Aaron Lafette Brooks (born March 24, 1976 in Newport News, Virginia) is American football quarterback in the NFL, who currently plays for the Oakland Raiders. Brooks attended the University of Virginia. He is also the second cousin of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, and Miami Dolphins quarterback/wide receiver specialist Marcus Vick. He formerly played for the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, where he rose to stardom.
Productive veteran quarterback who has started 82 of the 85 NFL games in which he has played...Departs New Orleans as the all-time leader in touchdown passes with 120...Emerged as one of the NFL's top quarterbacks since 2001, with 98 touchdown tosses over that span and over 3,500 yards each season...Has engineered 18 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, including five in 2004.
In 2002 he led the Saints to a 6-1 record before the team imploded the second half of the season. Since arriving in New Orleans, he has emerged as one of the NFL's leaders in game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime with 16 (behind only Tom Brady), including five in 2004. Brooks took over as the team leader in 2000 in relief of injured starter Jeff Blake in Week 11 (vs. Oakland, 11/19/00), started the following week and has taken every snap until the last month of the 2005 campaign, when he was benched. Brooks has played in 72 regular-season games with the Saints, including starting the last 69 contests. His 441 passing yards vs. Denver (12/3/00) is the highest single-game total in franchise history, and Brooks is also the only Saints quarterback to rush for over 100 yards in a contest (108 vs. San Francisco, 12/10/00). Last season vs. the Broncos (11/21/04), Brooks set club marks for attempts (60) and completions (34) in a contest.
His decision making, showcased in an infamous backwards pass thrown to an offensive lineman in a 2004 loss in San Diego, has been the target of criticism from the New Orleans fans, and is the biggest reason he isn't mentioned with the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL. His sunflower seed chewing and smiling after he threw interceptions never sat well with the fans. That smile never left his face as he lackidaisically sauntered back to the sidelines after throwing yet another interception.
In 2002, with the Saints at 9-4, their last three games were against the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, and Carolina Panthers, all long since eliminated from playoff contention. With only one victory out of those three games required to reach the postseason, the Saints gave up a touchdown and two point conversion to lose at home to Minnesota, couldn't stop the 1-13 Bengals' running game led by fullback Nick Luchey, and fell flat on their face against Carolina, wasting their best defensive effort of the season (After giving up 20 or more points in each of their previous 15 games, the Saints only allowed 10) by only scoring two field goals at home in a 10-6 loss. Brooks was humiliated by the sellout crowd in the Louisiana Superdome that day, as they chanted "We Want Jake" (in reference to backup QB Jake Delhomme). To add salt to the wound, Delhomme signed with the Panthers in the offseason and led the team to the Super Bowl, coming up short to the New England Patriots.
On March 16, 2006, after sitting the last several full games of the season, he was released by the Saints, after they signed former San Diego Chargers quarterback Drew Brees. He ran into too many problems while following a horrid regular season record of 3-13. The Saints finally decided to release him.
In 2003, in consecutive weeks Brooks threw the famous "cellular" touchdown to Joe Horn in which Horn put a cell phone under the goal post and solidified himself as one of the most flamboyant receivers in the league. Horn earned a $25,000 fine for his antics. However, things only got sour for the Brooks and the Saints the following week after a bitter loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. A fierce close game came down to the Saints executing a 5 lateral, miracle play started by a Brooks pass, dubbed "The River City Relay." The joy was short lived however, as Kicker John Carney inexplicably botched the subsequent extra point that would have sent the game into overtime. The following week, during the final game against the Dallas Cowboys, Kicker Carney was heartily cheered and Brooks was booed. A "heartbroken" Brooks smiled and continued to chew Sunflower Seeds. Another Saints season had ended with no success.
In 2004, after a 4-8 start, Brooks led the Saints again to the brink of the playoffs, but tiebreakers and mental mistakes that went the wrong ways did the Saints in, even though they were hottest team in the NFC at the season's end.
High school career
After high school, Brooks enrolled at the University of Virginia. He redshirted his true freshman year in 1994 and received no meaningful playing time in 1995. He competed with fifth year senior Tim Sherman, whose father was wide receivers coach at Virginia, for the starting quarterback job in 1996. The Cavaliers were returning defensive standouts such as Jamie Sharper, James Farrior, Ronde Barber and Anthony Poindexter. The offense was led by running back Tiki Barber, Ronde's identical twin brother. The coaching staff made Sherman, who had played well against Virginia Tech in 1995 after starter Mike Groh went down to injury, the primary quarterback instead of the inexperienced Brooks. Nonetheless, Brooks received playing time in nearly all games and was the primary quarterback in a few. Inconsistent quarterback play by both Brooks and Sherman led to an underachieving season, and Virginia fans to this day still debate the 1996 quarterback controversy.
Brooks was the unquestioned starter in 1997. Both Brooks and the team struggled in the early part of the season but surged late to finish 7-4. The Cavaliers, however, were not invited to a bowl game. In 1998, the team got off to a strong start and was briefly in the top ten. The highlight of the year, and Brooks' career, was the season finale at Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers were down 29-7 at halftime, but Brooks led the biggest comeback in school history in the 36-32 victory. The final regular season record was 9-2. The Cavaliers narrowly lost 35-33 to Georgia in a thriller at the Peach Bowl.
Strengths: Very good arm strength. Throws a catchable deep ball. Terrific athletic ability, can buy extra time in the pocket with his elusiveness. Can throw on the run without a significant loss of accuracy. Decent leadership skills.
Weaknesses: Will hold the ball too long when trying to make plays. Has sloppy footwork and inconsistent mechanics; will throw off the wrong foot. Struggles to recognize defenses, and makes foolish decisions. Will put the ball up for grabs in traffic.
|7 year NFL career||93||2963||1673||56.5||20261||6.84||123||92||235||1337||78.5|
|7 year NFL career||93||362||1534||4.2||13||0|
Fumble Recovery Stats
|7 year NFL career||93||64||14||0||-84||0|
|7 year NFL career||93||1||1||1||0||0|
(Normalized to 2005 environment)
Season Team Pos G Plays TAY NetPts Pts/Pl PAR PAR/G WARP -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2000 nor qb 8 136.6 739.0 61.58 0.451 29.76 3.72 0.74 2001 nor qb 16 356.7 1591.5 132.63 0.372 49.51 3.09 1.24 2002 nor qb 16 313.7 1550.0 129.17 0.412 56.07 3.50 1.40 2003 nor qb 16 312.1 1796.5 149.71 0.480 76.99 4.81 1.92 2004 nor qb 16 331.2 1507.5 125.63 0.379 48.46 3.03 1.21 2005 nor qb 13 260.5 1127.0 93.92 0.361 33.22 2.56 0.83 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------