Leaders of the Pack

By Joe Kukura
|  Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
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49ers Show Softer Side in New Calendar

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San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary chose his 2010 team captains Wednesday. Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Eric Heitmann, and Takeo Spikes will all return to the roles they held last season, Matt Maiocco of Comcast reports.

The new guy in the mix is quarterback Alex Smith. This is Alex's sixth season with the 49ers, and for the first time he is being named team captain.

It's been a long, strange San Francisco trip for Smith, from No. 1 overall pick in 2005 to team captain today. In between, he's been labeled a bust and lost his job to undrafted journeyman Shaun Hill.

Coach Singletary noted that Smith didn't get the captain position just because he's the quarterback, according to the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows. Smith was named to the position because of the degree of work he put in over the off-season.

For center Eric Heitmann, it's the fourth consecutive year as team captain. For Patrick Willis, this makes three years in a row as 49ers team captain.

Team captain or not, Heitmann will not play in Sunday's opener against the Seattle Seahawks. He continues to sit out with a broken leg, and is replaced by converted guard David Baas.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has finally found a reason to read the articles in Playboy.

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