To say Derrick Brooks was an excellent football player would be an understatement. He was selected for the Pro Bowl 11 times, leads the Buccaneers in all-time tackles and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 2002. He was also a five-tiem all Pro, the 2002 Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the NFL's all-2000s team. For his efforts, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
But was he the best defender the team has ever had? Better than the likes of Lee Roy Selmon and Warren Sapp, both Hall of Famers as well? NFL.com's Elliot Harrison thinks so.
Harrison put together a list of the best defenders of all-time for each team, listing Brooks as his selection for the Buccaneers.
The best photos of linebacker Derrick Brooks.
"The cool thing about Tampa Bay is that it is one of the few franchises where a quarterback -- or some other chichi offensive player -- doesn't spring to mind when thinking about the team's legendary performers," he wrote. "In fact, when I did the top-five players in Bucs history, all five were defenders. Brooks deserves to be considered the best of the bunch, over Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Lee Roy Selmon.
"Brooks was a standout weak-side linebacker who possessed the rare talent sandwich as a guy who could play the run and drop into coverage equally well. Brooks mastered reading angles, be it corralling Adrian Peterson or disrupting passing lanes. He picked off 25 passes and forced 24 fumbles en route to 11 Pro Bowls, a Super Bowl win and gold jacket."
Brooks is in good company, too. Also listed on Harrison's list are Lawrence Taylor for the Giants, Deion Sanders for the Falcons and Reggie White for the Eagles. For the full list, click HERE.