Breaking Down the Denver Broncos' Captains
Although it's not as celebrated as it is in the National Hockey League, since 2007, NFL teams have incorporated the captains' "C" patches for their appointed on-field leaders. On Wednesday, the Denver Broncos voted on their 2012 representatives for the captaincy.
The Broncos will begin the season with six captains (three offensive, two defensive and one special teams), but will revert back to the standard two on offense when guard Chris Kuper returns from injury.
Here is what each player brings to the table and why he was selected by his teammates to wear the "C."
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Although he's still 72 hours away from taking his first regular season snap as the Denver Broncos' quarterback, Peyton Manning was a no-brainer. Ever since he decided to become a Bronco on March 20, he has been the single most important player on the team.
Manning is widely regarded as one of the best football minds to ever have played the game, and he is famous for his leadership abilities and football smarts just as much as his arm. Again, a no-brainer, as simple as that.
This is obviously Manning's first year as Broncos captain, but his 11th as an NFL captain after serving the Indianapolis Colts in the role in each of his last 10 years with the team.
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Guard Chris Kuper has been the leader of the Denver Broncos offensive line for years and has been rewarded with the captaincy since 2010.
The seven-year veteran suffered a broken forearm last month during practice and is expected to miss the first three weeks of the regular season, which is why the Broncos will begin with an extra captain on offense.
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Willis McGahee first got the honor of being named a Denver Broncos captain late last season following the departure of quarterback Kyle Orton.
He was signed as a free agent over the summer of 2011 to be a complimentary running back in Denver's backfield. However, following an injury in Week 1 to former first-round draft pick Knowshon Moreno, McGahee became the team's featured running back and hasn't looked back since.
This year, McGahee will begin the season as the team's No. 1 running back, and he will have the captain's patch on his jersey until Chris Kuper's return.
The two-time Pro Bowler has proven to be a very good signing for the Denver Broncos and has proven to be a leader on and off the field.
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Another no-brainer, Champ Bailey is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer who enters his ninth season with the Denver Broncos, 14th overall in the NFL.
Bailey will go down in history as one of the game's all-time great cornerbacks, and he currently holds the distinction of being the only Denver Broncos player to don the "C" for the Denver Broncos every season since 2007, when the "C" patches were introduced into the NFL.
It's worth noting, however, that Josh McDaniels did not have his captains wear the "C" patches, similarly to his mentor, New England Patroits head coach Bill Belichick.
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Despite a tumultuous offseason, defensive end Elvis Dumervil was voted to the captaincy by his team and will fill the position that was vacated by the retirement of future Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.
A Pro Bowl selection two of the past three years (he missed all of 2010 with a torn pectoral), Dumervil will look to put his offseason troubles behind him and be the leader of the defense he was voted to be.
Personally, I thought that incumbent Defensive Rookie of the Year, linebacker Von Miller, may get the nod over Dumervil, due to Elvis' offseason woes, but the teams obviously decided to look past that and reward him for his on-field accomplishments instead.
Look for Miller to be an easy pick for defensive captain once Champ Bailey hangs 'em up.
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For the fourth consecutive season, linebacker Wesley Woodyard has been named special teams captain. A solid leader, Woodyard will bring his leadership and abilities to the defensive side of the ball, as well as special teams.