Last year, Santonio Holmes was a captain. Let me stop and say that’s an amazing sentence to write. But anyway, he was a captain for the 2011 season.
And the fact that Holmes was a captain became a symbol for a lost season. Being yanked off the field in the last two minutes against the Dolphins capped it all off. Not the behavior of a captain, certainly. While Holmes may not regret last year — “Why should I?” — I bet his teammates do.
And for one specific reason — Holmes ruined the Jets plans to have season captains. He ruined it for everyone else.
I thought about this while reading about the latest antics of Holmes, who often makes you scratch your head. Essentially deciding he didn’t want to practice that hard, Holmes asked for fewer reps. The Jets shrugged it off publicly, as they usually do. They will rarely go after him in public.
But even before this, they made an internal decision: No more season captains.
If you don’t think this was directly related to Holmes’ actions last year, you’re crazy. The Jets couldn’t take away Holmes’ “C” and leave ’em for the other handful. They couldn’t embarrass him publicly by stripping his captaincy, even though no one would blame them if they did. Do that, and they risk losing him forever. Do that and one of your stellar offensive talents might go into the tank.
Instead, the Jets allowed Holmes to save face. Holmes couldn’t be a season captain, but neither could anybody else.
I have no doubt that coach Rex Ryan didn’t want season-long captains anyway. Think about how much he loves to put game captains out there and play with them. He enjoys having Aaron Maybin be the captain against the Bills or Kevin O’Connell be the captain against the Patriots. It’s his way of rewarding his players.
And, Ryan screwed up the season captains thing anyway by not naming guard Brandon Moore a captain from the outset. Had he really thought about it, Moore would’ve been there from the beginning. So, it didn’t seem like Rex’s heart was in it, anyway. I still think he saw how it could benefit the team to have a group of guys know they are the leaders.
Except now, they are no more. Had Holmes not misbehaved, he may still be a captain. Maybe. But after ripping the team and causing a ruckus, this was inevitable.
Anyway, it’s obvious why season captains are done. Because the Jets couldn’t risk pushing Holmes away further, and maybe he would’ve taken his ball and go home. So now, no one gets to wear a “C.“