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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Call this the curious case of the anonymous captain.
Unbeknownst to the public, even some people in the New York Jets' organization, veteran guard Brandon Moore is one of six team captains for the season. They were appointed by coach Rex Ryan, who announced his choices in training camp.
Except for Moore. He didn't receive the distinction until Oct. 9, when he put on his uniform before facing the New England Patriots and noticed a captain's "C" on the jersey.
Ryan never announced it to the team and never told Moore about it. Weird, huh? Ryan called it an oversight on his part, saying he should've recognized Moore -- the longest-tenured player on offense -- from the outset.
A delay-of-name penalty?
"This is terrible, but I overlooked the obvious," a sheepish Ryan told ESPNNewYork.com Monday. "Out of the blue, I decided I gotta have Brandon as a captain. It wasn't right, so I just slipped (the C) on there and literally nobody noticed. I never said it to the team. I just put it on there."
Asked why he never announced it, Ryan said, "I kind of felt embarrassed that I never recognized it. I never even told him."
The timing of Moore's unspoken promotion might raise some eyebrows because it happened around the time of his war of words with teammate Santonio Holmes. For the record, Moore received the "C" before his spat with Holmes -- or "before the eruption," as Ryan called it.
The eruption occurred when Moore, objecting to Holmes' public criticism of the offensive line, fired back, saying, "I've never seen a captain" rip his own teammates. At the time, Holmes and Mark Sanchez were the offensive co-captains -- or so most people thought. Turns out that Moore was a captain, too.
Three days later, Moore and Holmes served as game captains when the Jets faced the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. They walked together to midfield for the coin toss, a Ryan-orchestrated show of unity.
In case you're wondering, the other Ryan-appointed captains for the season are Sione Pouha and Darrelle Revis on defense and Eric Smith on special teams.
Moore is a quiet leader, one of the most respected players on the team. Ryan said he often consults with him when organizing practice schedules and team-related issues.
"I lean on Brandon quite a bit," Ryan said. "He knows what I think of him. We don't always agree, but if I'm looking for input from one person on the team, I go to him."
How does Moore feel about his unusual captaincy?
"It's an honor I take great pride in," he said.Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.