Defensive end Antonio Smith and inside linebacker Brian Cushing were also captains last season. Smith, who made the Pro Bowl, was a captain in 2010, too. Cushing, who led the Texans with 114 tackles, was voted a captain at midseason, not long after Wade Phillips described him as a “holy terror.” The Texans also have veteran leaders in the secondary in Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning, and defensive end J.J. Watt has all the makings of a future captain.
Ryans, who has been traded to the Eagles, had been a captain since 2007. His teammates called him “Cap.” Nobody was more widely respected in the locker room, as a look at Texans players’ Twitter timelines from Tuesday evening will indicate. Ryans earned that respect with the way he played on the field and the way he conducted himself off it.
Smith and Cushing’s leadership roles will now be magnified, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Joseph named a captain along with them next season. Smith already challenged his front-seven mates on Twitter on Tuesday with this message: “We have been challenged how will we respond. With greatness.”
Tags: Antonio Smith, Brian Cushing, Danieal Manning, DeMeco Ryans, J.J. Watt, Johnathan Joseph
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