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Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen Each Relish Opportunity As Defensive Captains

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Barry Cofield hasn’t been a captain since his senior season at Northwestern. For Stephen Bowen, his last opportunity to be a leader was in high school.



The two defensive linemen will now have that opportunity with the Washington Redskins after their teammates voted to have them join linebacker London Fletcher in that role on defense on Wednesday.

“Captains usually aren’t the voted if they’re guys that aren’t playing well, aren’t playing good football and aren’t helping the team win,” Cofield said. “It definitely means a lot to me, and that ‘C’ on your jersey is something that I’ve always been envious of the guys that have that, and I’m excited about that opportunity and the responsibility that comes with it.”

Both players joined the Redskins as free agents prior to last season and gradually assumed a leadership role on the defense. It wasn’t until this week that they were officially given a title that was fitting of their place on the team.

Head coach Mike Shanahan has often held mid-year elections for captains to honor players who have done well during the season. Players like Cofield and Bowen, Shanahan said Wednesday, are perfect selections because they’ve had some time to adjust to the team and also displayed a consistent level of play.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III was also named a captain on Wednesday, joining left tackle Trent Williams. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander has represented the special teams in all three years Shanahan has coached the Redskins.

Cofield and Bowen don’t plan on putting any additional emphasis on their roles on the team, if only because they believe that the characteristics that made them earn the spot will serve just as well.

“I was never really a rah-rah guy,” Bowen said. “I was always [going to] lead by my play, and I’m just a guy that really, there’s no talking that’s going to be done to go and win. We’ve just got to do it.”