Terrence Brooks was in prime position to prevent Drew Brees' 26-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston at the end of the first half Monday night.
But the Ravens' rookie free safety didn't react quickly enough or aggressively enough to make a play on the ball. Although the Ravens still won the game, 34-27, Brooks was highly annoyed with himself in the Ravens' locker room afterward.
"I should have made the play," Brooks said while shaking his head in disgust. "I read the play perfectly and I was in position to get a pick. Obviously, I didn't come up with it. I just got to be more aggressive on the ball and have that confidence and play how I'm supposed to play. I feel like I'm kind of in a rut.
"I'm actually up and down with it right now. I don't know what it is, but we got to figure it out fast and play better. That was a play I definitely should have made. It just didn't happen. I'm disappointed in myself and how I'm playing right now. This up-and-down thing, it don't matter if I'm a rookie or not."
A third-round draft pick from Florida State, Brooks has plenty of athleticism, with a 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash, and the requisite size at 5 feet 11, 200 pounds. What he lacks at this point is consistency.
During the Ravens' previous game, Brooks delivered a punishing hit that gave Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker a concussion. It was a decisive blow that didn't draw a fine from the league office and drew praise from coach John Harbaugh. Against the Saints, though, Brooks appeared to hesitate instead of relying on his instincts.
Brooks finished with just one tackle against the Saints and has 20 tackles for the season with two pass deflections.
"I have confidence in myself," Brooks said. "I feel like I'm definitely going to bounce back and play the way I'm supposed to play. There's a reason why they drafted me and I'm just going to play like that. I'm just a little frustrated right now. I just have to have faith and show them what I can do."