- Vaughn McClure, ESPN Staff Writer
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For White, it was the first time he's been named a team captain in 10 seasons with the Falcons.
``I means a lot,'' White said. ``But I feel like I've been a captain; just wasn't voted one until this year. But I like the `C' on my jersey. It's a level of respect that your teammates have for you.''
Coach Mike Smith typically named captains at season's end, but he switched it up this time around. Matt Ryan joined White in representing the offense, Paul Worrilow and Jonathan Babineaux were named the defensive captains, while Eric Weems and Antone Smith were tabbed for special teams.
Smith explained the reason behind the new format.
``Well, it was a decision that we discussed over the bye week as a coaching staff, and we wanted to give some guys the opportunity to lead us in the second half of the season,'' Smith said. ``Usually we vote at the end of the year, but we felt that it was appropriate, with the type of season that we were going through through the first half, that we wanted to make some changes. And we did.
``Thought that there's a lot of guys [who] were deserving of being a captain, but the six guys [who] were chosen, they've been outstanding leaders for us.''
Ryan talked about receiving the designation.
``It’s a big honor and a big responsibility,'' Ryan said. ``I feel like I owe it to the guys to always give my best, day in and day out. I’m going to try and lead the best way I can, the same way I have up until this point.''
Worrilow, at age 24, is the youngest of the captains; Babineaux, at 33, the oldest by a month ahead of White.