ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – **Leadership is a trait that doesn't always garner a title, particularly on the field. But in the case of five Broncos, their leadership has earned them the title of captain for the 2013 season as voted on by their teammates.
Quarterback Peyton Manning, cornerback Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard are captains again this season as they were in 2012 with the exception that Woodyard is now a defensive captain instead of a special teams captain.
Left tackle Ryan Clady on offense and safety David Bruton on special teams were elected team captains for the first time in their careers.
"I think just how they are in that locker room," Head Coach John Fox said of how the two new captains earned their titles. "How they are when times are tough, how they respond. The fact that they are very good players so they do lead by example."
The five captains will be joined each game by a sixth selected week-to-week by Fox and his staff.
Bruton said Monday that he was surprised that his teammates selected him as a captain and thought that Woodyard might even be captain of both the defense and the special teams give the way he "chimes in" when it comes to special teams.
"I was definitely surprised," Bruton said. "I knew Wood (Wesley Woodyard) would get defensive captain but maybe he would get double captain because he's been here and he's been the captain for years on years.
"It's definitely a great honor and truly a blessing."
With or without the title of captain, Woodyard has shown the ability to lead since he's been a professional. He joins Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little as the only players in Broncos history to serve as a team captain in a game for their first six consecutive seasons.
"I think Wesley's been a leader really all of his career," Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said. "He's a guy that is accountable, dependable. He's going to do things the right way. So he ends up being productive in whatever phase he's involved in. He's grown into that role on defense, too. He was there on special teams.
"Guys that are productive and dependable earn the respect of their teammates, and I think that's what you're seeing."
But simply being named the captain isn't the end of the story. There is more to being captain than shaking hands and calling heads or tails.
Woodyard described it as "a lot of hard work" and Clady mentioned that it being a captain meant being a member of the "leadership council" in addition to setting an example.
"I have to go to meetings with Fox about the captains, so that comes with it," Clady said. "But I plan on doing what I've been doing since I got in the league and just leading by example on the field. (I'm) not big on vocal leadership, but I'll do my best."
While Clady might not be the most vocal of the 2013 captains, Woodyard has been described as "very vocal" and Bailey wasn't surprised that he was named a defensive captain. Bailey also said that Bruton deserved the role and called him the Broncos' "special-teams guru."
Even though there will be some new faces sporting a 'C' this season, the locker room is in good hands. "We have a lot of leaders in there," Fox said.