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McFarland On Antoine Brooks: ‘He Has A Knack For Just Being Around The Ball’

One of the benefits to drafting teammates is the fact that they can give you a scouting report on the other guy. I’m joking, of course. It’s not like one of them is going to say the other one sucks. It’s going to be a glowing report about how great they are. And let’s face it, anybody who gets drafted, especially from outside of a top university, is going to be somebody who was probably a star on their team, as it is.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with hearing from players about their teammates, and fourth-round running back Anthony McFarland had plenty of good things to say about the leader of the Maryland defense, sixth-round safety Antoine Brooks, Jr.

Both were Terps, and now are members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, continuing a trend of drafting teammates. Devin Bush and Zach Gentry were taken in 2019 out of Michigan. In 2018, it was James Washington and Mason Rudolph. The year before that, Cameron Sutton and Joshua Dobbs.

Brooks is a guy the Steelers already know a lot about, because they’ve basically been watching him for years, so McFarland isn’t going to say anything they didn’t already know. But having that teammate perspective can still be interesting.

He can play anywhere on the field. Literally, he can play anywhere on the field”, he told reporters last week about his defensive teammate. “He’s always on the ball. He has a knack for just being around the ball, catching picks, just making plays. He loves to be around the football. If you pull up the film on defense, you’re gonna see 25 stand out every single play. He’s relentless”.

“His scouting report has to be the best”, he added. “Every time this guy steps on the field, he’s relentless, and you can tell, anybody who’s seen him play football, no matter who it is, you can tell he really loves football. He really loves the game. I feel like ‘Toine’s gonna be a great player because, like I said, he really loves football. One thing about defense, you’ve got to get to the football, and that’s what a lot of people like about him, that he’s always around the football”.

One of the things that the Steelers did talk about after drafting Brooks is the fact that, when you watch tape of Maryland’s defense, he was consistently around the ball in the area where plays are being made. He doesn’t have a deep history of making splash plays, but being around the ball and making physical tackles are a good place to build from.

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