In his first press conference of Week 3, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur addressed the captains patches that were on his team’s jerseys against the Vikings on Sunday. This year, Matt LaFleur said, Packers will still have rotating captains, but will keep Aaron Rodgers, Za’Darius Smith and Mason Crosby as season-long captains. The permanent captains were decided by a team vote and they will be joined by three rotating captains each game.
“We had the team vote...we have a lot of good leaders. We went with one captain for each side of the ball. And we’re going to rotate game captains as well.” LaFleur said.
For the first season of doing permanent captains, it is expected that players like Rodgers and Crosby would be selected as the offensive and special teams representatives.
Za’Darius Smith being chosen as a captain shows that the team trusts one of its newest members. The defense seems like a tight unit, even taking a picture together after an interception against the Vikings. LaFleur spoke about the team choosing Smith: “I think it says a lot about him...I think his teammates respect him. He’s about the right stuff. He cares about his teammates.”
The season long captains will continue to wear the “C” patch, but the rotating captains will not have them on their jerseys. Wearing the patches during the regular season is not something the Packers have done in a long time. In previous seasons under Mike McCarthy, the team had rotating captains for every game, and only once they reached the playoffs did they settle on permanent captains.
It looks like Matt LaFleur is getting right to starting a new culture in Green Bay.