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Dan Connolly among Patriots captains

The Patriots have elected six captains for the 2014 season: quarterback Tom Brady and offensive lineman Dan Connolly on offense, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive back Devin McCourty on defense and Matthew Slater on special teams.

Connolly, an offseason award winner and now the most veteran presence on the offensive line, is a first-time captain. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lauded his work ethic during a Wednesday morning news conference.

"Sharp guy, works hard, had a good offseason," Belichick said.

Connolly will be counted on to fill some of the leadership void created when the team recently traded Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay.

The rest of the group represents repeat captains from last season. Captains are voted on by fellow players and play an integral leadership role both on game day and throughout the course of the season.