Leadership is something that every team needs to have. Whether it be by coaches, players, or both. It’s something (especially last year) that the Bears have been lacking.
However, with changes in the front office plus a new coaching staff, there’s a shift toward a resurgence of accountability and leadership that will pay dividends.
Here is why Bears fans should be eager to see who will be leading our team this fall!
Won’t it be nice to see that “C” back on the jerseys?
The “C” doesn’t signify those few players that are better than the others on the roster, but rather… it signifies who the true leaders are on the team. It’s the guys who have a level head and play the game hard until the final whistle blows.
Last year, when Marc Trestman took the captain privileges away I thought it was definitely a “different” idea. My hopes were to see who the true leaders would be, take charge, and lead the others, and then…
No one stepped up.
I was hoping to see a spark out of that decision, but that was to no avail. It never happened. It seemed as if nobody wanted be the leader. Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler were the most outspoken of the team. (Not necessarily in the best way), but they were still the most outspoken.
What the Bears need in a captain is someone who is going to be optimistic and take the negative out.
That is where everyone on the team fell short. Marshall liked to do a lot of yelling and pointing fingers. Although he was a good player on the field, he just lacked in the leadership department.
Jay, well… depending how the team is doing determines his leadership. When things are good, he’s got good mental leadership. That being said, when things aren’t going well we all know how it pans out.
Which is… not very well.
So, who deserves to have that coveted “C” on their jersey?
These players need be able to keep their heads held high at all times, keep faith in the team and themselves, keep a loose but serious mindset, and just need to have extensive love for the game of football. Plus, it’s an added bonus if they just want to go out on Sundays and have fun.
Here’s my guess as to which four guys will get to wear the “C” in 2015.
Without a doubt, the first guy who deserves the captain patch is Kyle Long.
He’s been the obvious leader on the offensive line since his arrival in Chicago.
Being outspoken, Long has no problem telling guys what to do… But, at the same time, he’s laid back enough to fill the role perfectly. With as much respect that he has towards Hroniss Grasu, you bet he will take him under his wing and show him the ropes. A good leader must be able to welcome and teach the new-comers the ways of the NFL.
He’ll always put the team first, which is a leadership quality the rest of the captains will need to have as well. That quality is something he must have learned from his father.
No matter if he stays put at guard, or transitions to the tackle position, if I were to pick the team’s overall leader, it would be Kyle Long… and he should be for years to come.
My second captain would be Jared Allen.
His performance may not be what it used to be, but, he’s a seasoned veteran who has worn the patch before.
Jared is a guy full of positive energy and just like Kyle, he is willing to put his team first. We all know what Jared is capable of doing, I think it’s very likely he returns to that form in 2015. If he gets that “C” on his jersey I think he will feel more of a need to be a leader on the field and return to the Jared Allen of old.
Hopefully, the veteran will be able to be a stand out leader (not just because of his position change to a standing OLB) on the defensive side of the ball. It could be likely to see him on the sidelines come mid-year if he doesn’t perform, there’s plenty of other linebackers on the roster that are thirsty to play.
However, nothing can replace experience. I think the Bears need a mix of veteran guys and younger players to fill the Captain slots, which is why Jared earns himself the “C.”
The Special Teams’ captain would be the guy with the “Goulden” foot.
Robbie Gould is an experienced veteran on this squad who’s been a Bear since 2005. Robbie has played in multiple NFC Title games and a Super Bowl. That’s an impressive resume. I think that experience alone means he should get to wear the “C”. With as much experience that Robbie has, he is the perfect leader for the Special Teams unit.
He doesn’t seem as outspoken as either Kyle or Jared, but the kicker leads by example. He works hard and that work ethic will always rub off on the other guys he’s around.
This is why he should be the man to lead the special teams unit.
Last but not least, I’m going to give the fourth patch to Alshon Jeffery.
The walking highlight reel. The way he plays the game should speak volumes to his teammates to do the same. Give it all that you’ve got. Put your body on the line if it means the team will benefit.
Another guy that leads by example. Just like the relationship between Kyle and Hroniss, I bet Alshon takes Kevin White under his wing and teaches him the tricks of the trade to being a good wide receiver in the NFL. Personally, I would rather have a bunch of captains leading by examples instead of being outspoken.
Oh… Sorry Jay, no patch for you. There can’t be any instability in our captains.
The return of leadership should not be overlooked. 2014 was cluttered with drama and the team with no clear leader was unable to find their collective identity.
Those days are behind us.
It’s time for our captains to return and not only give this team role models to look up to, but also the time has come to rediscover what it means to be a Chicago Bear.
The guys mentioned above know what it takes to be a Chicago Bear. Playing with pride and confidence, the rest of the squad should follow their lead. The last thing this squad needs is another lack luster showing in the leadership department.
If there’s one thing John Fox needs to address early with captains, it is to not be shy, yet stay humble, in being leaders on this team.
In Case You Missed It
Reason #1: Kevin White’s Vitality to Jumpstart Bears Offense
Reason #2: Restoration of Leadership (and the Captain Patch)
Reason #3: New Bears to Help Create New Identity
Reason #4: Players Poised to Perform in Contract Years
Reason #5: The New Coaching Staff of Fox, Gase, and Fangio
Reason #6: Continuing Along the “Cutler Coaster”
Reason #7: Top Three Draftees (Not Named Kevin White)
Reason #8: So Many Questions (Creates a Little Bit of Drama)
Reason #9: New Video Boards and New Lounge to Improve Fan Experience
Reason #10: (Finally) Moving on Past Lovie Smith