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Ahmad Brooks Explains Reason for Benching

Posted Nov 19, 2014

The veteran San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker explained his role in last week's road win in New York and why he did not return to the game in the second half.

Ahmad Brooks did not play in the second half of the San Francisco 49ers road victory over the New York Giants.

Now we know why.

Shortly after Jim Harbaugh explained on Wednesday that things have been addressed between the team and the veteran linebacker, Brooks spoke to reporters about why he sat on the bench for the final 40-plus minutes of San Francisco's 16-10 win over New York.

When Aldon Smith was inserted into the game in the second quarter, Brooks became upset when told he would be a part of a three-man pass-rusher rotation with Smith and rookie Aaron Lynch. Brooks said his displeasure wasn't related to previous trade rumors involving him potentially being dealt to the Cleveland Browns at the trade deadline.

Brooks said he lashed out towards defensive line coach Jim Tomsula on the sideline at MetLife Stadium, voicing his displeasure with the substitutions.

As a result, Brooks was benched.

"It obviously couldn't be taken back," he said. "So they decided not to put me back in for the remainder of the game, but we're moving forward as a team."

The 2013 Pro Bowl selection has since apologized to the respected position coach and his teammates. Brooks said he realized his mistake on the flight back to California. He did not disclose what was said to Tomsula in the heat of the moment.

"I felt bad," Brooks said, "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."

Brooks further explained his position in the New York incident.

"When you go to work, you're not always going to be on the same page with your co-workers," Brooks said. "This is one of those instances. It happened on that day in that game. It happened to me.

"I said my apologies to the team, and we're just moving forward. 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."

Brooks said he didn't want to be another distraction for the 49ers.

"By me being a veteran," he said, "I can't bring that attitude to the team."

Brooks admitted he removed the tape from his cleats in the fourth quarter of the game. He thought there was a chance he could play in the second half, but he realized he wasn't going back in by the fourth quarter.

Brooks has made 58 consecutive starts for the 49ers. The statistic was shared to the media by Harbaugh, himself, who also talked about Brooks' reliability for San Francisco's defense.

Brooks' role for Sunday's game against Washington will ultimately be a decision made by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Harbaugh said.

Brooks doesn't know if he'll start, but he expects that he'll play again.

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