Terrence Brooks said Wednesday that transitioning from his previous role with the national champion Florida State Seminoles to a spot with the Ravens has proven difficult, though team activities this spring helped the rookie safety get familiar with his new home.
“It was a little hard at first,” Brooks said. “Coming into a new system is definitely going to be challenging. But for the most part, with more studying and just being a student of the game, I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on how this defense is and the scheme. For an update, I would say I’m doing really well at it and playing fast.”
The Ravens’ third-round pick (No. 79 overall) was one of several high-profile selections made to bolster the team’s defense. But before he can contribute to that unit, Brooks said he had a bit of an adjustment to make. He likened it to when he first arrived on campus at Florida State.
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“You get kind of homesick a little bit, things like that, but I feel comfortable here," Brooks said. “The guys are great in the locker room, the coaches are great, practice is going really well. I feel like I could fit in here. It’s not hard to transition at all.”
Ravens safety Matt Elam set a perhaps unfair precedent by starting as a rookie last season. With James Ihedigbo in Detroit, a starting safety position is open for Brooks, though he hasn’t had the kind of run with the first, or even second team this spring to make that role likely this early.
Brooks said he is learning from Elam, along with veterans Darian Stewart, and Jeromy Miles, even as he is set to compete with them for playing time.
“Me and Matt talk a lot,” Brooks said. “As soon as I got drafted, actually, he found my phone number, and we chatted ever since I got up here. But for the most part it’s competition on that field, but its not anything bad. These guys are helping me learn this playbook, because it’s only going to better the team. That’s in all phases — that goes for special teams, also.”
He hasn’t been able to show the more physical side of his game during OTAs and minicamp, but Brooks said he’s more than just a big hitter on the back end.
“That’s one part of the game, but you’ve also got to cover too,” Brooks said. “I pride myself on covering, tackling, and just having a lot of range on that field. It’s not just hitting as a safety. You’ve got to make sure you’re a commander back there, make sure the whole defense is set up right, so there’s a lot that goes into it.”