Class Act

Don't be fooled by the scowl. Derrick Brooks will just as easily lend you a hand as lay you out.

Updated: September 2, 2003, 11:56 AM ET
By David Fleming | ESPN The Magazine
Someone's out there, in the dark. And he's the only man who can calm Jon Gruden's fear. We're back in March, just six weeks after Gruden and the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII, and the coach can't sleep. After the celebrations, the parades and even a seat next to Dave Letterman, Gruden is already haunted by doubt. No one can repeat in today's NFL, he thinks. Look at your team, all fat and happy, lying around enjoying its success. Your guys are like big, ripe tomatoes, just ready to be picked. And so Gruden rises in the middle of the night and drives to the team's practice facility, where, after an hour of work, he meets up with strength coach Garrett Giemont for a predawn run.

David Fleming | email

ESPN Senior Writer