Unlike most NFL teams, the Chiefs don’t name captains at the start of the season, which means they don’t wear the “C” patches on their jerseys that other teams do during the regular season. This is by design, as Chiefs coach Andy Reid prefers to rotate his captains on a weekly basis before the team votes on permanent captains for the potseason.
And of the Chiefs’ six postseason captains this year — all of whom wore red “C” patches on the front of their jerseys in their 30-0 drubbing of Houston on Saturday — no one was more thrilled than second-year safety Daniel Sorensen, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and has now been recognized as one of the team’s leaders, albeit on special teams.
“It’s awesome man,” Sorensen said. “I took a picture of the jersey, I sent it to my mom, my brother, wife.”
Players voted for the Chiefs’ six captains — two offense, two defense and two special teams — last week, and Sorensen said players found out about the results four days before the game.
“Yeah, it was a great surprise,” Sorensen said. “It was a good feeling.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid — a fellow BYU grad, like Sorensen — said the 6-foot-2, 208-pounder has continued to make strides sense he was signed in May 2014. He spent nine games on the 53-man roster in 2014, recording seven tackles primarily as a special teamer.
“Special teams is something where there’s a lot of different skills that are necessary, so showing you can block and tackle and get off a block and all those different things you can show on special teams, that’s the idea,” Sorensen said.
But while he reprised his special teams role this year, he’s also he earned more playing time as a subpackage safety while finishing the regular season with 23 tackles, two pass deflections and a sack in 16 games.
“Good football player,” Reid said. “Continues to improve not only as a special teamer, but also as a defensive back.”
The fact a young player like Sorensen — who probably would not have been on the short list to earn a captain’s patch at the start of the season — can be appropriately honored for his contributions in the postseason is a reason why Reid handles team captaincies the way he does.
“Mike Holmgren did it that way, and I liked it,” Reid said. “It gave everybody else an opportunity to be a captain throughout the year, and it gave the team an opportunity in the playoffs to pick six captains— two on offense, two on defense, two on special teams — that will represent us throughout the whole tourney here.”
The Chiefs’ other postseason captains are quarterback Alex Smith, receiver Jeremy Maclin, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, safety Eric Berry and punter Dustin Colquitt.