Vince Wilfork among Patriots captains

The Patriots have selected their captains for the 2014. The group is essentially the same as the 2013 version with one exception.

Offensive lineman Dan Connolly joins quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, safety Devin McCourty and special teamer Matthew Slater as a member of the leadership group.

Connolly, who was given one of the coveted parking spaces up front as a reward for his offseason work, essentially takes over the spot held by his former teammate and offensive lineman Logan Mankins, the three-time captain who was traded to Tampa Bay last week.

During his press conference this morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick made note of Connolly's efforts.

"Dan's had a really good year," Belichick said. "He's had a really good spring. Good training camp. Been out there every day. He's been a versatile guy for us, as he always has. 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."

As for Brady, who has been a captain in each of the last 13 seasons, he talked about the role and what it still means to be selected for the job during his press briefing.

"It's very flattering from my teammates, and I try to represent them the best that I can in whatever fashion the team asks me to do things and wants me to convey messages to the coach," Brady said. "We've got a great group of young men who've really committed themselves to really being the best teammates they can be. I hope I do a great job. I'll 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 and I accept it."

This is Wilfork's seventh season and Mayo's sixth as captains. It is year No. 4 for both McCourty and Slater.

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