Captains for good

August, 13, 2011
8/13/11
2:31
PM ET

Darrelle Revis is always a little wary of getting called in to see coach Rex Ryan; he likens it to visiting the principal's office. But when he stepped inside the white walls Saturday morning, Ryan had good news for the well-compensated cornerback:

Revis is a captain. Ryan decided it himself and made it official.

Revis and tackle Sione Pouha will represent the defense. Safety Eric Smith is the special-teams captain. Receiver Santonio Holmes and the previously named captain Mark Sanchez will wear the "C" on offense. Unlike prior seasons under Ryan, these players will be captains all season long.

"It means a lot to me to be selected as one of the team captains," Revis said. "It’s a great achievement."

Ryan picked the captains without a team vote and said it was based on work ethic and what each player means to his unit. Ryan noted that three of the players were drafted by the Jets, and singled out Pouha for basically playing starting nose tackle for two seasons as Kris Jenkins was injured, without ever getting much in the way of credit.

"Rex called me in and it's basically an honor to know that he thinks about you like that, and the front office thinks of you like that, the coaches think of you like that," Pouha said. "You just go about your daily duty and do what you have to do, and I guess I stuck out somehow."

Ryan added that Pouha and DE Mike DeVito have turned a unit that was a perceived weakness into a strength.

Ryan said there were a lot of strong candidates for captain who aren't on the list, but the coach went with what he saw.

"How come not Jim Leonhard? How come not David Harris?" Rex said. "This is what I chose."

Smith didn't know it was official until Saturday but said Ryan told him he'd probably be a captain when the safety re-signed with the Jets before training camp. He joked that he should have used it to negotiate his new deal.

Leonhard, who along with linebacker Bart Scott came to the Jets from Baltimore with Ryan, said he could see why Smith was chosen.

"He's one of those guys where we put him wherever we need him," Leonhard said of Smith.

Ryan had some high praise for Holmes, who came over in 2010 for a fifth-round pick from the Steelers. "Went from a rental to an owner," Ryan said of signing Holmes to a long-term deal. "We tried it out and now he's one of us."

Ryan said he hoped the receiver would be with the Jets until the end of his career. Holmes should be available to talk about it late Saturday afternoon.

Safety first: Leonhard said he hasn't experienced pain in his formerly broken leg since he started practicing fully. "It feels pretty much as good as it did before," Leonhard said. Monday’s game in Houston will be his first since the injury.

Revis said he feared the Jets' season was over when he saw Leonhard go down last season. That's how big a part of the team he is.

Moore out: The only starters listed as definite outs for Monday night's preseason game in Houston are WR Plaxico Burress and RG Brandon Moore, who just came off the PUP Friday with a hip injury. C Nick Mangold, who sustained a stinger Thursday, could play. His status will be updated after the later Saturday practice. G Trevor Canfield (knee) and LB Brandon Long will also be out.

Kerley Q(B): Jeremy Kerley is one of the candidates for Wildcat plays -- along with Joe McKnight and LaDainian Tomlinson -- now that Brad Smith is gone. The coaches have installed a few of those plays and could see how Kerley does with that responsibility against Houston. Kerley, from Texas, has 30 people coming to watch him play.

First team: Ryan said the first-team players will play against Houston for a quarter.

Special position battle: Punters T.J. Conley and Chris Bryan are going to be competing for the final roster spot. Ryan said this is particularly key for Conley. "This is either make it or break it," Ryan said. "You're either going to do it this year or you might not ever get another chance."

Offensive practice: Ryan was disappointed in the offense Friday and noted the unit had seven false starts, three interceptions and three dropped passes. "We had a few words with them," Ryan said.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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