Ahmad Brooks the linebacker of the San Francisco 49ers appeared to benched for the entire second half of 49ers Sunday night win over the New York Giants and now he has an opportunity to shed some light on the situation.
There have been continued rumblings of discontent in the San Francisco locker room but the early exit to the game for one of the 49er key players like Brooks, was the first visible evidence of suspected problems within the team.
The 30-year-old spoke of the incident on Sunday and exclaimed he was frustrated with playing time and took his emotions out on his defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
Brooks has tried to deter focus away from his benching incident, he said a couple of days later:
"It obviously couldn't be taken back, So they decided not to put me back in for the remainder of the game, but we're moving forward as a team."
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Brooks required as a leader
The real issue stems from Brooks having to share playing time when the All-Pro wants to feature as an every-down kind of player.
The 49ers have Aldon Smith returning off suspension and a rookie linebacker Aaron Lynch who has been increasingly impressive when given his chance in the line-up.
To accommodate the talents of all players, Brooks is being utilised in a three-man pass-rushing attack, despite having early issues with his player time being decreased, he is starting to learn the error in his ways:
"I felt bad, and I didn't like that feeling. So I decided to apologize to Jimmy Tomsula because that's who I said those words to. I apologized and he accepted my apology. By me being a veteran, I can't bring that attitude to the team."
Brooks isn't likely to see a huge workload by the end of the season, certainly a much different responsibility to the one he has experienced previously when he started 58 consecutive games with the team.
However he is still a star defensive player and a leader on this 49ers squad, and as they sit at 6-4 with still a good chance of making the post-season, they will need the 30-year-old to be completely focussed on the teams ideals.
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"We've still got six games left, We still have the team to make it to the Super Bowl. We still have a team that's capable of making it to the playoffs. That's where our focus is as a team right now. We don't want to focus on distractions."