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New England's surprising most improved player

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08:01 AM ET 10.05 | Getting the ball cleanly to Tom Brady and then protecting the franchise QB has gone a long way to revving up the Patriots offense. We hear that one of the most improved players on the whole team has been C Ryan Wendell, and his ability to step right in at center has helped stabilize a unit that is missing last year's Pro Bowl right guard, Brian Waters. Wendell, who is undersized at 6-2, 300 pounds, was one of four players to start a game at center [in 2011]. ... A lot of talk in the summer focused on the center position and the battle between Dan Connolly and Dan Koppen. The Patriots parted ways with Koppen, Connolly shifted to guard in place of Waters and Wendell took over the center position seamlessly.

Pro Football Weekly

Tom Brady, Getty Images Tom Brady, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
Comment #2 has been removed
October 5, 2012  08:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It's time the Buffalo's and Miami's of the world to start succeeding

not gonna happen!

October 5, 2012  08:24 AM ET

I remember the center competition but didn't realize neither of them currently held the job.

See? I tried. This topic sucks.

Comment #5 has been removed
October 5, 2012  08:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

today. I'm talking long term

they are not well run organizations so it doesn't matter today, tomorrow, next year or 5 years unless they completely turn over their operations.

October 5, 2012  08:48 AM ET

An interesting nugget of information to add to the story might have been to point out that Dan Koppen will be the starting center for the Broncos this weekend when they play the Patriots. But, of course, we didn't get into that.

October 5, 2012  08:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

An interesting nugget of information to add to the story might have been to point out that Dan Koppen will be the starting center for the Broncos this weekend when they play the Patriots. But, of course, we didn't get into that.

And, he'll have Vince Wilfork staring right across at him.

October 5, 2012  08:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It's time the Buffalo's and Miami's of the world to start succeeding

If you merged the two and fielded 20 players, they woul still lose

October 5, 2012  08:56 AM ET

"The Patriots parted ways with Koppen, Connolly shifted to guard in place of Waters and Wendell took over the center position seamlessly."

That's the way you want to do it. Seamlessly. Disruptions on the O-line create havoc. Mayhem, even. And we all need to be better protected from Mayhem.

October 5, 2012  08:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

And, he'll have Vince Wilfork staring right across at him.

Just like a Pats scrimmage in the past.

October 5, 2012  08:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

And, he'll have Vince Wilfork staring right across at him.

Broncos are a better team this year, but I don't think they have enough to pull this off. Its going to be a long afternoon.

October 5, 2012  08:59 AM ET

Aaron Hernandez was back on the practice field this week. No word on whether he'll suit up Sunday.

October 5, 2012  09:15 AM ET

Most improved player? How about Wes Welker. Last week at this time the media had given him up for dead.

Stupid media.

October 5, 2012  10:10 AM ET

Why is it such a surprise when a guy has been on the team for five years and they make him a starter? I assume they kept him for a reason.

October 5, 2012  10:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Aaron Hernandez was back on the practice field this week. No word on whether he'll suit up Sunday.

This will be great news!!!

October 5, 2012  10:30 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Stupid media.

translation - Boston Herald.

October 5, 2012  11:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

translation - Boston Herald.

An insult to "stupid."

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