FOXBORO, Mass. — So many Patriots, from the coaching staff to the guys in the locker room, have credited tight end Alge Crumpler for having a magnanimous impact in the team's leadership department.
Crumpler, who is in his first season in New England, has had a positive effect on rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski — whose locker stalls are next to Crumpler's — but Crumpler's veteran presence has been more widespread than just that. For example, after Randy Moss was traded two weeks ago, Crumpler said he would take it upon himself to collect his teammates and make sure they stayed on task as they began preparations for the Ravens.
Because of this, the Patriots made Crumpler a captain last week. Head coach Bill Belichick said the offense needed an extra captain due to running back Kevin Faulk's season-ending knee injury, so he started the process.
During Belichick's weekly meeting with the captains — Faulk, quarterback Tom Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork — they discussed elevating Crumpler's status. Since they were so receptive to that idea, Belichick then ran it by Crumpler, who gladly agreed, and the head coach made the official announcement to the team last Wednesday.
"It's an honor," Crumpler said. "I just continued to do the things that I set forth from the first day I walked in this organization. That's to help this team win. I've been through a lot of situations. I've been a captain before, and I didn’t expect this. But I embrace the opportunity to keep leading and keep helping this ball club win games."
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