Eagles Recruiting Efforts Helped Land Brandon Brooks



Brandon Brooks got his relationship with the Eagles fan base off on the right foot by saying he heard Philadelphia is “like a smaller, cleaner version of New York” at his introductory press conference Friday.

And it was the Eagles that made a good first impression on him earlier in the week through their words and actions the moment the free-agency gun went off.

“The biggest thing for me is when [the legal tampering period] opened up on Monday, pretty much from the get-go the Eagles let me know I was their guy,” said Brooks. “I felt wanted. Players on the team — [Jason] Peters, [Jason] Kelce, Lane [Johnson] — all texting me saying, ‘Come here. We have an opportunity to build something great.'”

Brooks said there were other teams in pursuit including Houston, where he spent the first four years of his career. But the Eagles showed him the most love. That, plus the five-year, $40 million deal ($21 million guaranteed) they were willing to give him, secured the services of the 6-5, 343-pound 26-year old out of Milwaukee.

Brooks started 44 of a possible 48 games over the last three seasons for the Texans, playing mostly right guard. Doug Pederson told reporters on Thursday that he will start him off on the right side, where he’s expected  to plug the hole between Kelce and Johnson. Brooks called Johnson “one of the best young right tackles in the league” and Kelce “one of the best pulling centers I’ve ever seen since I’ve been watching the game.” He had praise for Pederson and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and said he feels like he’s a fit for this scheme.

“They do a lot of things — wide zones, powers, whatever it is,” he said. “And I think Coach Stout is a really good coach. I think he can help me take my game to the next level.”

Brooks was rated as a top-8 guard in 2014 by Pro Football Focus, though he fell off some this past season in their view.

Brooks joins the Eagles coming off of his worst season in three years, but that was still good enough to earn a positive overall grade. At his best (2013 and 2014), Brooks provides solid pass protection, but crucially brings back the consistent, physical style (with occasional dominance) that was the calling card of the Eagles’ ground play when Mathis and Herremans manned the guard spots on either side of Kelce.

Brooks says he’s not necessarily feeling more pressure now that he has a sizable contract, but perhaps an added sense of responsibility. He has been working towards a masters in finance and made time for two internships last offseason, but will put such pursuits on hold for the moment.

“At this point in my life, 100 percent of the time in-season and offseason now, I feel like if you’re going to pay me, I need to really every second be breathing it, living it,” he said. “That’s kind of how I look at it.”