When Ahmad Brooks first came into the league with the Cincinnati Bengals, he didn’t get very much playing time at all. Now in his seventh season in the league after paying his dues and spending a lot of his time on the sidelines early, he will be getting a chance to play in the Super Bowl. The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and Brooks is a big part of that. As good as San Fran has been on D, they will have their hands full with Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense, which has picked up its play this postseason. Ahmad Brooks joined 95.7 the Game in San Francisco with Bucher and Towny to talk about how it feels to be playing for the Super Bowl, what the biggest change was from the new coaching staff to the old, how much it helps to have a good defensive coordinator like Vic Fangio, what he thinks it would mean to Jim Harbaugh to beat his brother John for the Super Bowl, what the key is on Sunday and how important it will be to put pressure on Joe Flacco.
How it feels to be playing for the Super Bowl title:
“It feels great because when I first came into San Francisco in 2008, I wasn’t playing at all. I was just practicing. I always traveled with the team but I wasn’t playing, so I did see what they went through and they had an 8-8 season that year. Then, going into my fifth year in the NFL, I was playing and I think we had an 8-8 season then. We had a chance to make it to the playoffs but we didn’t. We lost a game and then we didn’t make it to the playoffs. Then after that, things started going, we always had a great group of guys, we had a change in staff and then once they came in, we made it to the playoffs last year and now it being Coach (Jim) Harbaugh’s second year as a head coach we’re here in the Super Bowl.”
What was the biggest change from the new coaching staff to the old one:
“I don’t know. You just can’t put one ingredient into the sauce. You have to put a few ingredients in there to make it taste good. I don’t know.”
How much it helps to have a good defensive coordinator like Vic Fangio:
“It’s good to have, it’s good to have, but as much as it’s good to have a good defensive coordinator, it’s good to have 11 guys on the field that can go out there and play good football. It works hand-in-hand.”
What he thinks it would mean to Jim Harbaugh to beat his brother to win the Super Bowl:
“Sitting down with Coach Harbaugh this morning eating breakfast, and I don’t want to put his business out there like that, but he was just saying he got invited by Phil Simms to go to the restaurant on Wednesday or something like that, his brother was going to be there and I guess they talk on the phone, and I was like, ‘You should go, you should go.’ And Coach Harbaugh was like, ‘No, man, I’m not going.’ I just think my coach might be a little more intense than his brother. My coach wants to win, so it’s like he won’t even talk to his brother right now — doesn’t even want to see him until gameday. He wants to beat his brother and then we can talk after that. I’m fine with it.”
What the key is on Sunday:
“I just think we need to play physical with them because they are a physical team. They want to establish the run and we have a good run defense so we have to stop that as early as possible. Then we need to stop Joe Flacco. He’s a good quarterback, he’s tall, he’s a gunslinger, he can sling the rock. They have good receivers; they have a good deep threat with Joe Torre (Torrey Smith), matter of fact he’s from around my way, shout out to Joe Torre. Is that his name? Joe Torre? They have him and Anquan Boldin. They have a good offensive line, they have a good fullback and we played against them last year on Thanksgiving, and the fullback was just pancaking some of our guys, so we have our hands full on Sunday.”
How important it will be to put pressure on Joe Flacco:
“It’s imperative for us to get to him as soon as possible, to cause pressure, to put a hand in his face and just get him rattled up so he just can’t feel comfortable in the pocket and throw the ball to wherever he wants to throw the ball to.”
You said Joe Torre, you meant Torrey Smith? Must’ve been thinking baseball?
“Yeah, me too. (Host: I can tell you this, Joe Torre can’t run like that.) Not at all. Yeah, Torrey Smith, he’s from around my way. He’s from Stamford, Virginia and I’m from Woodbridge, Virginia. Stamford is like a county below me. Shout out to Torrey Smith.”