How do you say goodbye to something you've known your whole life? Something that taught you triumph, pain, success, failure, perseverance, love, empathy, and altruism. I don't know, but I'll try my best. Yes, after 10 years in this game, it's true. I am retiring.
I would like to thank my family for all their love and support. To my parents, all the early mornings and late nights, all the road trips to different camps, and all the games you would come to support me, I appreciate it. Thank you and I love you.
I'd like to thank the McNair family, the Houston Texans organization, Gary Kubiak, and Rick Smith for taking a chance on a kid from Milwaukee.
I'd like to thank Karl Dorrell, Rico (Rick) Dennison, Cedric Smith, Larry Kirksey, Sean Washington, Khalil Reed, Bill Kollar, and Vance Joseph. I'd also like to thank Kap and Roland of the training staff. I'd especially like to thank John Benton, my first O-line coach, you were influential in my development as a player and a human being. I'd like to thank you all for everything.
Special shout out to Bill O'Brien, George Godsey, Mike Devlin, and his staff for everything, too. I'd like to thank the City of Houston for the love and support during my time there. The city and the fans will always have a special place in my heart.
Also, I appreciate all of my OGs for showing me how to succeed in this game and what being a pro means. Thank you to my teammates, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Chris Myers, Wade Smith, Duane Brown, Derek Newton. JJ Watt, Ben Tate, Owen Daniels, DeVier Posey, Antonio Smith, DeAndre Hopkins, Whitney Mercilus, Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Ryan Harris, Moran Norris, Andrew Gardner, and Ben Jones. Great players, but even better people, thank you all.
I'd like to thank Jeffrey Lurie, the Lurie family, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson. You were there for my brightest days and my darkest ones. You were always in my corner and will be family forever. Thank you for allowing me the honor of being an Eagle.
The past six years, I wouldn't trade for the world. I attacked my rehab with the intensity and passion I always do, but making it back this season just wasn't in the cards. It didn't end the way that I would have liked it, but to me, it's never about the ending, it's about the journey.
I was fortunate enough to go on this journey with a group of brothers, not teammates, but family. It was an honor to play with Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Darren Sproles, Jordan Matthews, Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod, Chris Long, Vinny Curry, Michael Bennett, Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Stefen Wisniewski, Brent Celek, Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, Nick Foles, Connor Barwin, Vinny Logan, Marcus Smith, Kenjon Barner, Ryan Mathews, Derek Barnett, T.J. Edwards, Nate Herbig, Javon Hargrave, Jalen Hurts, Jalen Reagor, and Josh Sweat. There are a lot of other teammates that I'd like to name too, but you know, I didn't want this to take all day. Thanks. It was an honor. You'll always be family.
I would like to thank my coaches, Frank Reich, Duce Staley, Eugene Chung, Greg Lewis, John DeFilippo, Jim Schwartz, Chris Wilson, Philip Daniels, Cory Undlin, Mike Groh, Justin Peelle, Joe Pannunzio, and Dave Fipp. Thank you for everything.
I'd like to thank the current staff as well because they've been excellent. Coach Sirianni, you're a hell of a coach, a hell of a person. I wish you nothing but continued success. You've built great roots. Thank you to Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon, Michael Clay, Jemal Singleton, Kevin Patullo, Brian Johnson, Jason Michael, Nick Rallis, Tracy Rocker, Jeremiah Washburn, and Dennard Wilson. Tremendous coaches, teachers, and people. Thank you.
Last, but certainly not least, Jeffrey Stoutland. Where do I start? I feel like it's rare to have a coach that is impactful on the field as off. You took me from being a good player to being the best at my position. Even while I was there, you pushed me continuously to strive for more because hungry dogs run faster and always will. Just as you helped me on the field, you helped me off through all my struggles and little moments. I could always count on a phone call from you, the topic never being about football, but just life and how you can help. You're more than a coach and have been for a while. You're family and always will be anything anytime, anywhere, never hesitate to reach out.
I'd also like to thank some people behind the scenes. Thanks to Big Dom for everything. That also applies to you. Anything, anytime, anywhere, sincerely thank you. Thanks to Jon Ferrari as well. Thanks Troy for all you do in the building. Thank you Pee Wee, Keisha, Tim, and all the cafeteria staff for all you do. Thank you, Greg Delimitros. Thank you, Craig, Nick, Mario, Ed, Pete, and the equipment staff. Thank you, Pat Dolan, Pat McDowell, Mike Minnis, Ben, Keith, and Josh of the weight room staff. Thank you, Steve, Jerome, Monty, Joe, Shireen, Chris Peduzzi, Shanice, Mark, Micah, Tommy, and Tre of the training staff. I wouldn't have made it back in record time through all these injuries without you.
Lastly, to the city and the fans, I was extremely fortunate to help bring a championship to the city and have multiple Pro Bowl appearances, but none greater than having the honor of being an Eagle and putting the midnight green on and playing in front of the greatest fans in the world. The City of Brotherly Love is just that, love. Since day one, you've had my back and supported me through my ups and downs by sending love and support in my personal struggles. Y'all will always be family to me. I couldn't imagine finishing my career anywhere else. I hope that in return, I did my best to represent the city through my play and how I played. Although I may no longer play, I'll be an Eagle forever and will always bleed green.
And if I can leave you with anything it would be this (quote from Winston Churchill), "Defeat is never fatal. Victory is never final. It's the courage that counts."
Take a look back at the best photos of Brandon Brooks' incredible Eagles career!