But the Plus/Minus vexed him. "Gus!" he yelled. "You gave me a technique minus for tripping over a guy? You gotta be kidding! That's no minus!"
"Standard's been set around here," Bradley said, chuckling. "You know that. If you're on the ground, I don't care how you got there, it's a minus."
The man who helped set the standard stewed for a while. But there was a game ball to be awarded, salve for that trip-up. "He is something else," coach Jon Gruden said that afternoon. "He's the heart and soul of our football team."
As Gruden spoke, Brooks was moving on. One game week ended, another began. It was on to Detroit, another NFC North team he didn't know well. Another running back he had never faced before. "Excellent feet," Brooks thought, watching a few snaps of rookie Kevin Smith. "We'll have to figure out a way to stop those cutback runs." For the 230th time in Brooks's pro career, the circle of NFL life was beginning again.