Unlike most teams in the NFL that had their captains ready to roll in week one, Todd Bowles opted for a wait-and-see approach to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season - and captain voting process. Now, the votes have been tallied and the announcement has been made for the Bucs’ eight team captains this season;
Leaders on and off the field pic.twitter.com/Ijwcz9DDbM— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 11, 2023
A few things stand out when looking at this list - first and foremost that there’s no “special teams” captains this year. Four on the offense, four on the defense.
Second is that safety Antoine Winfield Jr. is a captain for the first time in his career as are Chris Godwin and Tristan Wirfs. The Buccaneers also increased their total number from five in 2022 to eight in 2023.
Some are calling out the off-season distractions that linebacker Devin White caused with his social media posts and trade demand, saying he shouldn’t be a captain. The thing is, the players voted on these captains and all the players in that locker room view White as a leader of their team and a core part of their success.
Tristan Wirfs was outspoken in the off-season about his desire to take on a larger role as a leader in the absence of Tom Brady. His teammates heard the call, saw what he’s done in his transition from right tackle to left tackle, and chose him to be one of the leaders of the team.
And, of course, there’s Baker Mayfield. From outcast, to quarterback battles, to captain. The offensive players have gravitated towards Mayfield’s leadership, attitude, persistence, and desire to win.
These eight players will sport the “C” patch for the first time this season on Sunday as we see the throwback creamsicle jerseys for the first time in over ten years when they take on the Detroit Lions in Raymond James Stadium - or, the new Big Sombrero.