The Philadelphia Eagles announced their six team captains for the 2021 season. Five of them are easy to guess on the first try. The third one? That was a little bit of a surprise – to everyone not in the locker room every day.
Linebacker Alex Singleton showed up as a permanent captain for the first time, adding his name alongside defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, defensive end Brandon Graham, quarterback Jalen Hurts, center Jason Kelce, safety Rodney McLeod. The players were notified during a team meeting on Monday afternoon and chosen by a locker-room poll from their teammates.
“Players voted for it,” Sirianni said. “Everywhere I’ve been the players have voted for it, because they got the pulse of the locker room, that’s for sure. They’re the ones in there.”
Singleton and Hurts are both captains for the first time. McLeod enters his second season wearing the C on his jersey, with Graham taking the honor for the third time. Cox and Kelce are captains for the fourth time. There were other players who received votes for the coveted season-long captain spots, per Sirianni, but the six guys chosen were the best men for the job.
“No surprise to me,” Sirianni said. “They’ve been great leaders since I’ve gotten here, and they’ve been great leaders in the past. So really excited for them to lead our football team.”
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Sirianni Pushed to Keep Zach Ertz
Zach Ertz wasn’t named a team captain for the 2021 season. That shouldn’t come to a surprise to anyone following the Eagles over the past two seasons. But Sirianni clearly respects and admires the three-time Pro Bowler. The head coach expressed how much he values Ertz’s leadership.
“Zach is a great football player. As I’ve gotten to know Zach, he’s a great person as well,” Sirianni said. “So, the more football players we have on this team, the better players we have on this team, the better we’re going to be. So, that is no exception there with Zach because he’s a heck of a player and we’re sure glad that we have him on this team.”
Sirianni added the decision to keep Ertz around was a joint decision between his coaching staff and Howie Roseman’s front office. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Lane Johnson, Darius Slay, Brandon Brooks Omitted
It’s tough to argue with the six captains who were chosen, especially since the locker room picked them. It’s kind of a genius move as Sirianni can wash his hands of any wrong-doing, Pontius Pilate style, and veterans like Lane Johnson, Darius Slay, Brandon Brooks can’t complain.
His predecessor, Doug Pederson, had always hand-picked the captains. Pederson named eight captains for the 2020 campaign: Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, Rodney McLeod, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Craig James, Duke Riley. He separated them by the three phases of the game – three on defense, three on offense, two on special teams. That method has been turned on its head in 2021.
Said Sirianni: “Again, when we talked about role, one of the main roles they have being voted as captain, that’s a big responsibility when your peers vote you as a captain.”