Watching Brandon Brooks fulfill his potential with Eagles was a joy

Watching Brooks fulfill his potential was a joy originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Whenever I think about Brandon Brooks, I’m transported back to Houston, where the summers are hot enough to make the Devil sweat.

It’s the kind of sweltering heat that can humble any player, even the ones who think they’ve experienced summer heat before. Because they haven’t experienced training camp in Houston; it’s like practicing in a bowl of soup.

So maybe my memory is melted … but that’s when I first knew Brooks was going to be great.

Particularly, I think back to the summer of 2013 when Brooks was just entering his second year in the NFL. He wasn’t even a full-time starter as a third-round rookie out of Miami (Ohio) in 2012, but there he was that summer on the practice fields along Kirby Drive battling 1-on-1 against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year … and holding his own.

On a team with several Pro Bowl offensive linemen, Brooks was the only one strong enough and athletic enough to slow down J.J. Watt.

The last time I really thought about those 1-on-1 battles was in March of 2016. By that time, I had already been back in Philly for a year covering the Eagles when I found out that Brooks was coming to town as a free agent on a $40 million deal. That night on NBC Sports Philadelphia, I told those stories about Brooks’ facing off with Watt and declared that Brooks was going to be a Pro Bowler in Philadelphia. I’ve never been so happy to be right.

Watching him fulfill his potential as a player and as a man over the next several years was an absolute treat. It has been one of the joys of my career to get a front row seat for all of it.

In the last couple seasons, though, Brooks’ body failed him. The injuries piled up and on Tuesday, the 32-year-old officially announced his retirement from the NFL after 10 seasons.

Brooks walks away from the game as a three-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl champion and one of the greatest free agent acquisitions in…

..

Read More

You might like