Today, Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Jonathan Gannon announced the names of their six team captains heading into the 2023 NFL regular season.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon named the team captains:— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) September 4, 2023
QB Kyler Murray
LB Kyzir White
RB James Conner
S Budda Baker
T DJ Humphries
LB Dennis Gardeck @PHNX_Cardinals | #BirdGang pic.twitter.com/dwDJwwuao0
Kyler Murray, D.J. Humphries, Budda Baker, and Dennis Gardeck are named team captains for a fourth consecutive season. This would be James Conners’ second season with the “C” patch and Kyzir White’s first as a Cardinal.
That essentially means three captains on offense and three on defense, while Gardeck is split between defense and special teams.
Let’s take a look at the Cardinals’ six team captains:
Kyler Murray - Quarterback
Albeit recovering from his ACL injury with no timetable for his return, Kyler Murray was named one of the Cardinals’ six team captains for the 2023 season. GM Monti Ossenfort and HC Jonathan Gannon clearly have confidence in the former No. 1 overall pick with the expectation Murray will play later this season. And Murray’s accolades speaks for itself. In his first four years in the NFL, he was selected to two Pro Bowls and was the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He led the Cardinals to their first playoff berth in 2021 since the 2015 season.
James Conner - Running Back
Since Conner’s arrival in the NFL, he has been praised for his high football character. He is an extraordinary man that beat Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma, declared cancer-free in 2016, and defied the odds to become a professional football player. His story is simply incredible. Though last season with considered a down year for Conner, he still had 1,082 scrimmage yards and eight total touchdowns. Conner had 18 total touchdowns only a couple years ago. In Drew Petzing’s offense that is expected to be run heavy, Conner should be in for a bounce back season.
D.J. Humphries - Offensive Tackle
Humphries is the most experienced player on the Cardinals’ starting offensive line unit and now a four-time team captain. Prior to 2022, Humphries was a rather durable player for Arizona having missed only one game during a three-year stretch (2019-21). He played in only eight games last season due to a back injury. Humphries heads into 2023 as a mentor for rookie starting right tackle Paris Johnson Jr and is a blindside left tackle for whoever starts at quarterback for Arizona this season.
Kyzir White - Inside Linebacker
It should come as no surprise to see Kyzir White being named a team captain considering his experience with head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis in their time with the Philadelphia Eagles (2021-22). He knows how the defense operates better than any player on the team. White was second on the 2022 Eagles’ squad in tackles (110).
Budda Baker - Safety
Budda Baker is the epitome of what every football player should be like when they step foot onto the football field. He is tenacious, instinctive, and has a very high motor. Baker plays with an infectious energy that should rejuvenate and reenergize any defense he plays on. He is a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time First-team All-Pro.
Dennis Gardeck - Linebacker/Special Teams
Since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Gardeck has been a standout special teams player. He was voted a Pro Bowl alternate as a special teamer in 2019 and had a breakout 2020 season with seven sacks. Gardeck heads into the 2023 season as a starting outside linebacker.