TAMPA — It doesn't concern Bucs coach Greg Schiano that QB Josh Freeman was not elected an offensive captain by his teammates this season. Those honors went to G Davin Joseph and WR Vincent Jackson instead of Freeman, a captain for the previous three seasons.
"I know one thing, Josh is going to lead," Schiano said. "Josh is a leader. So I'm not concerned about that.
"If you look the last two years, Davin didn't play last year (because of knee surgery). So when we voted, Davin was out for the year, and the year before, Vincent (a captain for a second year) wasn't on the team. So those two guys are strong leaders, and it just so happens Josh is on a team with other strong leaders.
"But I wouldn't read to that that Josh isn't a leader. To a man, I think every offensive player will tell you, 'We follow No. 5.' … I guess it all depends how you look at it. I'm fine with it."
It's easy to see Joseph and Jackson being captains, Schiano said.
"You look on offense with Davin, a Pro Bowl player and just a strong, strong personality and a strong man, very respected on this football team," Schiano said.
"And then you look at Vincent, another Pro Bowl player who (has) a work ethic that's pretty much the elite of the elite. I think it's pretty easy to see those two."
The defensive captains are T Gerald McCoy and S Dashon Goldson. The special teams captain is Adam Heyward.
"It's a humbling experience," said Goldson, an offseason free agent signing who spent last season with the 49ers. "It means a lot how these guys feel about me in here and respect me as a player and as a teammate, as a man coming from a different organization and becoming captain."
NICKS, CRABTREE OUT FOR JETS GAME: G Carl Nicks (foot) and TE Tom Crabtree are out for Sunday's season opener against the Jets. CB Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) is doubtful. RB Mike James (eye) and FB Erik Lorig are questionable. CB Darrelle Revis (knee) is probable.
UNKNOWN FACTOR: The Geno Smith Era has begun in New York, with the Jets rookie quarterback ready to make his first start Sunday.
Smith, a second-round draft pick from West Virginia, took over games in college with his dual-threat ability. Though Schiano is familiar with Smith due to his time coaching at Rutgers, he acknowledges Smith is an unknown NFL quantity.
"He's got a big arm; (he) can make all the throws," Schiano said. "He's mobile. … If he wants to run, he's capable of it. (He's) a good athlete. (He) stands in the pocket; (he's) not going to get shaken in there. So he's worthy of where he was selected. He's had some rookie moments, like everybody does, but he's had some really good moments, too."
Smith had a rough preseason, which included a three-interception game against the Giants and an ankle injury. He earned the starting nod partly due to Mark Sanchez's injured shoulder. But coach Rex Ryan said Smith has impressed him with his "outstanding" preparation, and with Smith's health improving, "he's been able to drive the football better."
"I think the guys are going to rally around him, but he just has to go out and lean on his teammates," Ryan said. "He can't just think he's going to go out there and do something Herculean."