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The Falcons have named six chiefs for 2018, and not the Kansas City kind

They’re team captains, in essence.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have named six chiefs, which are essentially team captains with a cooler name.

Per The Athletic’s Jason Butt, those six chiefs are Matt Ryan, Ricardo Allen, Julio Jones, Matt Bosher, Alex Mack and Grady Jarrett. That group is drawn from some of the Falcons’ better players, as you’d expect, but also some of its most renowned leaders. Allen in particular has drawn a ton of praise for his leadership skills over the last couple of seasons, which was a factor in the extension he recently received.

As Allen said:

“It’s communicating back and forth from the coaches and players,” Allen said. “It’s being a voice on both sides. You have to come with it every day. You show everybody what it takes to be a professional. You show everybody what it takes to be successful in this league.”

Locker room leadership and coaching staff/player connections are underrated and largely invisible to fans until they become a problem, so it’s nice to have a group of respected veterans in this role, however ceremonial it may be. You need look no further than what happened with the Raiders and Jon Gruden to know open lines of communication do matter.

So congratulations to these guys, and may they celebrate many wins together in 2018.