In the NFL, the letter “C” means something. When it’s worn on the front of your jersey, it means that the coaches trust you enough to name you a team captain.
On Wednesday, coach John Fox named the Carolina Panthers team captains.
Offensive captains will be Jake Delhomme and Muhsin Muhammad, the defensive captains will be Julius Peppers and Jon Beason and the special teams captain will be John Kasay.
There are no surprises on this list, of course. There is one name, however, that isn’t listed that could have been had it not been for a temper and a mean streak that was displayed once again during training camp – Steve Smith.
Over the last few years, Smith has shown that he could channel his anger and his intensity into his game. What happened on that field in Spartanburg, however, brought to light the need for more work for him personally. It appears the coaches recognized that and, as a result, he will not be wearing the “C” on his jersey.
There is other news:
— Suddenly, after missing an awful lot of time in practice and having failed to play in the preseason, D.J. Hackett has made it back onto the field – for the first time in nearly a month. He’s been recovering from a toe injury which he says is the first of his career.
Coach Fox won’t say whether Hackett will start or even play Sunday in San Diego.
— Ryne Robinson has given us all some encouraging news – he is feeling better and is hopeful that he can be ready to play against Chicago in the team’s home opener.
— Ken Lucas says that if it were up to him, Steve Smith would be on the field this week and next.
“We understand that the rules don’t allow that though,” he said.
In a candid conversation, Lucas said he and Smith’s relationship has grown since their training camp fight, to the extent that they’re closer now than they ever were before.
This has to be the “aawwww” moment of the offseason. The problem is that Smitty did something wrong and he deserves to be punished. It’s not as if Lucas was hitting Smith’s fists with his face.