The New York Jets and the Chicago Bears have a few things in common these days.
Both teams did away with naming yearly team captains and both have had a wide receiver named Santanio Holmes.
The New York Jets did away with team captains after the Santanio Holmes catastrophe, they now have a 10 member steering committee.
The Chicago Bears recently signed Santanio Holmes to a one year $855k contract and at the start of the 2014 Season, Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman announced that the team was switching to weekly captains.
Fact is the Jets are into their third season without captains per se. They have a steering committee, made up of 10 veteran players comprised from each position group and the committee meets only when necessary.
Holmes single handedly changed an NFL team tradition of honoring those who have excelled, exuded leadership and garnered their teammates hard earned respect.
The idea of the steering committee is more of a player relations department handling day to day discipline
“It’s done wonders for us as a team, [the] discipline level has improved from last season. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s not a Communist-type thing. It’s all about, ‘Hey, you’re a Jet, and we want you to be a Jet on and off the field.’ When you’re not, you hear about it.” committee member Willie Colon via espn.com
Holmes, is a former Super Bowl XLIII MVP with the Pittsburgh Steelers, “Holmes secured the Steelers’ NFL-record 6th Super Bowl win after catching a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds left in regulation. Holmes caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including four receptions for 73 yards on their final game-winning drive. He became the sixth wide receiver to win the award, and also was the third Pittsburgh receiver to win the award, following Lynn Swann and Hines Ward.” -Wikipedia
But Holmes’ most memorable contribution as a New York Jet was his 2011 and continuing behavior, controversial demeanor, dividing a locker room and perhaps forever changing not just the Jets, but an NFL tradition dating back to the founding of the game itself.
See corresponding article: captain Holmes divided New York Jets
Head coach Rex Ryan may name situational game captains though, like a Giacomini Vs. Seattle or Chris Johnson Vs. the Titans, similar to when David Nelson was pumped up when the Jets played Buffalo style.
Will they return to naming captains? Not while Rex Ryan is the head coach. He learned a valuable lesson.