The Atlanta Falcons have named five captains for the 2023 season.
“Defensive lineman Grady Jarrett, defensive back Jessie Bates III, kicker Younghoe Koo and offensive linemen Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom were named permanent captains and will sport the captain logo for all 17 games,” wrote Terrin Waack on the Atlanta Falcons official site.
The only surprise of those five players may be newcomer Jessie Bates. The Falcons signed Bates to a contract at the beginning of 2023 free agency. He spent the last five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he is still just 26-years old.
Jarrett enters his ninth season with the Falcons. He is a two-time pro-bowler who is looking to get back to his most productive years. ESPN+ recently ranked the Falcons interior defensive line as the third best unit in the NFL. Jarrett will welcome the help in the form of Calais Campbell, David Onyemata and a returning Ta’Quon Smith.
There are a lot of new faces on defense, and the Falcons are counting on Bates to be the quarterback of the secondary.
Speaking of quarterbacks, it’s a small surprise that quarterback Desmond Ridder isn’t among the Falcons captains, but the two offensive representatives have 13 years of experience and a pair of Pro Bowls between them.
Ridder is a first-year starter, but if he is successful this year, look for him to be a captain in 2024.
Koo showed tremendous leadership by conceding his No. 7 jersey to rookie Bijan Robinson. Koo will wear No. 6 this year and has endeared himself to Falcon fans even more if possible with his talent and humility.
The Falcons are in action against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons are 3.5-point favorites according to ESPN.