In our weekly NFC South chat earlier Friday, a reader asked why the captains for the Atlanta Falcons don’t wear C’s on their jersey like most captains around the league. I didn’t know the answer at the time, so I put in a call to always-helpful Atlanta media relations guru Frank Kleha and got the answer.
Unlike a lot of teams who pick their season-long captains at the end of the preseason, the Falcons don’t have season-long captains. They actually pick their captains at the end of the season. Coach Mike Smith’s philosophy is that the guys who get voted captains by their peers at the end of the season have truly earned the honor and the respect that comes with it.
I kind of like that philosophy. Smith isn’t the inventor of this practice. There have been a few teams throughout the league that have done it this way through the years, but they’re definitely in the minority.
The guys that stroll out to midfield as Atlanta’s captains each week during the season are picked by the coaches, and players often are selected because they’re playing against former teams or because they had a good week of practice.