IRVING, Texas -- From 1999-2010 Keith Brooking started every game he played except two in 2009, but he has yet to start a game in 2011 and he is OK with it.
What’s sad was that if Brooking – or Bradie James - popped off about a lack of playing time that would receive more attention than how they have handled a far different role with professionalism.
Even with the reduction in playing time Brooking is tied for second on the team with 26 tackles.
“I just think I’m realistic about this point in my career,” said Brooking, who is in his 14th year. “Can I contribute more and play more? I feel I can but at the same time we’ve got a guy playing linebacker better than anybody I’ve ever seen in a very, very long time [in Sean Lee]. We have really good depth at the inside linebacker position. It’s a luxury more than anything with Bradie and I rotating and Sean playing all of the game … At the end of the day I think this team is going to be very special. I don’t care what anyone says. Obviously we haven’t shown it the first five weeks but we’re really close. We’re almost there. We’ve got to keep grinding and we’re going to be where we want to be and I want to be a part of it. If it’s a small part, if it’s a big part, whatever it is, I want to be a part of it.”
Brooking has added special teams’ duties to his resume, something he has not done consistently in more than a decade.
“Sean’s playing every snap on defense, so I don’t think it’s smart or realistic for him to continue to have a major role on special teams, so whatever they want,” Brooking said.
When Brooking came into the league in 1998 Joe DeCamillis was his special teams coach in Atlanta.
“I’ve been with him for 12 of my 14 years so it’s kind of comeback full circle,” Brooking said. “I started out with him in Atlanta and I’m going to end up with him. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”