Our Chicago Bears affiliate, Windy City Gridiron, did a nice feature where they stated who they felt was the "face of the franchise" for each of the 32 teams in the NFL. I thought for certain they would get the Browns wrong and list someone like Trent Richardson or Brandon Weeden -- clearly, the face of the franchise right now is Joe Thomas, the best left tackle in the NFL. To my surprise, they actually did get it right and picked Thomas for Cleveland.
Before you read the piece, it is funner to think of a couple of teams and who you would list as their face of the franchise. Prior to reading the players listed for our AFC North rivals, here are the players I would have guessed for them:
- Steelers: QB Ben Roethlisberger - So much of Pittsburgh's success depends on Roethlisberger, and lately, that is turning out to be a bad thing. Defensively, Troy Polamalu was a close second to being the face of the franchise -- he certainly has the hair commercials to put himself in the spotlight. I still think the quarterback takes precedence.
Ravens: QB Joe Flacco - This would have been LB Ray Lewis, no questions asked. After him, it would have been S Ed Reed. Now that both of them are gone, the guy who had a ton of money spent on him and actually did thrive in the postseason en route to a Super Bowl is the new face of the franchise.
- Bengals: WR A.J. Green - When I think of the Bengals, I still see Andy Dalton as a guy who chucks it up. Without Green being on the receiving end of those passes, Dalton who knows how well Dalton would perform. Green can be looked at as the top receiver in the AFC, so there's no doubt in my mind that he's the face of their franchise.
After writing this, I went back and observed the column at Windy City Gridiron. They agreed with me not only on the players, but on the reasoning too. Maybe our division was a bit obvious. Check out the rest of the teams and let us know if you disagree on any of the picks!