The Ticats announced their 2017 captains on Friday and while there are some predictable names, there are also some surprises, too – and one notable omission.
On defence, it will be defensive end John Chick and linebacker Larry Dean while the offensive representative will be quarterback Zach Collaros. On special teams it’s Canadian Mike Daly and return man Brandon Banks.
The players elected their captains, though head coach Kent Austin said the picks were “vetted” by the coaching staff.
The inclusion of Dean is a sign of how far he’s come in just his second year with the club.
“Leadership, when you strip everything away from it, is just the ability to influence and Larry’s an influence on that side of the ball, and influence on the locker room and I think was demonstrated by the vote,” Austin said.
That linebacker Simoni Lawrence, who is usually at the vocal centre the team’s motivational pre-game huddle at home games, wasn’t among the names will likely raise some eyebrows but it’s unlikely his role will change.
“Don’t read too much into this. We believe that everybody can lead, in fact, we ask everybody to lead,” Austin said.
Here’s what three of the captains had to say about their role.
Zach Collaros: “Anything that’s voted by your peers is the highest honour you can get. I talk a lot of [expletive] but I’m not loud by any means… I just try and say what needs to be said most of the time. There are guys who are able to talk in front of the team and convey a message and I’ve done that throughout my career but it’s not Remember the Titans, there’s not music playing in the background. Leadership at this level is about doing your job.”
John Chick: “It’s very humbling to be recognized by your teammates but there are a number of guys who lead on this team. I try to be a quiet leader. If I see something that is really wrong, then I’ll address it but, for me, it’s all about trying to lead by example. It’s the ‘Do Right Principle.’ When you’re on the field, be the hardest worker, run to the ball, finish every drill and try to bring guys along with you,”
Mike Daly: “It’s pretty cool because these are people that see you every day so you try and do it right and do it well. If these guys are seeing it, that’s what really matters. It’s special teams so everybody is playing their hearts out and all these guys all know what they are doing: Nick Shortill, Terrell Davis, Jay Langa, Justin Cappiciotti… we’re all leaders at this point. I’m not calling everybody into the high school gym at 1 a.m. just to sit them down and give them some big talk. At this point, I just can’t lose coin tosses.”
Notes: Canadian defensive tackle Mike Atkinson and American halfback Abdul Kanneh didn’t practice Friday and Austin said both were “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Argos.