The players and coaches have voted and the captains of the 2011 New England Patriots have been officially announced. Some of the names announced you would expect to be chosen as captains. Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, and Jerod Mayo return as captains. Logan Mankins has also been selected as a captain. Mankins received a new contract earlier this summer and was at all team practices during training camp, a stark contrast to last year’s holdout. He is the team’s enforcer and has a mean streak that gives the offensive line an edge.
In somewhat of a surprise, second-year corner Devin McCourty was also selected as a captain. He joins Mayo as players who were elected captains their second year in the league.
“It’s a great honor. Being on the team and when the players vote that you’re deserving of that honor, it’s an accomplishment. I’m honored that my teammates would vote me [a captain] and I’m just taking it in stride,” McCourty told reporters. McCourty was surprised at being selected as a captain.
But that wasn’t the big surprise.
The big surprise came at the announcement that Matthew Slater, special teamer extraordinaire, is the team’s fifth captain. Slater has been a good special teams player since joining the Patriots and continued with stellar play throughout the preseason. He has also shown flashes that he may be able to contribute a few plays at the wide receiver position. I, for one, am happy to see Slater receive this honor.
“I’ve always tried to be a guy that goes out there and works hard, I don’t take things for granted, I’d like to think,” Slater said. “I’m going to just try to be an encourager now and be there for the young guys and realize I can still learn from the other guys. I’m no better than anyone else, no different than anyone else. Just want to go out there and help this team however I can.”
Congratulations to Matthew Slater and the rest of the Patriots’ captains. Can these five players lead the team to its fourth championship? Do you think that any of these five are undeserving of the honor of being a captain?