The Washington Football Team has announced its eight captains for the 2021 season.
Defensive end Chase Young, wide receiver Terry McLaurin, guard and 2020 First Team All-Pro Brandon Scherff, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and safety Deshazor Everett ended the year as captains last season and were voted to the roles by their peers once again. Joining them this year are quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, linebacker Jon Bostic and tight end Logan Thomas.
Young and McLaurin, two players head coach Ron Rivera has repeatedly named as key members of Washington's young core, had their captainships added late in the 2020, but both received unanimous support by their teammates. Young has a "crazy unusual" amount of leadership for someone his age, according to former quarterback Alex Smith, and is often seen and heard rooting for players on both sides of the ball.
"He gets his teammates hyped up, he really does," Rivera said. "Not just a good, young rookie player that's going to get better, but there's an emotional energy that he brings. I think his teammates feed off of that as well."
While just entering his third season, McLaurin has displayed maturity beyond his years of experience and put up standout numbers along the way. The former Buckeye has 2,037 yards and 11 touchdowns in 29 games. McLaurin prepares the right way each day, Rivera said last year, and he has continued to make progress this past offseason.
"He's one of those guys that understands how to take care of himself, how to prevent injuries, how to take care of injuries," Rivera said. "He's a young pro."
Allen has been a captain in three of his four seasons and had another successful year with 63 tackles, 14 quarterback hits and two sacks. That earned him a four-year extension prior to the start of training camp, ensuring that he will continue to be a key piece of Washington's defense for years to come.
"We have a good opportunity in front of us," Allen said. "We play some exciting opponents this year. There's a lot to be excited for as a Washington Football fan and player."
Fitzpatrick, who the team signed in March, has cemented himself as the starting quarterback for an offense that is full of young talent. He has won over Washington's locker room with his infectious personality and leadership. Add in his 17 years of experience and nearly 35,000 passing yards, and he makes for a worthy player to lead Washington as it tries to repeat as NFC East division champions.
Scherff had one of his best seasons in 2020. He received the third-highest pass blocking grade and the ninth-highest run blocking grade among guards, according to Pro Football Focus. He also received an overall grade of 84.1, which stands as the highest of his career.
Thomas had a breakout season as Washington's No. 1 tight end last season with 670 yards and six touchdowns. He's taken on a mentor role over the past several months with rookies Sammis Reyes and John Bates at his position. Thomas also signed an extension prior to training camp, and Rivera wanted to show the rest of the team that exemplary performances will be rewarded.
"These are guys that we believe fit us going into the future," Rivera said. "They give us some stability. I think it shows the other players that we most certainly are working to try and keep our own and that's how you build a team if you're able to sign those guys, keep those guys around."
Everett, who is entering his fourth straight season as a captain, has been a vital member of the team because of his ability on special teams. He also started six games in 2020 and had four pass breakups in addition to 31 tackles.
Bostic is one of the most experienced players on the defensive side of the ball and has been a consistent source of information for his young teammates like Jamin Davis and Cole Holcomb. Bostic had his best statistical season in 2020 with 118 tackles and an interception.