A continuation of the Packer Receivers of History series. To read the articles you missed, go to the Packer Receivers of History category page.
Robert Brooks was always a fan favorite. That may have been because, as an undersized receiver, he had that emotional, “cheering for the underdog to succeed” quality, or it may have just been that he was simply electric to watch on the field.
Either way, Brooks found his way into the hearts of Packer fans everywhere and into the history books of the greatest sports franchise in history.
Robert Brooks came out of college having broken most of Sterling Sharpe’s South Carolina receiving records. Most (including Packer GM Ron Wolf) thought Brooks would be drafted in the first round.
But he wasn’t…
In fact, the second round of the draft came, and went, and Robert Brooks still waited.
When Brooks fell to the Packers in the third round Wolf snapped him up. Falling that far was one of the things that drove Robert to give 100% at all times. From day one as a Green Bay Packer, he was dead set on proving to all those teams that had overlooked him that they made a big mistake.
Joining an offense loaded with talent, Brooks found it difficult to get playing time early on. In his first two season as a Packer, he only got his hands on the ball 12 and 20 times respectively, but a neck injury to Sterling Sharpe meant the Packers would have to rely on the flashy little receiver more than ever.
And, Brooks responded in grand style.
In 1994, Brooks became a starter and caught 58 passes for 648 yards and four touchdowns. In 1995, he had a career high of 1497 receiving yards. In that season, Brooks never let down as the Packers entered post-season play. In fact, he took his level of play up a notch. In three games, he caught 17 passes for 281 yards, averaging 16.5 yards a reception and 93.7 yards a game.
In 1996, a knee injury during a Monday night game against the 49ers sidelined him throughout the playoffs. He stood on the sidelines while Antonio Freeman and the newly acquired Andre Rison stepped into the spotlight and collected Brett Favre’s passes en route to a Super Bowl victory.
Many wondered if Brooks would ever be the same receiver after his knee injury, but in 1997 he eased Packer fans’ doubts and logged his second 1,000 yard season (1,010). Brooks made his first appearance in a Super Bowl that season. Unfortunately, the Packers failed to bring the Lombardi trophy home that year.
The following season, Robert’s final one with the Packers Brooks struggled all year with back pain. The pain affected his play and forced him to make the decision to step away from the game after seven seasons with the Packers. Brooks returned for one more season in 2000 and played with the Denver Broncos, but hung up his cleats after a single season back in the NFL.
In seven seasons with the Packers, Robert Brooks caught 306 passes for 4225 yards, scored 32 touchdowns, and brought the kind of speed and excitement to the team that delighted Packer fans.