The locker room has spoken.
On Wednesday, the Green Bay chose their six playoff captains for the 2015 postseason: quarterback Aaron Rodgers (seventh selection), fullback John Kuhn (first), linebackers Clay Matthews (second) and Julius Peppers (second), kicker Mason Crosby (fourth), and safety Chris Banjo (first).
Unlike many other NFL teams, the Packers typically wait to select their captains until the playoffs. Instead, they use weekly captains go out for the coin toss before each game, though they did vote on a captains in the week leading up to the playoffs last season.
Rodgers has been a playoff captain every year since 2009. He and Peppers are the only returning captains from last year’s team that advanced to the NFC championship game before falling to Seattle 28-22 in overtime.
It’s the fourth time Crosby has been voted a special-teams captain (2010, 2011, 2013). It’s the first time Kuhn has received the honor in his nine season with the Packers. Receiver Jordy Nelson, who’s on injured reserve with a torn ACL, was an offensive captain the past two seasons.
“It’s an incredible honor. Probably one of the greatest honors I’ve ever gotten,” said Kuhn, who was also selected to his third Pro Bowl this season. “We all care about each other in here and in this locker room means all the world (to me).”
The distinction was especially meaningful to Banjo, who made the 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent in 2013 only to wind back up on the practice squad for most of last season. The third-year safety has been a leader on special teams following the departure of Jarrett Bush, a five-time playoff captain.
Banjo leads the Packers’ special-teams unit with 21 tackles, according to the coaches’ statistics.
“Banjo has stepped into that role and made sure he leads by example in so many different ways,” said Crosby of how Banjo has filled Bush’s void. “He’s always playing fast. He’s always looking to see what different edge he can get on any given week. He earned it this year with his work ethic on and off the field. He made sure everybody looks to him to kind of set that tempo.”