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Patriots Name 2014 Captains: Connolly Takes Over For Mankins

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2014 Patriots captains Devin McCourty, Tom Brady, Dan Connolly, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Matthew Slater. (Photo by Jim Rogash, Jared Wickerham, and Elsa/Getty Images)

2014 Patriots captains Devin McCourty, Tom Brady, Dan Connolly, Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Matthew Slater. (Photo by Jim Rogash, Jared Wickerham, and Elsa/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots announced their captains for the 2014 season on Wednesday, with a new face leading the way on the offensive line.

Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Dan Connolly, Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty, and Matthew Slater were named New England’s six captains, with Connolly earning the honors for the first time in his career. He takes over for guard Logan Mankins, who was traded to Tampa Bay last week.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke very highly of Connolly at his Wednesday morning press conference.

“He’s been a versatile guy for us as he always has,” said Belichick. “He’s always been ready to play all three spots plus contribute in the kicking game. He’s a sharp guy that works hard. He had a good offseason. He was able to train throughout the bulk of the offseason. He’s done a solid job for us really at a number of positions.”

This marks the 13th straight season that Brady has earned captain status, which is voted on by fellow players.

“It’s very flattering for my teammates, and I try to represent them the best I can in whatever fashion the team asks me to do things and wants me to convey messages to the coach,” Brady said Wednesday. “We’ve got a great group of young men who have really committed themselves to being the best teammate they can be. I hope I do a great job. I work hard at it. We’ve got a lot of other great captains, guys that I’ve always been able to rely on and depend on. It’s a big responsibility, so I accept it.”

This is the fifth year that Wilfork and Mayo will serve as captains, with McCourty and Slater earning the honors for the fourth time. McCourty was not named a captain prior to last season, but became one mid-season along with defensive end Rob Ninkovich after Mayo and Wilfork both went down with season-ending injuries.

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