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Browns announce 5 captains for 2016 season

The Browns on Wednesday announced five captains — left tackle Joe Thomas, cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker Demario Davis, quarterback Robert Griffin III, and linebacker/special teams standout Tank Carder — for the 2016 season.

The honor, which was voted on by their teammates, marks the first time Cleveland will have season-long captains since 2013.

"I'm excited about the guys that were voted captains because I think those guys have worked extremely hard to change the culture," head coach Hue Jackson said, "and also to want to change our fortunes here from what they've been in the past."

Griffin, who was named the Browns starting quarterback last month after four seasons with the Redskins, is set to make his first start since 2014 against the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. 

"It's a blessing to know your teammates trust you and believe in you enough to have you put that C on your jersey," Griffin said. "I've had that honor in my career before and it's something you don't take for granted, and you cherish it."

Haden, the two-time Pro Bowl selection who enters his seventh season with the Browns, has totaled 329 tackles, 89 pass breakups and 16 interceptions in that span.

"I'm super excited these dudes look at me and want me to be a captain of the team," he said. "So it just makes me feel good, makes me want to just keep leading by example and doing what I'm doing and show guys how important it really is to me."

Haden recently returned to the field following ankle surgery in March and stressed the importance of leading by example.

"I think the one thing I was able to do was lead by example when I wasn't able to practice, just being able to coach them up, be in their ear," said Haden, who is the second longest-tenured player on the roster behind Thomas.

Thomas, who enters his 10th season in Cleveland, has been selected to nine Pro Bowls and has started all 144 career games and has not missed an offensive snap. His streak of 8,959 consecutive offensive snaps is the longest active streak in the NFL.

Davis, who joined the Browns this past spring after four seasons with the Jets, has quickly taken on a leadership role on and off the field in Cleveland.

"It definitely shows a tremendous amount of respect in the locker room from your teammates and that's what it's all about, you want to have the respect of your teammates," he said.

"It's a tremendous honor and it carries a certain responsibility. So kind of as the leaders go, the team will go and it's no big burden simply just doing your job, being where you're supposed to be, doing what you're supposed to be doing on and off the field and getting your job done on the field. Sometimes when you need the team to play up you have to play up."

Carder enters his fifth season with the Browns, having been a special teams standout and productive player over that span with 48 total tackles.

"It's awesome, it's an honor to be a captain on any team, especially the Browns. There's only a few guys on each team that get to have that on their title, so I want to take it and run with it," Carder said.

"The goal is to have one of the best special teams in the league, and being a captain of that means a lot."

In Cleveland's preseason finale against Chicago last Thursday, Carder recovered a muffed punt that set up a Browns touchdown.

"He's a phenomenal special teams player, he makes a lot of big plays, a great athlete, me and him came out at the same time of college, so I've followed him for a long time," Davis said. "Just a great player and great guy, definitely somebody who leads by example."

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