Hangartner steps into captain's role

Geoff Hangartner is listed under 'C' on the positional depth chart. Now he has that same letter sewn on his uniform.

After the Bills released quarterback Trent Edwards a week ago, head coach Chan Gailey gave Hangartner the nod to join wide receiver Lee Evans as offensive co-captain.

"It's a good honor," Hangartner said. "I guess I was third in the (original) voting, so I became captain when Trent was released."

The NFL Players Advisory Council implemented the leadership initiative in the 2007 season, with each team permitted to name up to six player captains.

Hangartner has started all 20 games since he signed a four-year deal with the Bills in February of 2009 as an unrestricted free agent. He spent his first four NFL seasons, starting 27 games, with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him in the fifth round out of Texas A&M in 2005.

The Bills pivot man has started 47 of his 74 career games, and has played in 63 straight regular-season contests dating back to 2006. Last season marked the first time in his career he started all 16 games, joining guard Andy Levitre as the only Bills offensive linemen to do so in 2009.

Hangartner was a Hula Bowl selection and named Big 12 All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2004 as a tackle his senior year with the Aggies before heading to Charlotte. He became Carolina's full-time center in 2006 and the Panthers made two playoff appearances during his tenure.

He initially turned heads by scoring 47 out of a possible 50 on his Wonderlic Test at the 2005 NFL Scouting Combine, and understands how some might see his experience making line calls as a center could be beneficial to his role as a captain.

"I've never really looked at it to be honest with you," Hangartner said. "Maybe that would help because I do a lot of communicating, but I don't know if position has a lot to do with it."

Hangartner said he has been a captain before, at Texas A&M and in high school, but said he just tries to take care of business on the field.

"It's a patch on your chest and the guys look to you a little more," Hangartner said. "I just go out there and play football."

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