Meet the new captains. Same as the old captains.
While the Giants want to change the outcome of this season and progress further into the postseason — ideally to its end — they began the season by electing the same three players to represent them as captains who served in 2016.
Eli Manning, Jonathan Casillas and Zak DeOssie.
Manning, of course, is Captain Obvious. He has held the rank since the NFL began using it officially in 2007.
“Obviously, Eli’s history in this building speaks for itself, and a lot of the things that he has accomplished with this team,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Just a tremendous pro.”
DeOssie, too, was a heavy favorite to return. He has held the special teams captaincy since 2011.
“Zak, you know, he is an all-day, everyday type guy,” McAdoo said. “He’s a man’s man. He really gets that special teams unit going. He ignites them. He leads by example and he knows how to push some buttons, which is always great.”
Casillas was the one whose job was most tenuous, though it had little to do with anything he did. The Giants have such a glut of defensive players who made reasonable and sensible candidates, everyone from Jason Pierre-Paul to Landon Collins to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, that Casillas sometimes gets overshadowed. But not by his teammates, as he was elected for a second straight year.
“J.C. has been a few different places and I think he has found a good home here,” McAdoo said of the linebacker, a New Jersey native who has won Super Bowls with the Saints and Patriots and also played with the Bucs. “He’s a guy who has football get-it.”
McAdoo said he will continue to name weekly game captains as well, an honor that typically stems from a good week of practice or some other distinguishing feat. Those players come out for the coin toss at the beginning of the game — the Giants are allowed to have six — but they won’t get the C patch on their jersey the way Manning, DeOssie and Casillas will.
“The group of captains is a special group of men,” McAdoo said. “We are fortunate to have all of those guys.”