With their season opener against the Packers just days away, the Bears named their captains for the 2015 season on Tuesday night.
Running back Matt Forte, quarterback Jay Cutler, safety Antrel Rolle, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and kicker Robbie Gould were all voted permanent captains for this season.
Forte, Cutler and Gould are the three longest tenured Bears. Rolle and McPhee were free-agent additions this offeason.
This marks the end of the Bears’ use of rotating captains, which occurred under former coach Marc Trestman. Some players said after last season that they didn’t agree with the lack of permanent captains.
Bears coach John Fox explained his stance on captains in March during the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
“Well, everybody does it different,” Fox said during the NFC coaches breakfast. “I’m just telling you how I do it. We’ll vote five. There will be two offense, two defense and one special teams. You’re allowed six, so I name one weekly. And that’s based on performance. So that’s how we’ll do it.”
Leadership and the meaning behind captains is important, Fox said. The fact that Cutler was voted a captain is another reason that the lingering narrative that he’s a bad teammate should end.
“[Leadership is] important coming from every where, from ownership to coaches,” Fox said in Phoenix. “I think actually it starts from over there. But I think the intangibles and the leaders, regardless of position, are critical. I can’t speak for all teams. I don’t know them that well. But I’d say there’s been successful quarterbacks that maybe we’re outwardly energetic.”
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