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New England Patriots Links 9/08/11 - 2011 NFL Season Begins Tonight: Patriots Name Six Captains

Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots have named their captains for the season, all voted for by the team.

The captains have not been announced, but I’m told they are:

Guard Logan Mankins, QB Tom Brady, ST Matthew Slater, LB Jerod Mayo, DT Vince Wilfork and CB Devin McCourty. Brady is a perennial captain and by now, so are Wilfork and Mayo.

But the fact that McCourty, just a second-year player, is a captain speaks to the respect his teammates have for him. That’s just like it was for Mayo during his second season. The Pro Bowler is simply adding to his resume.

As for Mankins, now that his contract situation is wrapped up, he’s clearly assumed a leadership role. But there was never any doubt that his teammates looked up to him. Just look at how he plays on the field. And finally, Slater is the unofficial special teams captain, a guy who does everything right and does everything he’s asked.

Not a bad group to lead the team into Miami.

Chris Forsberg notes Matthew Slater, entering his fourth year, feels blessed to be called a veteran.

Slater still remembers his first days in New England and chuckled while recalling how two hulking playbooks -- one for the offense, the other for defense -- were dropped in his lap. While splitting time with the receivers and safeties early in his career, he carried both around, all while his focus was on special teams. He's thankful to be working with only the receivers now, but said he remains willing to tackle any role the team wants.

"That’s really not up to me; Whatever the coaches want me to do, whatever they ask of me, that’s what I’m willing to do," said Slater. "Like I’ve said since Day 1, I’m just here to do a job, and that job is what the coaches ask me to do. If that means putting my hand on the ground and playing offensive line, that’s what I'm going to try to do. I’m just excited about the opportunity to help this team win games."



  • Chris Forsberg gives us Tom Brady's history in South Florida.
  • Chris Forsberg shares some newsworthy soundbites from Miami head coach Tony Sprarano and CB Vontae Davis.
  • Rich Thompson remembers former Dolphin Rob Ninkovich had his finest moment on a Monday night in Miami against his former team last year.
  • Greg A. Bedard points to how defenses are trying anything and everything to stop the quarterback.
  • Shalise Manza Young reports that with new personnel, the Patriots plan to get creative with their pass rush.
  • Chris Gasper writes about the history and evolution of NFL pass rushers.
  • Monique Walker observes Tom Brady didn't end the preseason overly excited about the performance of the first-team offense.
  • Ian Rapoport knows Tom Brady wants another chance to win it all.
  • Ian Rapoport focuses on the offensive line: When Brady is clean, life is good for the Pats.
  • Ian Rapoport reports the 2010 playoff loss to the Jets is an added incentive as the Patriots begin this new season.
  • Karen Guregian writes that the Super Bowl drought leaves the 'slacker' Patriots last in this town.
  • Mike Reiss analyzes the surprising release of Gerard Warren.
  • Mike Petraglia says the release of Darius Butler reminds us Bill Belichick and the Patriots won't hold on to a player simply because of where they were drafted.
  • Christopher Price gets the scouting report on new Patriots TE Dan Gronkowski straight from his brother Rob.
  • Christopher Price tells us what impact new guys Dan Gronkowski and A.J. Edds could have on the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss notes the presence of a second Gronkowski in the Patriots' locker room was a big story at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
  • Mike Reiss highlights a handful of nuggets from Bill Belichick's Wednesday presser.
  • Mike Reiss cleans out his Patriots notebook and shares some of his thoughts and insight.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Patriots continue to tweak their roster and everyone has to continue to earn their spot; Sergio Brown was caught off guard with the release of his friend Brandon Meriweather and with the opportunity it presented for he and Josh Barrett; CB Antwaun Molden is relieved to have made the team and just taking it day-by-day staying mentally focused; Belichick downplayed the value of signing A.J. Edds for intelligence purposes against the Dolphins; Belichick praised the play of Gerard Warren and quickly agreed that he could return at some point.
  • Mike Reiss shares some thoughts after a private screening of NFL Films' documentary "Bill Belichick: A Football Life".
  • Ian Rapoport spills a few details from the advance screening of the Belichick documentary. "Fantastic" "Awesome"
  • Christopher Price posts a clip of Tom Brady's new UGGs commercial, set to air at halftime Monday night. Not bad.