By Phil Perry
The Patriots have chosen their 2011 captains, according to the Boston Herald.
Three are old reliables Tom Brady (for the tenth straight season), Jerod Mayo (third season) and Vince Wilfork (fourth season). The others are Logan Mankins, Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater.
It was well-established that Mankins was welcomed back by his teammates with open arms after his holdout last season. Today they proved it once again by honoring him with a new title.
It's clear Devin McCourty's locker room brethren aren't expecting a sophomore slump from their second-year corner. He will follow up his Pro Bowl rookie season as a Patriots captain. The last second-year player to earn the title was Mayo.
Also earning the title of "captain" for the first time this season is Matthew Slater, who has proven to be one of best special teams players on the team this preseason. Though the Patriots did not have a special teams captain last year, it's not uncommon for them to name one. In the past, the Patriots have had players like Sam Aiken and Larry Izzo serve as captains even though they were used almost exclusively as special teamers.
Last year there were just four captains -- Brady, Mayo, Wilfork and Kevin Faulk -- compared to the six named this year.