For the young Cleveland Browns, strong leadership in the locker room is a necessity. When you think football player and leader in the same sentence, your first thought should be quarterback. Is Colt McCoy that motivating voice in the ear of every Browns player?
Does McCoy push his peers to excel and attack the game with the same mindset as he does? Or is there someone else that fits the bill and rises to the spotlight once the coaches walk out? Do they command a huddle and keep the squad’s focus on the task at hand?
Immediately when I think of leadership ability, veteran names like Benjamin Watson, Sheldon Brown, Scott Fujita and Joe Thomas come to mind. Does being a veteran entitle you—no, teach you—how to be a leader and inspire others?
Are rookies capable of leading?
I don’t think there are any set criteria on who should be a leader and be followed. At work, you listen to your boss. You listen to his boss. But there are those in your life you follow and listen to because you believe in them and in their character.
According to Fred Greetham of the Orange and Brown Report, former Browns' head coach Eric Mangini said it better than I ever could:
“One lesson that I learned early on with leadership from the different coaches I’ve been with, is that each guy can be a leader. It’s not always carrying the flag or breaking down the huddle or doing any of those things. It’s just figuring out how in your personality you can lead. Everybody has the capacity for leadership. It doesn’t have to be the same, but the leadership is there, figure out where you can set that example and then go ahead and maximize that.”
Who’s got “it” on the Browns roster?