ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – This isn’t the first time Stefon Diggs has been named a captain, in fact it’s his third straight season as one with the Bills. But, he says this time around hits different.

“For me it means more now than it did when I was my first time ever being named captain. It’s just the consistency of it, the respect from your peers. I know the biggest thing for me is always earning the respect from my teammates, earning the respect from my coaches,” Diggs said after practice on Thursday.

“And when you get named a captain it’s like reassurance, it’s like damn, you might be halfway decent at what you do, not just professionally but as far as like how you represent yourself and who you are as a man.”

The Bills named Diggs as one of their eight captains along with Josh Allen, Mitch Morse, Gabe Davis, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Von Miller and Tyler Matakevich.

This is will be Diggs’ fourth season with the Bills and he’s been a captain three of those now after Buffalo traded for him with Minnesota back in 2020. This past offseason there were rumors and speculation as to whether or not Diggs was still happy being in Buffalo after a tough end to last year where the Bills saw their season end in the divisional round to the Bengals.

That’s another reason why Diggs says being named a captain means more now than ever.

“With everything that went on as far as the offseason and everything going into this season, just blocking out the noise. It’s been one of those offseasons, like there’s been a lot of chatter, it was kind of an ongoing thing but you block out the noise, you focus on football, you focus on your team and you focus on the guys around you,” Diggs explained.

“So for me it meant a lot and I just keep working hard, keep putting my head down and bring my lunch pal to work each and every day and give it everything I got.”

Diggs also said having a “C” on his chest once again after being voted on by his teammates is the only validation he needs.

“I say this all the time, I don’t take things personal from people I don’t know personally and I know those guys in there personally, you know their family, you know their kids,” Diggs said. “You spend so much time with them blood, sweat and tears so my appreciation really goes for them, they’re like your loved ones and how they look at you and how they respect you, how they appreciate you goes a long way.”

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Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.