January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly (63) against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Announce Dan Connolly, Five Others As 2014 Captains

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The New England Patriots have announced their 2014 captains, and there is one new face among the group.

Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater, and Vince Wilfork will be reprising their 2013 roles, while Dan Connolly will be taking Logan Mankins‘ place in the middle. Obviously Mankins is no longer with the team, so the team decided on Connolly to replace him.

From Field Yates of ESPN Boston:

Captains are voted on by fellow players and play an integral leadership role both on game day and throughout the course of the season.

I think this speaks volumes as to how the players view Connolly, who many thought would be cut this year. However, evidently the big man has played well enough this summer to not only keep his job, but become one of the clear-cut leaders of this team. I don’t know for sure, but I think this is a good omen for how Connolly will perform in 2014. Protecting Brady is the number one key week in, and week out for the Pats, and Connolly will be a big part of that.

All six of the captains do not go out for the coin toss before the game begins, so that will be a minor storyline to monitor on Sunday.

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