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One-on-One with the Pirates
, August 22, 2010

By Ron Cherubini

Q&A with Michael Brooks

By Ron Cherubini
All rights reserved.

From his first live snaps as a freshman, it has never been doubted that Michael Brooks was a high-quality defensive lineman. He etched out his own identity, even among those future NFLers. Yet, with several injuries over his career, he has also spent a lot of time trying to get back onto the field. When he is in the lineup, he is clearly one of the best players on East Carolina's defense.

This season, Brooks will be asked to play nose guard, a position he has never played. He will be asked to be the anchor on a defensive front that desperately needs to reclaim its identity following a disaster of a season in 2010. He is ready to play again and he is eager to show that this defense can be a feared force once more.

Michael was kind enough to sit down for a chat with Bonesville to share his insights on the upcoming season.

Michael Brooks (92) in action (ECU SID photo)

One-on-One with Michael Brooks

Q: You have had an up-and-down career, holding your own with guys like C.J. Wilson, Linval Joseph and Jay Ross when you were a freshman, and then you missed a lot of time with injuries. How are you feeling right now? Are you on track to be 100% by the start of season?

A: I am feeling great. I am healthy now. My rehab went great and I am doing really well, thanks to Coach (Jeff) Connors… really good now.

Q: The off-season brought news that the defensive scheme was going to change to a 3-4 and Coach Brian Mitchell has said consistently that he is counting on you to be the starting NT, if fully healthy. Can you share your thoughts on the defensive changes and you moving to nose tackle?

A: Nose guard is a different technique. I’m in the 3-technique and it is different for me… it is a different defense, but the transition is going well for me. Everybody is fired up for this season and it's going well (the change to the 3-4).

Q: You and your teammates really experienced the worst case you could have last season. How do you individually approach this season and what are you and your teammates talking about in regards to improving?

A: Last year was last year and what happened is over. We build on what happened last year and recognize that this is a new year and a new defense out here.

Q: The coaches have referred to you and Antonio Allison as a 1-2 punch at nose guard. What are your thoughts on Antonio and your relationship with him.

A: Me and Antonio have been playing together for about three years now and I am really comfortable with him beside me just like I am with the other guys out here. I am very comfortable with Antonio and feel real good about working with him this season.

Q: What player on this team do you most respect and why?

A: Honest there are several players. You know Dominique Davis, clearly, he is our leader, and Emanuel Davis, you know he has been doing what he does for a long time back there and he comes to work every day. But, I respect all my teammates out here.

Q: What offensive lineman would you rate the nastiest to go one-on-one against?

A: Hmmm… probably Will Simmons because he is just so aggressive. Any time you get near him, he comes at you with a pop. You always have to be on your toes any time you go head-to-head with Will.

Q: How has your (conditioning progressed)?

A: Coach Connors is just great. He pushes us to the limit every day and you can see the results. He has been a big part of (the defensive rebuild) for us. We are stronger and much better conditioned.

Q: What young player on this defense do you think will turn heads in 2011 and why?

A: Diavalo Simpson is having a pretty good camp, Jimmy Booth is having a great camp, too. Terry Williams is really stepping up and there are some other young guys — not sure if they are going to get in there this season — but they are all stepping up out there in this camp.

Q: Personal expectations this season?

A: Everybody would love to be an All-America and All-Conference... personal accolades are great, but I would rather have wins this year.

E-mail Ron Cherubini

Ron Cherubini Archives

08/22/2011 03:28 AM


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