More Sports:

September 05, 2023

Eagles name 2023 team captains

DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown will wear newly earned Cs on the Eagles' offense alongside Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson.

The Eagles announced their 2023 team captains Tuesday morning with a lot of Cs to hand out.

Jalen Hurts, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Darius Slay, and Jake Elliott are all retaining their captaincies from last season, but now the top receiving duo of DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown have been officially added into the leadership group as well, bringing the total number of Eagles captains up to nine.

Here's how they break down:

• Offense: QB Jalen Hurts, C Jason Kelce, RT Lane Johnson, WR DeVonta Smith, WR A.J. Brown.

• Defense: DE Brandon Graham, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Darius Slay.

• Special Teams: K Jake Elliott.

Kelce, Johnson, Graham, and Cox have long been the Eagles' "core four" and will be for at least one more season, Hurts has ascended into one of the NFL's top QBs, Slay has been a focal point of the Eagles' defense for the past few years as a Pro Bowl-caliber corner, and Elliott has been one of the most reliable kickers in the league since joining the team in 2017. 

Smith and Brown are both coming off of outright dominant seasons in 2022, and with the expectations that they'll have a lot more to offer in 2023, so putting Cs on their chest further highlights two more key pieces of a powerhouse Eagles offense. 

How this will all look on the field, however, will have to be seen. 

Typically, captaincies per team in the NFL cap out at six (three on offense, three on defense), but that's never been a rule strictly enforced. 

The Eagles ran with seven captains last year – three on offense, three on defense, and one on special teams – but only ever had three on the field at a time.

The offense will have five now. 

Maybe there's a home-road split – like Smith wears the C at home and Brown on the road – or maybe the Eagles just go for it and put all of them out there with the patches on.

Either way, it'll hardly matter when it comes to actual on-field performance, but the honor itself within the locker room can mean a lot. 

"[My emotions] were everywhere, man," Slay said last year when he found out he would be a captain for the first time. "Like I was telling the group, that means a lot to me. That's probably one of the biggest achievements of my career. Never been a captain before, so I'm like 'Yeaaaaaaah, man!' Had a little tear out of me for a minute, I'm not gonna lie. I was in the huddle like 'OH SNAP!' But it's a blessing to be honored that."

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports