JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 5: Safety Darrell Stuckey #25 of the San Diego Chargers warms up for play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Monday Night Football game December 5, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Chargers won 48 - 14. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Safety Darrell Stuckey was chosen as the Chargers 2012 special teams captain before their first game of the season on Monday.
This is Stuckey’s first year being a team-elected captain. Every other captain has been wearing the "C" on their jerseys for at least one season, with quarterback Phillip Rivers wearing it for his seventh.
Stuckey, 25, is in his third NFL season and is in the gray area between rookie and veteran. He’s been in the league long enough to know his way around, but not quite long enough to have seen everything a veteran such as Takeo Spikes has.
Spikes was elected defensive captain and will play in his 200th game, as linebacker, Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.
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“Being a younger guy and trying to get to that veteran status I’m more of a leader by example which is work ethic,” Stuckey said. “Coming in every day and putting whatever I can into it and trying to get better every day.”
Stuckey said he looks forward to his role as captain and recognizes the importance of being a leader on the field. But the place where he has seen his leadership skills develop the most is off the field.
“It’s easy to go out there and play football,” Stuckey said. “Football’s always going to be football. But it’s good to be a leader to guys when they don’t know exactly what to do and there’s no playbook for it. And that’s life.”