Rookie safety Brooks having growing pains

Rookie safety Brooks having growing pains
August 6, 2014, 12:15 pm
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(Evan Habeeb - USA TODAY Sports)

Rookie safety Terrence Brooks looks a long way from earning a starting job. Brooks has played primarily with the third unit during training camp practices. Heading into Thursday night’s preseason opener against the 49ers, Brooks is listed as the No. 3 free safety behind starter Darian Stewart and backup Jeromy Miles.

Recently signed Will Hill could also pass Brooks on the depth chart in October, after Hill serves his six-game suspension to start the season.

The transition from college to the NFL is coming faster for inside linebacker C. J. Mosley and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan than it is for Brooks.

“Our safeties have to do our communication,” said defensive coordinator Dean Pees. “I can make it easy, but I’m not, because that’s not going to help him. I can go out there and call the same easy coverage, and he lines up in the middle of the field and plays deep middle-third. But that’s not what we do. We keep throwing more at him, more at him, more at him. He just has to keep swallowing it and taking it in. He’s working hard at it. It just does not happen overnight.

“He’s doing fine, he’s doing great. He just has to keep developing.”

If Brooks plays well during the preseason, perhaps it will accelerate his learning curve. But at this point, Stewart is the likely Week 1 starter.

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