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Cardinals Announce Team Captains

The Arizona Cardinals announced eight players as team captains Wednesday, with three on offense, four on defense and one on special teams.
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The voting for the Arizona Cardinals 2020 team captains was too tight to limit the overall total.

"We were going to have six and the voting was so close we ended up having eight," head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday.

Eight, of course, is the league maximum for team captains and the Cardinals allotted every one of them to players as voted on by the team. The result led to three offensive players, four defenders and one primary special-teamer being designated elevated roles and responsibility.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck (special teams), inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, tackle D.J. Humphries, outside linebacker Chandler Jones, quarterback Kyler Murray, nose tackle Corey Peters and cornerback Patrick Peterson were all chosen to hold the title.

Gardeck said the team started Wednesday's meeting by announcing the captains. He said hearing his name actually caught him off guard, initially, and it represented a culmination of his long journey from Division II college football, working in fast food at McDonalds and Panda Express, to excelling in the Cardinals' system.

"Took me a little bit by surprise," Gardeck said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm not a very big vocal guy. Somehow, whenever I try to inspire or do anything it gets all jumbled up and I usually end up getting made fun of more than I do end up firing the team up. But I just try to play my brand of football, which is fast and physical. And apparently the guys on the team have noticed that.

"It means a lot to me that my teammates consider me a captain and a leader on this team. And I'm going to do my best to make sure everything's straight on special teams."

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At least one player currently a captain in 2020 has also been labeled as such for the Cardinals since 2015. 

Fitzgerald was a captain in 2013 and then again from 2016 through this season. Peterson was named a captain from 2015-19 before being left off last year while serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. Peters and Jones have been captaincy mainstays since 2018.

However, several of this year's group are first-time captains.

"It means a lot; this is my first time being a captain in the NFL," Hicks said following Wednesday's practice. "To be able to make that jump and have that accolade from a player's perspective means a lot. It's all about respect; I've said this before to the media, I play for respect. I play for a legacy, deeper than the love of the game. Obviously, I love the game, but I play for respect and a legacy and to pass that down. And to have that badge really means a lot and in that respect and legacy umbrella."

For last season's Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray, having the trust of his team in his second year is a crucial development projecting the potential success Arizona can achieve in 2020.

"It's obviously a great honor," he said. "Second-year guy, but to have the guys look at me as a captain is a huge deal to me. Thankful for the opportunity to lead these guys every day. I just try to come in each day, do my job, work hard show the guys that I care. Every time I touch the field I go hard and I just want to win. That's the biggest deal to me, is winning.

"I think what we got going this year with the group of guys that we got, coaching staff, support cast, everybody's done a great job so far. I feel real confident, real good about this season and what we've got going in this locker room. Hopefully, we can keep this going. We had a great camp."

Photo: Arizona Cardinals