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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Graham new special teams captain

By Jeff Dickerson

CHICAGO -- With veteran long snapper Patrick Mannelly on injured reserve because of a torn ACL, the Chicago Bears have decided that potential Pro Bowler Corey Graham will replace Mannelly as the club's special teams captain.

Graham is tied with rookie linebacker Dom DeCicco for second on the team in special teams tackles with 12, two behind overall leader Brian Iwuh. Graham, who started Sunday at nickel in place of the banged up D.J. Moore, lead the Bears with a career-high 25 special teams stops in 2010.

A versatile member of the third phase, Graham plays on five of the six Bears special teams units (punt coverage, kickoff coverage, punt returns, kickoff returns and field goal blocks) and made a key contribution in the 31-20 win over San Diego when he downed an Adam Podlesh punt on the Chargers' 3-yard line.

The special teams standout has also picked off two passes in the last two weeks while at the nickel position.