With the Arizona Cardinals' first game looming, the team now has their team captains for the 2011 NFL season. Many of the leaders are repeats, but there are also a couple of new faces among the captain ranks.
After the jump, you will see that all of the players named play key roles on this football team and are undoubtedly going to make a difference this season.
On the offensive side of the ball, both Larry Fitzgerald and Lyle Sendlein were named captains. Sendlein is considered by many to be the anchor of the offensive line, so this comes as no surprise. As far as Fitz goes, he is one of the most vocal and talented players in the NFL, so making him a designated leader was a no brainer.
Kevin Kolb was not named a starting captain for the offense. This may be due to the little amount of time he has spent with the team. I have no concerns with this for this season, but I fully expect him to be named one down the road.
On defense, Darnell Dockett, Adrian Wilson and Paris Lenon were elected by their teammates. Lenon is the only new player to be named a captain on the defense and I think that says a lot about him that we really don't get to see. He seems like he would be a great veteran presence in the locker room, which contributed to his election. Both Dockett and Wilson are perennial picks for the position, as they are both vocal and helpful teammates to the younger players.
Here was Dockett's response to being named a captain:
I got elected Captain by my teammates for the 4th year in a row its a blessing. So thankful.
As far as special teams goes, there is a completely new set of captains. Both Ben Graham and Jason Wright were the special teams leaders in 2010, but Wright recently retired and Graham was cut by the team in favor of Dave Zastudil just a week ago.
Now, Jay Feely will take over the reins as the sole captain for the special teams brigade. When responding to some congratulations he was receiving via Twitter, Feely had this to say:
Thank you, one of the greatest honors a player can receive is to be elected captain by his teammates.
Jay is a fan favorite and a very smart guy. He already represents the team through the player union, so making him a captain was an obvious choice.
I feel really good about this select group of guys. They have all demonstrated not only a high level of play on the field, but they have shown and told their teammates what it takes to be great as well.