Fans have noticed that NFL players are wearing a "C" on their jerseys this season.
It is part of an initiative this year to emphasize the role of team captains.
The purpose is to support and recognize the importance of team leadership through the role of captains. Captains traditionally serve as a link between players, coaches and management to help foster cohesion within the teams.
Teams appointing season-long captains qualify for up to six captains to wear the letter "C" on the upper right chest of their jerseys.
The initiative originated with the six-member NFL Player Advisory Council that was established this year by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL in conjunction with the NFL Players Association. The idea also has been strongly endorsed by NFL head coaches.
"We discussed the idea with many of the head coaches and they were very enthusiastic," said RAY ANDERSON, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations. "Team captains are a key element in building team leadership and enhancing communication between players, coaches and management. A perfect example of the benefit of this kind of communication is that the players themselves suggested the concept of re-emphasizing the team captains."
NFL clubs have appointed team captains throughout the history of the league.
Notable past NFL team captains include Pro Football Hall of Famers such as WILLIE BROWN, DAN DIERDORF, JOE GREENE, BOB GRIESE, KEN HOUSTON, JACK LAMBERT, STEVE LARGENT, LARRY LITTLE, ROGER STAUBACH, CHARLEY TAYLOR, GENE UPSHAW and JACK YOUNGBLOOD.
2007 NFL TEAM CAPTAINS
(NUMBER OF CAPTAINS IN PARENTHESES)
ARIZONA CARDINALS (5)
ATLANTA FALCONS (5)
Offense: TE Alge Crumpler, T Wayne Gandy; Defense: LB Keith Brooking, S Lawyer Milloy; Special Teams: RB Corey McIntyre.
BUFFALO BILLS (6)
Offense: WR Lee Evans, QB J.P. Losman; Defense: LB Angelo Crowell, DE Chris Kelsay; Special Teams: P Brian Moorman, S Coy Wire.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (5)
Offense: QB Jake Delhomme, WR Steve Smith; Defense: LB Dan Morgan, DE Julius Peppers; Special Teams: RB Nick Goings.
CHICAGO BEARS (6)
Offense: C Olin Kreutz, WR Muhsin Muhammad; Defense: S Mike Brown, DE Adewale Ogunleye, LB Brian Urlacher; Special Teams: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (3)
CLEVELAND BROWNS (5)
Offense: C Hank Fraley, WR Joe Jurevicius; Defense: LB Andra Davis, LB Willie McGinest; Special Teams: K Phil Dawson.
DALLAS COWBOYS (4)
DENVER BRONCOS (5)
DETROIT LIONS (5)
GREEN BAY PACKERS
HOUSTON TEXANS (3)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3)
Offense: G Brian Waters; Defense: LB Donnie Edwards; Special Teams: S Jon McGraw.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (4)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7)
Offense: QB Tom Brady, RB Kevin Faulk; Defense: LB Tedy Bruschi, LB Junior Seau, LB Mike Vrabel, DL Ty Warren; Special Teams: LB Larry Izzo.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5)
Offense: QB Drew Brees, C Jeff Faine; Defense: LB Scott Fujita, DE Will Smith; Special Teams: RB Aaron Stecker.
NEW YORK GIANTS (5)
Offense: QB Eli Manning, C Shaun O'Hara; Defense: LB Antonio Pierce, DE Michael Strahan; Special Teams: P Jeff Feagles.
NEW YORK JETS (6)
OAKLAND RAIDERS (6)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4)
Offense: WR Hines Ward; Defense: LB James Farrior, LB James Harrison; Special Teams: LB Clint Kriewaldt.
ST. LOUIS RAMS (9)
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5)
Offense: QB Philip Rivers, RB LaDainian Tomlinson; Defense: LB Shawne Merriman, DT Jamal Williams; Special Teams: WR Kassim Osgood.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14)
Offense: WR Arnaz Battle, QB Trent Dilfer, C Eric Heitmann, T Jonas Jennings, RB Moran Norris; Defense: CB Nate Clements, DE Marques Douglas, CB Walt Harris, LB Derek Smith, DE Bryant Young; Special Teams: K Joe Nedney; Plus three game captains per week.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5)
Offense: QB Jeff Garcia, G Davin Joseph; Defense: CB Ronde Barber, LB Derrick Brooks, DT Chris Hovan.
TENNESSEE TITANS (5)
Offense: C Kevin Mawae, QB Vince Young; Defense: LB Keith Bulluck, DE Kyle Vanden Bosch; Special Teams: P Craig Hentrich.