It has been stated that every group needs a leader. This would be regardless of if you are talking about a group of friends, work-related or in this case – a football team. The New York Giants have a leader on offense, Eli Manning. However, on defense, former starting middle linebacker and vocal leader, Antonio Pierce, has been cut and is expected to retire.
A leader is someone who has followers. In order to have followers you need influence. More often than not, the leader of the group is someone who has been there for a while. During the time the player has been with the organization or in the league, he has gained trust. Trust has to be earned and does not easily come by.
Every good leader is someone who leads by example. When a group is about to pick their new leader, it is of importance that this leader knows how to lead. Additionally, the group would have to consider whether it needs whoever that will step forth to come forth both on and off the field.
There is however nothing saying that there can’t be another leader off the field, who will be there for the players if they need him. That means that it should not be necessary for the one the field leader to be the off the field leader. Also, that’s what common friendship is for.
The commander on the football field is not necessarily the best athlete. However, he should lead by example. Being in charge, it is next to impossible to make a group take you seriously if you don’t make an effort on the field. You cannot correct someone for being mistaken, when you too are wrong. Therefore, it would be ideal for the leader to be the first one to show up for practice and the last one to leave.
Justin Tuck is a player who seems to enjoy great respect among his teammates and in the community. Not only does he play hard, but he also does great things for people around him. It has been reported frequently that Tuck has been arranging charity events. The only problem with Justin Tuck is that he is a lineman.
Traditionally, the on the field defensive leader is the middle linebacker. It is unknown who will be the starting Mike for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew this upcoming season. It is also unknown whether any of the potential starters can be a leader to count on. The advantage of having the middle linebacker as the leader is that he is center. Therefore, it is easier from his position to yell out commands than from any other.
Antonio Pierce was not only a great leader because he led by example. He was not the most talented middle linebacker, but he was very vocal. Also, he understood football. The charisma and knowledge gave him the role he had as a field general. Truth is, there are not a lot of field generals in the game today. Maybe the leader can be on the line? Who’s your suggestion?