Derrick Brooks Joins ESPN2’s First Take as NFL Analyst
Super Bowl champion linebacker Derrick Brooks is joining ESPN2’s First Take as an analyst for the 2009-10 NFL season where he will provide analysis on the popular sports-themed morning show (10 a.m. – 12 p.m., M-F) each week throughout the pro football season. Brooks will work primarily Thursdays and Fridays with analyst Lomas Brown, one of his former teammates, and will make his debut this week (Sept. 17-18).
A 14-year NFL veteran, all with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brooks was the 2002 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, including 10 consecutive from 1996-2007. One of the league’s premier linebackers, he anchored the Bucs defense from 1995-2008 and helped lead Tampa Bay to its first and only Super Bowl title (XXXVII) in 2002. The MVP of the 2006 NFL Pro Bowl, Brooks amassed 2,198 tackles, 25 interceptions (six for touchdowns) and 13.5 sacks throughout his career, and he finished with 100 or more tackles the last 13 consecutive seasons, tops among all active NFL players.
Brooks is a former teammate of three current ESPN NFL analysts, Brown, Keyshawn Johnson and Trent Dilfer (as well as college football analyst Shaun King). Brooks was also coached by ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden with the Bucs.
Brooks: “While I still feel like I can play in the NFL, I’m excited to be a part of ESPN’s NFL coverage where I have a lot of former teammates. I look forward to the exposure this opportunity will bring as a share my knowledge and perspective of the game on First Take.”
First Take Also Adds Former NFL Receiver Drew Bennett
Former standout wide receiver Drew Bennett has also joined ESPN2’s First Take as an analyst for the 2009-10 NFL season. Bennett will work a combination of Mondays and Tuesdays. His first day on-air was Monday.
Bennett played eight NFL seasons for the Tennessee Titans (2001-06) and St. Louis Rams (2007-08), registering 307 career receptions for 4,412 yards with 28 touchdowns. During the 2004 season with the Titans, Bennett tied an NFL record by scoring eight touchdowns in a three-game span. Bennett signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason but was forced to retire shortly thereafter due to a previous knee injury.
Bennett: “I could not be more excited to be a part of the team at ESPN. This is the pinnacle of sports broadcasting, and I am looking forward to learning from and working with the best in the business.”
“Derrick and Drew are accomplished, highly-respected players who will be great additions to our NFL coverage because they will relate to fans what goes on in the locker room and on the practice field leading up to and following each week’s NFL games,” said David Brofsky, ESPN senior coordinating producer, who oversees First Take.