JACKSONVILLE – Bucky Brooks is back with the Jaguars.
Brooks, a defensive back with the Jaguars in the late 1990s and now an analyst for NFL Media, will join the Jaguars' broadcast team and will contribute to the team's website this season. He joined senior writer John Oehser for this week's O-Zone Podcast and made this much clear:
His time with the Jaguars mattered, and he's looking forward to rejoining the team.
"My fondest memories as an NFL player took place in Jacksonville," Brooks said.
Brooks, a second-round selection by the Buffalo Bills in the 1994 NFL Draft, played for the Jaguars during parts of 1996 and 1997. He played four NFL seasons with five teams and was part of the 1996 Jaguars team that advanced to the AFC Championship Game.
"The run that we went on was magical," he said.
Brooks worked as a regional college scout with the Seattle Seahawks in the early 2000s, then spent 2003-2007 in the same capacity with the Carolina Panthers before joining CNNSI.com as an NFL analyst. He has worked with the NFL Media in that capacity since 2009.
Brooks on the podcast spoke fondly of his time playing with the Jaguars, discussing the challenges of covering Pro Bowl receivers such as Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell in practice – and also discussing what he learned from then-Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron.
"They were very impactful in terms of how I viewed the game and continue to view the game now that I'm in a different role," he said.
Brooks, who will write a weekly breakdown of each game for jaguars.com in addition to appearing weekly on the team's postgame radio show and Wednesdays on Jaguars Happy Hour, also on the O-Zone Podcast discussed key storylines for the Jaguars' 2020 season. Chief among them: the development and maturation of quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
"The quarterback's going to be front of mind because the quarterback plays such a key role in whether teams win or lose," Brooks said. "He's the decision-maker. He has the ball every play."
But Brooks said Minshew is far from the only key Jaguars storyline entering 2020.
"When Jacksonville made their run (to the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season, they made their run because of 'Sacksonville,''' Brooks said. "They made the run because of the way the defense played. The defense has to play at a high level for them to get back."