Rex Ryan has recently named the five Jets captains for the 2011-2012 season, he came to the decision on his own as it wasn’t based on a team vote, which is a more traditional method of selecting them. Here a few quick thoughts on the five:
Darrelle Revis – This was no surprise as Rex Ryan had mentioned making Revis a captain of the defense over the off-season. He is the unit’s and the team’s best player and has done a terrific job mentoring second year player Kyle Wilson. Revis is obviously the kind of player the Jets want to keep around for the long haul, so it makes sense entrenching him as a captain. He is one of the faces of the franchise and of course has one of the better nicknames in team history.
Mark Sanchez – Another no brainer, as Sanchez has truly embraced a leadership role and taken over the offense in the past year. One of the main reasons the Jets moved up to get him in the first round a few years ago was because of that leadership and “it” factor, which he has demonstrated throughout his brief career. His continued improvement this year will go a long way to determine if the Jets can get over the hump and finally reach a Super Bowl.
Eric Smith – Considering the team needed a special teams captain, this makes plenty of sense. Without Brad Smith around, Eric Smith is clearly the team’s top all around special teams player, although as a starting safety you have to wonder if the team is going to stretch him thin by having him on too many units. There is going to be a high amount of turnover on all of the units this year, so having Smith as a strong leader will only help Mike Westhoff breaking in new players to new roles.
Sione Pouha – Considering how young the defensive line has quickly become, Pouha has emerged as a vocal leader of the group and took the initiative to put together off-season workouts for the unit. The Jets need Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis to grow up quickly, and Pouha will go a long way to helping that process. It has been nice to see how far Pouha has came in the past few years. He was terrific filling in for Kris Jenkins in 2009 and 2010, and has developed into one of the better nose tackles in the league.
Santonio Holmes – Maybe the most surprising decision, as Holmes is only entering his second season as a Jet and has a history of off the field problems. Yet, considering how much they just invested on him for a long term deal and how he is one strike away from a season long suspension this is a smart move to show how much the organization values and expects out of him. He is now the leader of the receiver group and needs to develop into Mark Sanchez’s security blanket, on top of being a big play threat.
Ryan could have easily picked David Harris and Nick Mangold over Pouha and Holmes, yet linebacker and offensive line are solid, veteran positions on the Jets roster. The defensive line and wide receiving group are areas that need leadership and clearly Ryan thinks Pouha and Holmes can provide that.