- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Inside linebacker Keith Brooking didn’t suddenly develop pass-rushing skills in his 12th NFL season. There’s a simple reason he’s established a career high with four sacks already this year.
That reason’s name is DeMarcus Ware.
Brooking has taken advantage of all the attention opponents pay the NFL’s reigning sacks leader in pass protection. He said his sacks often come on “hug blitzes,” when he’s in man coverage against a running back and rushes when the back stays into block. When the back goes to chip Ware, that often leaves a lane for Brooking.
“The majority of my sacks, just to be dead honest with you, come from I'm just running scot-free and a lot of times the backs are sliding toward No. 94,” Brooking said. “As I said yesterday, I'd do the same thing if I was in the backfield trying to block that guy. I'm just taking advantage.”
Brooking also credited Wade Phillips’ aggressive scheme, which helped free up inside linebacker Bradie James for eight sacks last season. But Brooking didn’t have any sacks in the two seasons that Phillips was his defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons.