New Browns captains ready to lead

Posted Sep 6, 2013

Cleveland Browns captains Quentin Groves, D’Qwell Jackson and Joe Thomas are ready to lead the team and set an example for the younger players.

With their effort on the field and attention-to-detail in off-the-field work, Cleveland Browns linebackers D’Qwell Jackson and Quentin Groves, and six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas earned the respect of their teammates in the work that was done before the start of the 2013 regular season.

Their teammates appreciated their efforts so much so that Jackson (defense), Groves (special teams), and Thomas (offense) were selected to be season-long captains.

“It’s appreciation that I have for my peers that they recognized me in that role,” Jackson said following Friday’s practice. “I know I’m one of the older guys here, so it’s a great honor for them to have me be the captain again. It’s something that I look forward to. When much is given, much is expected. I’ve definitely got to continue to do my job and lead this group in any way, shape or form, and be able to make the plays I’m supposed to make.”

Thomas added, “It feels great to be named a captain and get that respect from the teammates. My most important job on the field is to do my job, block the right guy and lead by example. The best thing I can do is work hard and just do things the right way, be a professional. Hopefully, the young guys will see that and follow my lead.”

With this year’s selection, Jackson has now been named a season-long captain for the Browns three times. Thomas will be serving as a season-long captain for the fourth time in his seven-year career with the Browns.

Conversely, Groves was elected captain of the Browns’ special teams six months after joining the team through free-agency.

“It’s a gift,” Groves said. “I give thanks to all my teammates. I thank my teammates for acknowledging me. I appreciate them for it, and thank God they chose me.

“I expect great things from myself. I’m just going out and being myself. The guys saw fit to name me a captain, and I thank them for it. Hopefully, I can lead this team the way they see me too.”

Groves said captaining the Browns’ special teams is a role he takes great pride in because he knows the type of impact the return and coverage units can have on the result of a game.

“Special teams can win or lose you ballgames, and if you don’t take pride in it, if you don’t put your best foot forward, then, it’s going to show,” Groves said. “When I was in Arizona, we would always watch Cleveland because they would always have the big punt returns, always had great coverage teams. I just want to continue a great tradition here.

“We want to play tough, Cleveland Browns football, great defense, great offense, hard-nosed offense, great special teams. We’re going to have mistakes. Nothing’s going to be perfect, but at the same time, you always want to put your best foot forward.”

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