Figuring out the Dallas Cowboys' defensive alignments hasn't been easy for Kevin Brooks. But the flex defense has been as simple as checkers for the first-round draft pick compared with learning the intricacies of media relations.
Brooks hasn't been especially accessible and he may have miffed a few reporters.
It was reported Thursday over wire services and in USA Today that Brooks has missed several practices, shunned newsmen and angered his roommate. News accounts said the roommate, who was reported to be Tony Champion, had moved out.
Defensive line coach Ernie Stautner said Friday that Brooks has missed only one practice--and he was excused from the workout because of a pulled muscle.
Tony Champion, it turns out, has never been Brooks' roommate. In fact, Brooks said, "Champion has never been to my room." Champion, a free agent wide receiver, said that his relationship with Brooks is "very friendly."
As for Brooks' somewhat cumbersome relations with reporters, free agent kicker Robert Bergeron offered an insight. Bergeron was Brooks' teammate at Michigan.
"(Michigan Coach) Bo Schembechler insulated us from the media," Bergeron said. "Reporters couldn't talk to us unless they went through the school. All this attention is new to Kevin and probably a little scary."
Brooks agreed, and added that he was hurt by Wednesday's reports.
"The wire and USA Today are the only way my family and friends back home (in Detroit) know how I'm doing," he said, shaking his head. "Then they read that stuff.
"I've never had to speak with reporters every day. Maybe I haven't been as patient as I could have been. I'll have to adjust to it."
Tom Landry will be missing during the Cowboys' annual Blue-and-White intra-squad scrimmage, scheduled for today at 3 p.m. on the Cal Lutheran football field. The coach is in Canton, Ohio, for the induction of former Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach into the professional football Hall of Fame.
Defensive tackle Randy White will attend today's scrimmage but won't suit up. The 11-year veteran has a tender knee and has been ordered by his doctor to stay off his feet for a few days.