Cutler earns respect, role of captain

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The role of team captain isn’t always reserved for a team’s best player. That explains why guys like Lance Briggs and Devin Hester aren’t and haven’t been captains for the Bears.

What’s more important in determining who should be a captain is how much influence he has and how much respect he’s earned from his teammates. This would explain why Kyle Orton, in only his second season as a starting NFL quarterback, was named captain by his teammates last year.

Jay Cutler, who arguably became the team’s best player when he was acquired in an April trade with the Broncos, made a big enough impression on his teammates in his short time with the ball club that he was named a captain for the 2009 season.

The fact that his teammates have his back is a necessary sign for a team that has high expectations this season.

Olin Kreutz was the other offensive player to earn captain status, a role he’s held for many years. On defense, Brian Urlacher and Adewale Ogunleye were named captains and long snapper Patrick Mannelly is once again the special teams captain.

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