For the first time in his six-year career, Ahmad Brooks became an every down player. As part of one of the league's top linebacking corps and defensive units, Brooks set a career high with 7.0 sacks. Like many of his teammates, Saturday's matchup with the New Orleans Saints will mark Brooks' first postseason contest. 49ers.com spoke with Brooks about his playoff preparation and his role in the Tony Montana movement.
Q: How have you been preparing for your first career playoff game?
A: I'm just taking it day by day and enjoying the process. I'm excited that we made it to the playoffs, because in years past it was just something we would think about after the last game of the season. But I think watching the playoff games last week made us a lot more excited for this game. Guys have been preparing hard all week for this, paying attention to detail and watching film about the Saints to see what they like to do. It'll be a good game on Saturday.
Q: Are you going to get to Candlestick earlier on Saturday because it's a playoff game?
A: I don't think so. I'm excited for the game, but I'll keep the same routine that I've had all year. I'll just get into the hot tub, do some stretching, listen to some music. I'm happy that we get to play at home in front of all of our fans, they've been great all year.
Q: What do you like about facing a team like the Saints and a quarterback like Drew Brees?
A: It's going to be a challenge. It's going to take everybody on defense. It's going to take the offense to do well and it's going to take our special teams to do well for field position to win this game. We have a big task ahead of us, but I think if we cause pressure on Drew Brees that everything will take care of itself.
Q: With this being your first full year as starter, how did that benefit you?
A: I just think experience played a huge part in my growth. Last year I was playing in maybe 20 snaps a game, while this year I'm in there almost every play. Just over time, my experience helped me produce. When you have that experience you get more comfortable out there. You don't really think twice about what you're doing, you just go out there and react.
Q: Do you take pride in starting the Tony Montana movement?
A: I heard NaVorro Bowman playing it one day in the locker room, so I'll give credit to Bo on that one. But I'm pretty much the one that made it take off, because I was playing that song every week. Then Tavares Gooden started listening to it and guys started rallying around it. It seems like everybody in the team likes it and now they're playing in the stadium, it's pretty cool to see.