Thoughts on the Patriot Captains

The New England Patriots announced their captains for the 2012 season. And this is a pretty vital part of the year. It shows who Bill Belichick believes shows the "Patriot Way" the best. Who is not only a talented football player, but shows the mentality to be the best, who shows the desire to become a better person on and off the field, and who can lead the locker room to keep their feet on the ground during the highs, but can create a positive attitude during rough patches. The role of captain isn't just a title. It means you're a leader, and that's vital in football. Lets see who made the cut.

Tom Brady
- This just goes without saying. He's Mr. Patriot. He is the leader of this football team. This is a big year for Brady, and he'll be a vital presence in the locker room after a second Super Bowl defeat in a row.

Logan Mankins
- Another pretty obvious choice. He has suddenly become the most experiences of the offensive lineman, assuming Brian Waters isn't back. He needs to lead the young line, who have struggled in preseason, and protect Brady.

Vince Wilfork
 - One of only two players left on the roster from the last Super Bowl victory (No points for naming the other), and a player who really stepped up as a leader on the defense last year, especially in the playoffs. He's beloved by all Patriots fans for his work both on and off the field (another two interceptions wouldn't go amiss either!), and well deserving of the position of captain.

Jerod Mayo -
Mayo might just be the most promising player on this team. The fourth year linebacker is becoming the leader of this defense, and making him a captain is only natural. He is the key to holding this young defense together, and his leadership will be key again this year.

Devin McCourty
- Perhaps the most surprising name here. Suffered last year from the sophomore slump after a really impressive rookie year. This is a player who needs support, and Belichick is giving him his backing by retaining him as a captain. Hopefully he can repay the faith and bounce back from last year.

Matthew Slater
- This one again isn't surprising. He is once again special teams captain, and a player who also epitomizes the Patriot Way. A wide receiver who rarely takes offensive snaps, but he's a great special teams player, and he works his butt of. Just what everyone in New England loves.

Overall, no real surprises on the captains. Some might feel McCourty hasn't earned a captains role, but I believe he can get back to his rookie form. And besides, on that defense, who is there to replace him?

Follow me on Twitter for more Patriots talk (and other ramblings..) @Brendan_Annely