ARLINGTON, VA (WUSA9) - It's not often that pro athletes find their calling after their professional sports careers. But that's exactly what happened to Dorian Brooks.
Patrolling the streets of Arlington County, Officer Brooks stands at 6'3” and weighs 280 pounds, which is actually down from his playing weight of 327 pounds.
What did he play? Well, it wasn't badminton.
"Professional football - I played up in Pittsburgh for the Steelers," said Brooks, the friendly officer with an easy smile.
Brooks was once an offensive lineman for the Steelers. That came after a career as a defensive lineman at James Madison University.
His two years in the NFL included a 2011 Super Bowl appearance.
"Unfortunately we lost, but it was a great experience nevertheless," he said.
But it wasn't until Brooks experienced being a police officer that he said he felt fulfilled.
"This was something that early on, I knew I had a passion for. I grew up in a military family and I always enjoyed that part of service and protecting. Being an offensive lineman that's what we did, we had to protect the quarterback," said Brooks, insisting that at least some football skills translate to being a police officer.
"I did have an encounter when I was brand new, I had to chase a guy down,” he said. “I was still at my offensive line weight so he might have thought I was a little on the slow side but I brought him down gently."
Gently. Considering his size, that's highly doubtful. But it turns out that tackling is not Brook's weapon of choice. Instead, it's helping.
"I have the opportunity to talk to people every day and kind of solve problems for people that they may not be able to solve on their own," he said.
Brooks admitted, there are some things he misses some things about football.
"I miss the competitiveness, the physicality of it," he said.
But he insisted there's no chance of an NFL comeback.
"Not a chance. Plus, my wife would kill me if I went back," joked Brooks, agreeing that it might be more dangerous than being a police officer.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Brooks said he has not traded in his black and gold for burgundy and gold. He’s not a Redskins fan. He is still very much a Steelers fan.