The Chargers have announced their five Team Captains for the upcoming 2016 season. Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will lead the team on offense, while that responsibility falls to Manti Te'o and Brandon Mebane on defense, and Darrell Stuckey on Special Teams.
There's nothing surprising or interesting about the choice of offensive captains. Rivers was always going to be voted in as one (I'd be amazed if there was a single person in the entire locker room who didn't vote for him), and it would have been a real slight if the 36-year-old Antonio Gates had been passed over in favor of someone half his age.
The defensive captains aren't surprising, but they are fairly interesting. Brandon Mebane has been here less than four months, but he comes from a winning team having brought that culture with him, and to have been voted in as a captain in his first season here (the first Charger to do so since Takeo Spikes in 2011) shows how much his new teammates respect him - in fact, you could argue that his locker room presence is just as important as the undeniable talent he brings to the team on the field.
If you're getting annoyed that Manti Te'o is a defensive captain, stop and look in a mirror at yourself. Who did you think it was going to be? Denzel Perryman in his second year? Jason Verrett, who's yet to play a full season in the NFL? The truth is, there really isn't anyone else on this defense who's suitable as a captain. Te'o is the signal caller for the defense, and he clearly has the respect of his teammates - even if he doesn't have it from people on the internet.
I've seen people say that Te'o shouldn't be a defensive captain because he's going to be benched later in the year. Really? This is a coaching staff that took until Week 11 to play Denzel Perryman above Donald Butler. Unless Te'o gets injured, he's not losing his place in the starting lineup. I like Jatavis Brown and Joshua Perry, but there's not a chance either of them are ready for a starting role at any point this season. So, unless you want to play Nick Dzubnar...
Some people - myself included - thought that Darrell Stuckey could have been cut in favor of Adrian McDonald, considering he's basically useless at safety at this point. Which is true. Nevertheless, he's a Pro Bowl ST player, and there wasn't a chance anyone else was nominated here. This is Stuckey's unit.
So what do you think, BFTB readers? Do you agree or disagree with the nominations - and who would you have voted as your Chargers Team Captains for 2016?