By RICK STROUD
© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 5, 2001
TAMPA -- Derrick Brooks makes his own decisions and he certainly deserves a better contract.
So why does it feel like Brooks missed the tackle on this one?
Maybe it's because the linebacker's holdout should not come as much of a surprise considering it's a common tactic used almost every year by some client represented by agent Roosevelt Barnes and partner Eugene Parker.
Every year since 1997, Barnes and Parker have had either a first-round pick or veteran report late to training camp.
In fact, one of the last players to miss the season because of a holdout was the Chiefs' Dan Williams, who sat out 1998 before signing a five-year, $28-million deal in February 1999.
"I would never sit out again," Williams told the Sporting News. "It was just a lot of stuff going on there that I should not have listened to and should not have let happen."
A year ago it was Simeon Rice, then of the Cardinals, who sat out the preseason and missed the season opener before signing a one-year, $4.25-million deal.
Sometimes, even when the player eventually signs, he never recovers. Fellow Florida State alum Andre Wadsworth was the final first-round pick in '98 to sign, one day before the season opener. He agreed to a six-year deal with the Cardinals.
But he never recovered from injuries, producing eight sacks in three seasons. Earlier this year, Arizona refused to pick up an option on the final three years of his deal and released Wadsworth.
CLYDE ON THE SIDE: Offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen will remain on the sideline rather than move to a coach's box at Raymond James Stadium.
"I think his plan right now is to stay on the sideline and we'll probably have (quarterbacks coach Jim) Caldwell upstairs," coach Tony Dungy said. "It's a matter of preference with the coordinators and where they want to be. Monte (Kiffin) has been up at times and down at times and he has kind of come to the conclusion that he likes it down more. The one thing that we found is that being down there on the sideline with the communicator takes one step away from getting plays in and that should be a little bit of a benefit. But (Clyde) is accustomed to being down there also."
RAMS TOUGH: Count Dungy among those who believe the Rams will be much improved behind new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, the Bucs' former linebacker coach.
Smith plans to deploy the same 4-3, two-deep coverage scheme that has worked well for the Bucs.
"I think they're going to do great," Dungy said. "They won't be as good as they're going to be three years from now but they're going to be very good on defense. I just don't see them being middle of the pack with him, he's just too good of a coach and he's got some good players there. I think they'll be very tough to deal with."