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Cleveland Browns

Browns name six team captains

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 10, 2009

Browns coach Eric Mangini announced the result of the team vote for captains Thursday.

Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas and running back Jamal Lewis were selected on offense, linebackers Eric Barton and D'Qwell Jackson on defense and Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs and kicker Phil Dawson on special teams.

Dawson was selected for the third consecutive year. The only other player remaining on the team who served last year was center Hank Fraley.

Mangini said the captains will serve as liasons between he and the players and will meet weekly.

''It's good to know my teammates respect me that much,'' Jackson said. ''I take pride in what I do, have fun with it. It's a great honor and I have to live up to that responsibility.

''There's a sense of pride in yourself and a sense of pride to get guys doing what they may not want to do. I've been here through the ups and downs. It's up to me to carry the torch this year.''

Thomas, a two-time Pro Bowler starting his third season in the league, said it was ''something I've been working towards, leading by example and with a voice in the locker room.''

Thomas believes the captains will be very influential with Mangini.

''Coach Mangini is definitely open to criticism and praise and input from the captains and players,'' Thomas said. ''I think it's going to be an important job for the captains to give him that input, both good and bad.''

Lewis also seemed honored by his selection.

''Over the years I've been on teams with a lot of great captains, people who I sat in the room with and actually put their name down because I felt like, 'This is the guy who should actually be out front. Somebody I could talk to if I needed to talk to them, a leader in all aspects,''' Lewis said. ''I look at it in the same way. The majority of the guys had that kind of confidence in me. The guys I chose, those are the guys I felt I could depend on.''

Lewis, who won the Super Bowl in 2000 with the Baltimore Ravens, said leadership is an important ingredient for a championship team.

''You need leadership upstairs, the coaches and all that,'' Lewis said. ''But at the same time, you have to have leadership in the work force. It plays a major role.''


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