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Wearing the 'C' with honor

Some have been reappointed. Others are new this year. They are all proud to be NFL captains.

In the second year of an NFL program that promotes the importance of team leadership through the role of captains, 28 teams have appointed season-long captains on offense, defense and special teams for 2008.

"Being appointed captain is one of the greatest accomplishments of my career," says six-year Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson. "To be voted by your teammates as a captain, it's special. I'm going to take it with pride and wear the 'C' with honor."

Captains traditionally serve as a link between players, coaches and management to help foster cohesion within teams.

Teams appointing season-long captains -- 75 have been reappointed for 2008 -- qualify for up to six captains to wear the letter "C" on the upper right chest of their jerseys. Gold stars under the "C" indicate the number of seasons a player has been a captain for his present team.

The captains' initiative originated with the NFL Player Advisory Council that was established in 2007 by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in conjunction with the NFL Players Association. The idea also has been strongly endorsed by NFL head coaches.

"Our captains are a great representation of the veteran leadership of our team," says Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "The captains represent a diversity of positions, and we will be looking to these players for their professionalism in giving direction to the younger segment of our roster."

While the emphasis is on the naming of season-long captains, four teams have elected to appoint their captains on a weekly basis.

"Team captains are a key element in building team leadership and enhancing communication between players, coaches and management," says NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson. "A perfect example of the benefit of this kind of communication is that the players themselves suggested the concept of re-emphasizing team captains."

Following are the players appointed as team captains for this season:

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