New Orleans Saints To Work Out Linebackers Brooks and Smith

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IAugust 11, 2009

Having already lost linebackers Dan Morgan (retirement) and Stanley Arnoux ( Achilles) for the season, the Saints are prepared to be without backup Mark Simoneau (triceps) for several weeks and maybe the whole season.

The loss of Simoneau means that Jo-Lonn Dunbar is the only current backup linebacker who has started an NFL game (he has two career starts).

Enter Derrick Brooks and Derek Smith.

The Saints will work out both veteran linebackers on Wednesday.

Brooks, an 11-time pro-bowler, played his entire 14-year career in Tampa Bay.

The Bucs cut Brooks in the offseason in an attempt to start over with younger players.

Brooks' production did drop off a bit last season. The 36-year old recorded a career-low 58 tackles in 2008.

Derrick Brooks was drafted in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft.

He 25 career interceptions as a weakside linebacker suggest that Brooks has great natural instincts and is a tireless worker.

Brooks also has 24 career forced fumbles.

His best season came in 2002 when the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl.

That season Brooks intercepted a career-high five passes and scored four defensive touchdowns.

If Brooks indeed has enough left to play at a high level for at least one more season, he would fit well in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' attacking defense.

Derek Smith does not have the numbers or the accolades that Brooks has, but he was a full-time starter every year for the first 11 years of his career.

However, Smith seems more like a long shot to make the team.

He hasn't recorded a sack since 2004 while his tackle totals of dwindled in each of the past three seasons.

Smith was limited to just six games last year, five with San Diego and one with Miami.

After Wednesday's workouts, I expect the Saints to quickly sign one of the two veteran free agents.