Four season captains better than three for Niners

<P>The 49ers voted for their three 2001 season captains after practice on Wednesday. But when coach Steve Mariucci announced the winners after Thursday's practice session, the Niners were applauding four players. </P>

"On offense, we have co-captains," Mariucci explained After coaches had tabulated the votes of players, quarterback Jeff Garcia and 16-year veteran offensive guard Ray Brown - the team's oldest player - had received the same number of votes for offensive captain. "No recount here," Mariucci said. "The vote was exactly the same. Tie. So we're just giving it to both."

Garcia and Brown join Bryant Young (defense) and Terry Jackson (special teams) as this year's season captains. Brown, Young and Jackson are repeat winners. They were the team's season captains in 2000, too. That Garcia was able to work his way among that trio says a lot about how far he has come this season as not only a performer on the field, but also a leader on and off it.

 "What it is is the development of a quarterback becoming a leader, a producer, a guy that we all rely on," Mariucci said. "He has a huge responsibility and he has taken the bull by the horns. He's been reliable for us, very durable, he's playing extremely well and I think the award, being named captain, and voted upon by your teammates, that's quite a compliment, it really is."

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