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Dean's Blog: Knight Deserving Of Captaincy

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DON’T THROW DIRT ON CAPTAIN KNIGHT OR OU STAFF

Somehow the OU quarterback debate continues despite the fact that Bob Stoops ended the months –long competition yesterday by announcing his pecking order. Baker Mayfield will start, Trevor Knight the backup and Cody Thomas No. 3.

But now, the chatter – which is essentially camouflaged criticism – is about Knight being announced as one of five OU team captains (Knight, Ty Darlington, Nila Kastati, Eric Striker, and Charles Tapper).

I would call it unbelievable. But frankly it’s predictable.

There’s no debate that a back-up QB being voted a captain is unusual. But OU has an unusual situation with having a back-up who is an obvious leader. And to suggest manipulation by the coaching staff is wrong, but also indicative of the cynical view a vast majority of sports fans and media mouthpieces too often take.

KNIGHT WILL BE CAPTAIN FOR LIFE

Trust me, Knight’s never not been a captain, so being announced within hours of learning of losing his battle to start is no consolation prize. I’ll bet your paycheck that the redshirt junior will be in a ‘captain-type’ position in every work and service roles he undertakes the rest of his life. Just like 99 percent of the rest of the human race will not be in that role.

The only thing the OU staff and braintrust did that was by design to lessen the blow to the popular Knight was when they announced the captains the same day they named Mayfield the starter. But that’s not deceptive or negative in any way. It’s what happens all the time in business when smart, reasonable management types announce hiring’s, firings, or controversial decisions at the most opportunistic time. That’s what happened here. Attaboys are due, not incessant lambasting.

BONE-TOSSING NOT ALLOWED

I’ve played on teams where it was obvious a high-profile player who got very few team votes was named a team captain. But I guarantee that didn’t happen here. It is an affront to Knight and his family that people would question if he was tossed a bone to soothe disappointment from not being named the starter. It wouldn’t take much homework to learn that Knight emerged from day one as one of those natural-born leaders who was not just popular but universally respected – regardless whether he’s the starter or not.  

Stoops said, "We've got Ty Darlington, Nila Kasitati and Trevor Knight on offense and Charles Tapper and Eric Striker on defense. The players voted and I concurred with it so that's what we're going with."

Knight was voted a captain for the 2014 season after a 45-31 upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl powered by 348 yards passing and four touchdowns.

MAYFIELD A LEADER IN HIS OWN RIGHT

Mayfield is also respected by this team, particularly his offensive mates. What he says and how he says things in the huddle in crunch-time are critical. From multiple sources, I’m told he’s got a certain moxie and swagger that has attracted his offense. They’re drawn to his charisma, confidence and ability to deliver under the gun. That’s what’s really important. Not this other mess. Knight’s captainship should not impact the team in any negative way.

Any questions? All right, drop and give me twenty!

‘MEMBER THIS?

Just finished another Vince Flynn book and a thought hit me. The best thing about losing your memory is you don’t need to buy new books.

Thanks for checking in. See you on TV.

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