and enough inside linebackers and defensive tackles to fill both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive fronts. There are also no AFC and NFC distinctions, just one team of the players judged best in the NFL by a panel of media members.
Barber, then, was once again one of just two All-Pro cornerbacks, sharing the honor this year with the Denver Broncos' Champ Bailey. Barber and Bailey were also the two cornerbacks selected last year. Brooks and Chicago's Lance Briggs were the two outside linebackers on the team; it was the first selection for Briggs. Last year, Brooks shared the honor with Buffalo's Takeo Spikes.
Indianapolis and Seattle, the top-seeded teams in each conference's playoffs, tied for the lead with four players each among the 28 men selected overall. The Buccaneers were one of seven teams that placed two players on the team. Tampa Bay, Chicago and Denver each had two players on the All-Pro defense.
Brooks now has more AP All-Pro First Team selections than any other player in Buccaneer franchise history. He had shared that distinction with defensive tackle Warren Sapp before winning his fifth award on Monday.
Barber, who also was a first-team choice in 2001 and a second-team selection in 2002, is the only cornerback in Buccaneer history to have an All-Pro first-team award on his resume. He and safety John Lynch (1999 and 2000) are the only defensive backs in team history to achieve that feat. In fact, prior to the 1993 season, the only first-team AP All-Pro selection in Buc annals was defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, in 1978 (though Selmon was the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1979).