Two captains were named for each football team. Here they are along with my thoughts on the nominations...
- QB Derek Anderson: This one is almost cliche. If you don't name your quarterback a captain of your team, what message are you sending to your signal caller and your team in general? Anderson's play last year and importance to this year justify his captain status.
- C Hank Fraley: Fraley is the capain of the trenches. Hank is responsible for making all of the protection calls for the offensive line - an essential task to a successful offense. Seeing as how the Browns are an offensive-based football team, I like this pick as captain.
- LOLB Willie McGinest: McGinest is the oldest member of the Browns with the most experience - so I have no problem with naming him a captain. I'm curious to see how McGinest impacts this team in '08. While he clearly isn't the every down player he was in New England, I hope he at least proves serviceable.
- MLB Andra Davis: He's been here the longest, so this nomination makes sense. Davis has been the lone bright spot on a below average defense for the past 4 years. I'm glad that he gets a chance to play on a contender before his time in Cleveland comes to an end.
- K Phil Dawson: You win and lose games with kickers and we have a good one. I'm glad that Dawson is a team captain again - especially after the clutch kicks in Baltimore and Seattle.
- KR/WR Josh Cribbs: Cribbs was easily the MVP of our special teams unit last year. His contributions on kick returns AND kickoffs are a big reason why '07 was a great year.
It's hard to lead a football team from the wide receiver position; however if anyone could do it, Braylon Edwards is your guy. Edwards has grown and developed from the arrogant 3rd overall pick from Michigan. He has turned into a playmaker, a top 10 receiver, and a vocal team leader on and off the field. I would think that his passion and energy would make him a great fit to hold the prestegious "Captains C," but the fans must have thought otherwise.
This one has more to do with the future of the team moreso than anything else. Jones has a contract situation coming up next year. From a logical standpoint, it would make sense to name him a defensive team captain for the sake of negotiations. I'd be willing to bet that it would be harder for Sean Jones to walk away from the Browns after he performed well as the defensive leader of this team. NFL players (especially defensive backs) seem to have HUGE egos. Give him a leadership role, let him be recognized as a prominent figure on this defense, and hope that would generate at least a touch of guilt about walking away for money and playing elsewhere.
Closing thoughts: Now that Cribbs has garnered captain status, could we finally see him referred to as "Captain Cribbs?" Joshua doesn't have a nickname and with his bright personality and dynamic skills, it's almost a tragedy. I remember an interview he did after a 99 yard near touchdown run against Pittsburgh where he described the run as "happening in slow motion" in an almost superhero-like way. Captain Cribbs...I hope it catches on.
If anything, Cleveland fans could use a new "CC" to replace the old one we lost.
I miss you CC. Come back to us.