Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr looks up to Derrick Brooks


Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has found inspiration in former football player Derrick Brooks, who recently found out of the admiration.

Recently, we found out about Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith looking up to the team’s legendary safety Joey Browner. However, he’s not the only one on the team who finds inspiration through a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It turns out that former first round draft pick Anthony Barr grew up watching the play of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and current owner of the Tampa Bay Storm Derrick Brooks. Brooks was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 because of his excellent play in the Tampa-2 defense, proving to be effective in both pass coverage, contain, and pass rush. He was also an 11 time Pro Bowl choice and a 9 time All-Pro. Barr saw these qualities in Brooks and was immediately impressed.

According to an article on the Dickenson Press website, Brooks is also the reason Anthony Barr chose the #55 jersey.

"“Derrick Brooks was one of my favorite players, and he’s the reason I chose No. 55. I just appreciate what he did for football and for his team. He’s a hall of fame player and a guy that I admire.” Barr said. “He made that Tampa 2 defense. What I most appreciated about him was he was able to make plays that weren’t his plays while still being able to do his job and stay in his coverage. Eventually, I want to be able to cheat a little here and there like he did and still be able to protect myself. That comes with experience.”"

Nov 8, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the St. Louis Rams at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Rams 21-18. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The most surprising thing was what Brooks said when he found out that Barr looks up to him. Not only was he taken back by the notion, but it gave him pleasure.

"“I did not know that at all,” Brooks said in a phone interview. “I’m actually very humbled by that. Whenever a young man says that I affected their life and made a positive impact on it, it is with a great deal of humility that I’m hearing that.”"

In one of the biggest games of Barr’s career, the Minnesota Vikings beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime thanks to a forced fumble, recovery and defensive touchdown. Derrick Brooks was in attendance at that game, and sent Barr a congratulatory text message following the contest.

The two hope to get together some time in the future to discuss playing linebacker, roles in the NFL, and much more. As far as people to look up to, Barr couldn’t have done much better than to look up to Derrick Brooks, who seems to have taken a liking to the young Vikings linebacker.

"“Hopefully, one day there will young guys out who will want to wear No. 55 because of Anthony Barr,” Brooks said."

Wouldn’t that be great?