BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots have named their team captains, with a few surprises on the list.
Quarterback Tom Brady, guard Logan Mankins, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, linebacker Jerod Mayo, corner Devin McCourty, and special teamer Matthew Slater have been named the six captains for the 2011 Patriots.
Captains are voted by the players, which shows how much respect they have for McCourty. Much like Mayo in 2009, McCourty has been named a captain in just his second NFL season. As a rookie, he solidified a shaky New England secondary last year with seven interceptions and took over as the number one corner with Leigh Bodden out with a torn rotator cuff.
“When your teammates get to vote for you, it shows how much they believe in you,” said McCourty .”It shows how much they are behind you as a leader. I think it’s important to me to just try to continue to do what I’ve been doing.
McCourty, Slater On Being Named Captains
“[Veteran players] have come up to me and told me, ‘Just continue being who you are,’ and ‘keep going out there trying to make plays, be a good player, lead guys, and get the younger guys going, show them the right direction,'” he said.
Slater, who was on one name on the cutting block just a few weeks ago, is now a team captain. Although a special teamer was absent from the list in 2010, the Pats usually name on a captain, much like Sam Aiken and Larry Izzo in the past.
“I’ll be honest, it’s probably the highest point of my career,” Slater said. “The guys that you grind with, to have the respect of those guys, that’s really all you care about. It really means a lot to me.”
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Brady will be a captain for the 10th straight season, followed by Wilfork with his fourth nod. While they are used to finding their names on the list, Logan Mankins joins the fold this year for the first time.
Mayo has been named a captain in three of his four NFL seasons.
Tune in to the Patriots season opener at 7pm Monday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub with pregame coverage beginning at 4pm. After the game, tune in to the Postgame show on 98.5, and to Patriots Fifth Quarter on TV38.