Fight for Old D.C.: 2014 Captains
Each season, teams in the NFL can name up to six players as captains. For the 2014 season, the Redskins voted three men to be season-long captains. (Others were selected by coaches at times to be weekly captains, as Brian Orakpo and Alfred Morris were for game 1.) The team elected Trent Williams for offense, DeAngelo Hall for defense, and Adam Hayward for special teams. The announcement was met with controversy, as there always seems to be with any Redskins announcement, when fans and media read that Robert Griffin III was not voted to be the offensive captain by his teammates. What did that say about his leadership abilities or the trust his teammates had in him? (We all know how this has turned out.) Regardless, the choices seemed to match who many outsiders, like fans, viewed as leaders on the team. The players chosen were seen as dependable and appeared tough, especially Williams who repeatedly battled through injuries.
Current State of Affairs: 2015 Captains
Yesterday, the Redskins announced their three season-long captains, and, again, these three men were voted into the positions by their teammates. The repeat selection of Trent Williams as the offensive captain should breed contentment in fans. After a few off the field issues, going back to his 2011 suspension and 2013 Pro Bowl nightclub fight injury, Williams has turned out to be a star player with an intense work ethic, shrugging off some of the reputation he carried with him around the draft. Clearly, as demonstrated by the offensive line's collapse in the Detroit preseason game and the subsequent massive contract the team awarded Williams, #71 is an invaluable player whose potential is recognized by peers and coaches. Dashon Goldson being named as the defensive captain came as a bit of a surprise to some fans, as the team only acquired him through trade about five months ago and many weren't expecting a newcomer to be entrusted with the captain's patch. However, reports out of training camp and practices often highlight his communication on the field, his work ethic, and his natural leadership abilities, resulting in the vote of confidence by his peers. Lastly, Tress Way (Redskins MVP?) earned the special teams nod. Way's nomination could arguably be the result of Hayward's season-ending injury against the Lions, but that doesn't mean fans should be concerned about the choice. Way has been one of the Redskins' most consistent players over the past year, and, with any luck, maybe his consistency will begin to rub off on a troubled unit.
And the winner is...
the current state of affairs. The repeated selection of Trent Williams speaks to his growth as a player and professional, and I like that the other two players are relative newbies in Ashburn. To me, their nominations suggest the front office is bringing in guys who will push their teammates and their coaching staff to work harder, play better, and achieve more, and that is something I can certainly live with.