FOXBORO, Mass. — Plenty of responsibility comes with the tag of being named a New England Patriots captain.
The team's four captains — quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and running back Kevin Faulk — are obviously looked upon for leadership during every phase of the season, during games, within the locker room and in meetings.
They've also got to attend a weekly meeting with head coach Bill Belichick to relay the pulse of the team and act as a voice of the players.
"Lead by example," Mayo said, "and let them see how I prepare for games, how I go out and play every week."
The Patriots voted for the captains Monday. Each player had to write down two names and turn them in to the coaching staff. Since the players were off Tuesday, the official word came Wednesday.
During the Patriots' full-squad meeting at 8 a.m., Belichick made the announcement. Players in the locker room said it wasn?t a big deal — somewhat nonchalant, really — and then they went about their business to more meetings and practice.
Belichick publicly announced the captains Friday morning, and Mayo was more than happy to address the highly respected title.
"It feels good to be voted on by your peers," Mayo said. "It's always a good feeling."
Brady was elected captain for the ninth consecutive season, while Wilfork earned his third straight captains title. Mayo got the nod for the second year in a row.
Faulk, who was a captain in 2007, received the honor for the second time in his career. The 12th-year running back is the team's longest-tenured player, and he gathered his teammates for an emotional send-off after the Patriots' playoff loss to the Ravens last season — a speech that positively resonated with those in attendance.
"I think it was a great selection by the team," Belichick said. "Those four guys have all been in that role before. I would say, if I were voting for captains, those four guys have done all the things that you would want your captains to do for this particular season."