The Los Angeles Rams officially have their captains named ahead of their season opening showdown with the division rival San Francisco 49ers.
Head coach Jeff Fisher announced the five captains and for the most part, the names are pretty expected, via Rams reporter Dani Klupenger:
HC Jeff Fisher just announced that this year's team captains are Johnny Hekker, Case Keenum, Todd Gurley, Alec Ogletree & Aaron Donald
— Dani Klupenger (@daniklup) September 6, 2016
Each NFL team gets two offensive captains, two defensive captains, and one for special teams. Gurley and Keenum are the two most important players on the offensive side while you could argue the same for Donald and Ogletree on the other end.
Hekker as the punter also makes sense, and he is even the emergency 3rd-string QB with Jared Goff likely to be inactive. As Myles Simmons of TheRams.com points out, he is also the only returning captain:
Four of the five are captains for the first time. P Johnny Hekker the only returning captain for the Rams this year.
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) September 6, 2016
Gurley will be the focal point of the offense this year as the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year will be looking to build on his outstanding first season. Some even believe he can step into the role of biggest sports superstar in Los Angeles now that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is retired. Keenum, as a solid veteran, will simply be asked to not make mistakes and get the ball into the hands of his playmakers.
Aaron Donald is recognized as the best defensive tackle in all of football and arguably the best defensive lineman not named J.J. Watt. Ogletree had an outstanding first two years in the league, but had his third season cut short thanks to a broken fibula.
These players will be looked to as the leaders of this team heading into this first year in Los Angeles.