The linebackers are coming to take over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It started with Shelton Quarles, who's steadily made his way up the ranks as a front office executive over the past seven years. Then, this year, Hardy Nickerson was hired as a linebackers coach. And now, Pewter Report notes that both Jeff Gooch and Derrick Brooks have their eyes set on future NFL jobs, too, according to Pewter Report. And given their histories as players, those jobs are likely to open up in Tampa.
So, defensive backs turn into color commentators. Linebackers turn into front office executives. Defensive linemen turn into radio and TV analysts, and offensive linemen turn into radio hosts. What's up with all the other offensive players?
Gooch, who was a Buccaneer from 1996 through 2001, primarily as a backup/special teams player, serves as Derrick Brooks' right-hand man for the AFL's Tampa Bay Storm. Brooks is the president and part owner of the Tampa Bay Storm, while Gooch told Pewter Report that he is the team's VP of football operations. But his ambitions don't stop there: ultimately, he wants to become a general manager.
Gooch also thinks Derrick Brooks wants to get into the NFL, too, and has in fact had a chance to look in on some front offices in the NFL. Brooks' ultiamte place may be closer to being a high-level executive within the organization itself, or even within the NFL, rather than being a general manager. Being high-level executive is, after all, what he does for the Tampa Bay Storm right now.
The question is whether (and how) Derrick Brooks would enter a front office. I'm just going to assume that will be with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because that's the only thing that really makes sense. Would he do it John Elway-style, and become a CEO in all-but-name (or even in name), or would he start closer to the bottom and work his way up? I'm going with the former, given his experience in the AFL so far, but then the question is: how does he get in?
As a public relations move, bringing in Derrick Brooks would be a genius idea for the Glazers. And hell, he'd probably be pretty good at his job, too. He's certainly building up a resume to be good at it, which is more than we can say for John Elway when he was hired (because he had 0 front office experience at the time).
But then, the Glazers do run this franchise. They're not really involved in the day-to-day business decisions, but they make the big picture hires, and are at least in the loop on the big signings and draft decisions. How much room does that leave for a Derrick Brooks without displacing the GM already in place? And why would you want to displace that GM? Or would Brooks take on a different role -- more of a business manager than a personnel executive?
Those are all good questions we can't possibly begin to answer right now. All we can say is that a reunion with some key linebackers seems like just a matter of time, at this point. And that makes me a very happy camper.