NFL clubs appoint captains

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)

Offense: WR Anquan Boldin; Defense: LB Gerald Hayes, S Adrian Wilson; Special Teams: S Aaron Francisco, K Neil Rackers.

ATLANTA FALCONS (5)

Offense: TE Alge Crumpler, T Wayne Gandy; Defense: LB Keith Brooking, S Lawyer Milloy; Special Teams: RB Corey McIntyre.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Appointed weekly.

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)

Offense: QB Carson Palmer; Defense: DT John Thornton; Special Teams: Chosen weekly.

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)

Offense: QB Tony Romo, TE Jason Witten; Defense: LB Bradie James; Special Teams: S Keith Davis.

DENVER BRONCOS (5)

Offense: QB Jay Cutler, C Tom Nalen; Defense: CB Champ Bailey, S John Lynch; Special Teams: Chosen weekly.

DETROIT LIONS (5)

Offense: QB Jon Kitna, C Dominic Raiola; Defense: DT Cory Redding, LB Ernie Sims; Special Teams: K Jason Hanson.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Appointed weekly.

HOUSTON TEXANS (3)

Offense: WR Andre Johnson; Defense: LB DeMeco Ryans; Special Teams: K Kris Brown. Will re-vote in midseason.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3)

Offense: QB Peyton Manning; Defense: LB Gary Brackett; Special Teams: Chosen weekly.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Appointed weekly.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3)

Offense: G Brian Waters; Defense: LB Donnie Edwards; Special Teams: S Jon McGraw.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (4)

Offense: QB Trent Green; Defense: DE Jason Taylor, LB Zach Thomas; Special Teams: K Jay Feely.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Appointed weekly.

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)

Offense: WR Laveranues Coles, QB Chad Pennington; Defense: DE Shaun Ellis, LB Jonathan Vilma. Special Teams: LB Brad Kassell, K Mike Nugent.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (6)

Offense: WR Ronald Curry, G Barry Sims; Defense: CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Derrick Burgess, DT Warren Sapp; Special Teams: P Shane Lechler.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Appointed weekly.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4)

Offense: WR Hines Ward; Defense: LB James Farrior, LB James Harrison; Special Teams: LB Clint Kriewaldt.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (9)

Offense: WR Isaac Bruce, QB Marc Bulger, WR Torry Holt, RB Steven Jackson; Defense: S Corey Chavous, DT La'Roi Glover, LB Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB Will Witherspoon; Special Teams: K Jeff Wilkins.

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)

Offense: QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Mack Strong; Defense: S Deon Grant, LB Lofa Tatupu; Special Teams: K Josh Brown, LB Niko Koutouvides.

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.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Appointed weekly.

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