Brooking says farewell to the ATL

Keith Brooking wanted to say one last good bye to the football fans of Georgia.

He broke down several times during his press conference, but managed to crack a joke at the end.

You have to give Brooking credit for not wanting to burn any bridges in Atlanta like a certain Braves pitcher did when he signed with a certain Major League Baseball team named the Boston Red Sox.

Brooking and his agent Pat Dye Jr. took the high road.

They didn’t let it get out that the Falcons offered him a bag of peanuts and a few programs to stay with the team. Brooking clearly values the relationship he has with owner Arthur Blank and didn’t want to breach it.

He chose to take the best offer and move on. Brooking is set to No. 51 for the Cowboys.

On another note, the Falcons will entertain a pair of free agents Thursday, tight end L.J. Smith and center Brett Romberg.

Brooking from DLed's cell phone at Wednesday's presser

Both are unrestricted free agents. Smith played last season with the Philadelphia Eagles and Romberg with the St. Louis Rams

Were you glad to see Brooking take the high road? Is Stephen Nicholas ready to take his weakside position? What are your fondest memories of Brooking? This is not the time to talk about Keith, he gave his all to the Falcons for 11 seasons.

36 comments Add your comment

Robert M

March 4th, 2009
9:04 pm

Whether you love him or not, CLASS ACT!

mike28212

March 4th, 2009
9:04 pm

He always gave his best effort as far as I could tell. I wish him the best (except against the Falcons of course)

Falcon Fan

March 4th, 2009
10:02 pm

Keith Brooking is my favorite Atlanta Falcon of all time. He is THE perfect example of a high character, dedicated, excellent football player! He was very productive and a class act for the Altanta Falcons. I just wish we had more players like him. I will miss watching him play for the Falcons. I wish him well with the Dallas Cowboys and all other aspects of his life. I hope he will consider the possibilty of returning to the Falcons as a linebackers coach sometime in the future; this way he will be able to pass on some of his knowledge, work ethic and love for the game of football.

Thank you for everything you have done for the Atlanta area and the Atlanta Falcons. You will be missed!

falcon21

March 4th, 2009
10:53 pm

I have given KB hell on some of these blogs but he was a good player and a good man for Atlanta. Be proud Keith Brooking, you had a good career with the Falcons. Hope to see you back as a coach someday. Good luck with the Cowboys.

dacha

March 4th, 2009
11:31 pm

nice job, DOL. . . . Matching that center from the Rams back with Boudreau might be a good deal for him to be McClure’s backup. I’m still a little worried that we are going to have to rely too much on young players this year. GO FALCONS!

Zoomie

March 5th, 2009
7:42 am

Trying to end his career with a good payday; can’t blame him for that. Falcons wanted to pay him what they thought he was worth; can’t blame them for that. I hate to see KB go to the Jerry Jones Show, the NFL’s version of Jerry Springer, but KB should be able to help shore up a defense that couldn’t stop anyone last year. Hope it works out well for him. As far as KB leaving on “the high road,” I wouldn’t have expected anything different from him. Good luck, Keith, and thanks.

marko

March 5th, 2009
7:43 am

Not a bit surprised to see Keith take the high road. It’s the only one he knows. His peers voted him into five pro bowls because he was that good. At this point in his career, he’s not a great player anymore just a great guy. I wish him the best of luck, and hope Arthur finds a place for him in the organization when he hangs up his cleats. Moving on, L.J. would be a nice addition, and would allow us to focus on defense in the draft. Smith pretty much proved to me that he could get the job done with the players he was given. Just wait till you see what he can do with the players he wants. My best guess is that Brooking’s replacement Is waiting for Thomas to draft him, and were gonna like what we see.

marko

March 5th, 2009
7:56 am

dacha, I tend to agree with on the wisdom of starting rookies. Still can you really think of anything stupider than starting a rookie quarterback, and protecting with a short armed rookie at left tackle? I don’t second guess the D-man anymore. You’re looking at a very humble man.

MattyB

March 5th, 2009
8:00 am

As a “born and bred” GT and Falcons fan, I’ve got many great memories. But for whatever reason, the images of Keith at the ‘98 Super Bowl running around like a kid in a candy store have always stuck with me. I could tell then that he would not be a “rookie” for long. Why he chose “The Big D” is beyond me, but best of luck, hombre!

Dogbyte

March 5th, 2009
8:12 am

No one with any sense(of fairness)EVER questioned KB’s commitment to the game and the fact that he is a good citizen and family man. He is simply not the player he once was(it happens to all)and it is time to move on. I hope to see him back as a coach or team executive. In the meantime, God speed.

Bluestreak

March 5th, 2009
8:14 am

Good to see a long time Atlanta player take the high road. Keith was, is and always will be considered a class act AND a Falcon, no matter what colors he wearing.

DOL, THANK YOU for making the point on Smoltz. He could have easily done the same thing. Just said, “Hey, it didn’t work out, but I’ll always be a Brave.” But, he had to go down the road he has before with the Braves and slam management (remember the “dude upstairs” comment, and that time he wasn’t speaking about God).

In an offseason where two local teams have lost ‘lifers’, we have seen a true dichotomy in how to handle these changes that inevitably come. One handled it with the utmost class; the other handled it like a spoiled brat that just had his bluff called.

Scott

March 5th, 2009
9:01 am

Brooking was let go because they have talent behind him. Brooking was a good player but players get older and when you have talent like Nicholas behind him these situations happen. Nicholas will be great at weakside, heck coaching staff had him play DE during the season just to get him on the field, so they know they’ve got a player. Good luck to Brooking, but it’s about time Nicholas was a starter.

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2009
9:31 am

I like the “entertaining” part of L.J. Smith and B. Romberg. Despite his loss in production (and other issues), he’s still a threat on offense. If Falcon brass choose not to buy him (I would be the least disappointed), it clearly demonstrates the need that We have at that position and efforts that management are taking to pursue the situation. I’d love to see L.J. Smith in a Falcon uniform, along with a high-profile rookie, i.e., B. Pettigrew or J. Cook. It’ll definitely make L.J. Smith go to work.

Considering that scenario, the Falcons may create a cushion to dump some players (excessive TEs) when “that time” comes to make room; thus, We interview B. Romberg. It adds depth to the line. Another good call, TD!

Keith, I was there when You teamed up with Ron Rogers; I was there when You were drafted; I was there at the Super Bowl; I was there in Arizona. Through it all, it is an honor to point to You and tell my son “that’s Keith Brooking, a true Falcon”. You’re a class act and I wish you and your family the best. See You in the playoffs, baby!

One of your biggest fans (and I’m proud to say it)!

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2009
9:47 am

Is Stephen Nicholas ready…?

Is 7 up? Is fatback greasy? Does poot stank? You darn right he’s ready. Now, is most natural position is weakside, right; but didn’t he play some stong side last year? I don’t recall him being productive as a result of it. I know he was injured some and played out of position in some games. Let’s hope the coaching staff don’t do “whatever”, just to get him on the field, like Scott suggests. Put him at his natural position and watch him shine. Good speed, great instinct, outstanding motor, he’s better than the leading draftees at his position.

It appears the Falcons are adding by subtracting. With the releases and FA signings, We need only to fill fewer positions. Strong-side LB and Strong Safety.

Deangelo Falls

March 5th, 2009
11:40 am

I appreciate Brooking and all that he did for the Falcons and the community. Dallas probably signed him for his presence in the lockerroom as much as what he has left on the field. I wish him the best. May we never have to remind people that his name is “Brooking” not “Brookings” anymore. On a side note, does anybody think Roy Williams can fill Lawyer Milloy’s role at SS? He thrived in the 4-3. Just wondering…

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2009
12:06 pm

There is a reason why Dallas released Roy Williams and I don’t think the reason was to save money. He lacked something and the cowboys could not tolerate it any longer. Considering that, why would We want him? Now, he may impress Falcon brass; and he might have corrected his shortcomings. No; Roy Williams cost too much and he won’t stay on the field for all downs. I’d rather pay less money to keep a player on the field, than pay more money and he only plays certain downs.

Webhead

March 5th, 2009
12:26 pm

We’ll see what kind of men TD and Smith are if they gives his number away this year. That would be a low class move by them.

Reno 911

March 5th, 2009
12:53 pm

wait, wait, are you blogging from your cell phone?

Flappin' Falcon

March 5th, 2009
1:12 pm

**Playin’ GM:**
LJ won’t get more than a 1 year with options offer. He gives us time to groom the Rookie TE we’ll draft in the 2nd round. And he can give us insight on Philly’s Westbrookian Offense (Westbrook Iso on LB Go Left / Westbrook Iso on LB Go Right). If he stays healthy and plays well he could be a great bargain.
Love Brooking. Wish him great success! Hope the Falcon’s can find men of his character in future players.

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2009
2:04 pm

Keith Brooking gave Us over a decade of hard work, a winning attitude, and unmeasurable leadership. The moment he makes a mistake or stinks up a play call, We want to throw him under the bus; excusing the fact that he is simply nearing the end of his football career.

How do We employ the hard work and services that a player gives this city and disregard his efforts because of a mistake? Reno 911 demonstrates this selfish act by criticizing the author of this blog. Its not ENG LIT 201; its a blog. Sometimes our minds move faster than our hands can type. Reno 911, if You want to chat about the upcoming season or the current offseason, like most of Us do, then blog on; but if You want to discuss punctuation and grammar, try Atlanta Area Tech. They’re currently enrolling for next semester.

D.Led, not trying to kiss your butt but you’re doing an outstanding job. Don’t allow one or two bloggers to discourage your efforts. Keep feeding Us. I understand what You wrote.

MechGT

March 5th, 2009
2:10 pm

Favorite memories are from his GT days. Keith is right there with Jessie Tuggle. The type of players you can count on when they are on the field and off.

Stirg d'Nahsif

March 5th, 2009
2:30 pm

Here here, MechGT; well said.

FYI: You might better spell out your abbreviations next time (GT). We got some high school teachers on here checking our work.

Troy Taylor

March 5th, 2009
3:26 pm

I’m a huge Brooking fan and hate to see him go and especially to the Cowboys of all places. I really hate those guys but will cheer for Keith as long as we’re not playing them. However, I do understand why we’re making this and the other moves. TD isn’t so much interested in posting a winning season next year as he is in bringing a Lombardi trophy to Flowery Branch in the upcoming years. I love the moves he’s making.

Regarding the Roy Williams subject that someone brought up, I think it’s a good fit. He was a beast when playing in a 4-3. It wasn’t until Phillips switched Dallas to the 3-4 that his production dwindled. No, he may not be a great coverage safety, but neither was Law Dog when you really think about it. The guy’s a stud against the run, and you have to think that those receivers/tight ends running across the middle have it in the back of their minds wondering if Williams is going to lay a lick on them.

JG

March 5th, 2009
3:32 pm

Flappin Falcon I think that you have the right idea! We should sign LJ to a one or two year contract,which he probably won’t finish.
He can help us till we can mold and mature one of the Tightends we draft.

We definitely need the help there..

And as far as Brooking, I would consider him one of the best Falcons of all time. He came to play with everything he had every game. Yes, he has dropped off talent wise, but face it we all get older. But his class and grit will never be forgotten! I hope Dallas get’s him a ring. Then he could retire and come home.

PMC

March 5th, 2009
3:40 pm

He went out tremendously classy. He has been one of the best Falcons ever and he’ll have his spot in the Ring of Honor. Ton of respect for not only not being upset about moving on but noting that this is probably a good part of the progression of a team he had a hand in helping as well. I’ll hope for the best for Keith whatever team he plays for from here on out. It was time for him to move on but I wish him the best and hope he tears it up in Dallas.

1eyedJack

March 5th, 2009
3:44 pm

Some of my best memories of Keith are post game shots where he looked like he just went 12 rounds with Apollo Creed. He has wound up with about as handsome a nose as Tommy Nobis.

old school falcon

March 5th, 2009
3:57 pm

Good Guy but my lasting memory of KB will be of 3rd and 16 in the playoff game.

What a shame. No chance for Matty Ice to engineer a comback.

Ty

March 5th, 2009
5:12 pm

good luck Keith, I wish you well!

Pi$$onaDAWG

March 5th, 2009
5:45 pm

#35 come back home when you are done with the Pros and coach young men to be MEN like yourself. I still have the PIC from AJC with you and Ron Rogers in the back of the TRUCK. I never heard your name in the paper for a bad situation. Palmetto Ga. Tech Fan.

Tim

March 5th, 2009
6:48 pm

Best of luck to you Keith. Thank you for all the memories with the Jackets and the Falcons.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 5th, 2009
7:19 pm

Not blogging from my cel phone, but just learned how to download pictures.

BUT WHAT I REALLY LIKE is that folks have stepped forward to give KB a nice sendoff.

Falcon 8211

March 5th, 2009
9:56 pm

Thanks Keith for being a true falcon. you alwaysnplayed with heart. hope you have a great career in dallas but you know you will always be a falcon. hope you win all the games you play next year except against the falcons. muscle up because the burner is coming thru or norwood will out run you so you better get your speed back up to snuff. but truly thanks for being a great football player and staying with us thru the hard times. the change of scenery will help both parties involved.

Falconboy

March 5th, 2009
10:50 pm

DOL, how did the visits go today?

TCM

March 7th, 2009
4:51 am

KB showed class and dignity and that’s good. Why wouldn’t he? The organization overpaid him for his services and that kept the team cash strapped when they needed to get more players on the defensive side of the ball. So there was no reason for him to do anything other than to exit with class. he gave his heart and soul to the organization and so did many other players who strapped on the red and black. I don’t remember all this fuss being made over Warrick Dunn and he displayed “class” and “character” just like many other noted former falcons. Hopefully KB will find success with the Cowboys and finish strong, we shall see. Now it’s time to move on and create “new” legacies and win a superbowl or two. Go Falcons!!

goodyear

March 10th, 2009
11:27 pm

keith came out of gt and gave his all for 11 seasons. and keith being decaded like he is about atlanta he probley will be back.

Cheryl

March 31st, 2009
1:44 pm

I hope that Mike Vick never returns, he has lost the right to represent the NFL