NFC South: best player in NFC South history

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Last week I asked for your take on if Derrick Brooks is the greatest player in the history of the NFC South. I told you I thought, without question, he is.

 Brooks

I told you to agree or disagree in the comments section of this blog or in my mailbag and we got lots of opinions. I'll share some of them with you now.

Jeff in Tampa writes: I agree Pat, bar none Brooks is the best of all time in the NFC South Teams. I have not only never seen such poise and leadership of a player, as well as the dedication to the game. I never seen him give up on a play, and he has played hurt. But also living here in Tampa, he has been iconic, and such a gift to the Tampa community. I will miss the commercial where he is on the bus and makes the kids sing the song "Who's our favorite player...Mr. Derrick Brooks" I truely hope that whatever he does, he will come back here to retire as a Buc as Lynch did, and I REALLY hope to see him coaching on our sidelines soon.

Brad in Bbradenton writes: Derrick Brooks is the best player in the Bucs franchise history(no disrespect to Lee Roy Selmon). Do you think he should retire now as a Buc after sub par seasons in Tampa the last two years?replacing Kiffin as defensive coordinator. My guess is defensive backs coach Raheem Morris. He's a rising star in the coaching ranks. If he takes over, I don't think he'd totally blow up the defensive system. It's something that's worked for well over a decade and I don't think a bad performance Monday night is reason enough for Tampa Bay to just fall apart.

Ben in Bakersfield CA writes: Why don't you put Willie Roaf in your discussion for best NFC south player of all time or best saints player of all time? He has all the credintials that Derrick Brooks has and way more than any other Saints player.

Walter Mercier in Spring, Texas writes: Pat, the news of Derrick Brooks saddens me. Along with Mike Alstott, he was without a doubt my favorite Buccaneer of all time. I will never forget his 2002 season, those three defensive scores, the most famous being his game icing interception return for a touchdown in Superbowl 37. He is the greatest Buccaneer of all time, with Selmon following close behind. Now, after all that, my one question. Do you think that we have anybody in the wings who could possibly play the position well enough to take his place? Or will we have to seek out another talent?

Mike in Fort Worth writes: Depending on your philosophy about kickers, gotta have Morten Andersen right up there as best ever in NFC. Two teams to boot.

Pat Yasinskas: All your points are well taken. I still say Brooks is the best player in the history of the NFC South. If you want to continue to agree or disagree, hit the comments section or the mailbag.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- We did this last week with Deuce McAllister and we'll do it again now with Derrick Brooks.

When the New Orleans Saints cut McAllister loose, I asked for your take on where the running back rated in franchise history. The consensus was that he might have been the best New Orleans player in history and, certainly, no worse than third.

Let's do the same thing with Brooks -- but take it just a step more. Let's just go ahead and say Brooks is the best player in Tampa Bay history. I already made that case at length last June.

Let's hear in the mailbag or in the comments section below if you think Brooks is the best player in the history of the NFC South. I'll post some of your responses in the blog in the coming days.

For clarity's sake, let's go ahead and put out a little background and some rules. Keep in mind, the NFC South officially came into being as a division in 2002. For this situation, let's just use that as a guideline, but we don't want the best player in the division just since 2002.

We want the best player EVER to play for an NFC South team, even officially before there were NFC South teams. For instance, Claude Humphrey, Rickey Jackson, Archie Manning, Doug Williams, Sam Mills, Warren Sapp, Lee Roy Selmon … guys like that, they're all eligible and I'm just throwing out a few examples here.

Also, guys like Reggie White, who finished his career with the Panthers, don't count as NFC South players. In general, I'm talking about guys who played the bulk of their career with an NFC South team.

I'll go on the record and say nobody's better than Brooks.

Go ahead and agree or disagree.

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