By: Ian Logue
A quick mention for anyone who missed it, Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN listed center Dan Koppen as the 2010 TMQ Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP.
Easterbrook says that the Patriots 14-2 regular season is a direct reflection of superior offensive line play, with that unit finishing the year third best in sacks allowed. He also believes that everything that happens on the offensive line starts with the center.
Koppen entered the NFL in 2003 as a fifth-round draft choice out of Boston College. Since taking over at center for the Patriots in 2004, he has held the position, starting 119 of his past 120 games. He makes the Patriots’ line calls and makes them well; Tom Brady stands unruffled in the pocket, brushing his hair, in part because New England has fewer botched blocking assignments than any other NFL team. Koppen was a key to New England’s record-setting 2007 offensive season and has been a key to this season’s seemingly unstoppable New England offense. He sometimes gets guard help, as all centers do. But you can watch a lot of Patriots film without seeing him beaten — or giving up on a play.
Easterbrook also mentions Logan Mankins in the piece, but feels that the guy who lines up next to him certainly makes his job easier. Either way the unit overall has had a great year this season, and hopefully it continues when they take the field again in two weeks for the AFC Divisional Playoff game on January 16th.