But trust me, I am a little bitter. A wonderful Falcons season was derailed in the playoffs by one man: Keith Brooking. As a veteran he has been known for his "sure tackling" and "awareness". That's basically what you say about a player when they are slow and aging. Going beyond Brooking's ENORMOUS mental lapse on the critical 3rd and 15 when he opted to run up to the underneath receiver instead of the deep receiver who sat down in the hole right at the first down marker. It was the quantity of missed tackles that did us in. Playing LB is all about getting to the ball carrier and bringing them down. The line creates seams for you to come through, the DBs cover the receivers downfield, the LBs are left to cover the middle and stop the ball. Brooking failed repeatedly. It shouldn't have been much of a suprise as we have seen him do this all season long. However, Arizona ran at him and watched him try his patented "grab the ballcarrier and let him take me an extra 5 yards." They also passed his way a lot to the TE exploiting his major weaknessl; coverage.
With an emerging team it seems like we no longer need his "veteran presence". I hope the Falcon's brass is smart enough to jettison him and his inflated salary in the offseason (where I'm sure he'll end up in NE--where white 35 year old LBs go to flourish). Ideally a LB like Maluaga or Laurinitis will be waiting for us in the draft. A man can dream.
Oh, and I hope Vince Carter breaks a nail and has to miss two months.