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Dan Koppen heading to the Broncos

Dan Koppen AP

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have had some memorable battles over the years and Dan Koppen has had a front row seat for most of them as a center for the Patriots.

If there are any future Brady-Manning duels, Koppen will have another good view. He’ll just be wearing a different uniform while it goes down. Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that the Broncos have agreed to terms on a contract with Koppen, who was cut by the Patriots when rosters were cut down to 53 players.

Koppen missed all of last season after breaking his ankle in the opener and wound up re-signing with the Patriots after a lengthy spell as a free agent this offseason. Dan Connolly couldn’t be moved off the center spot, however, and that led Koppen to Denver. Klis suggests the team’s interest in Koppen could be his experience in a no huddle offense with the Patriots, something that current starter J.D. Walton doesn’t have. That makes sense, especially after the Broncos were in the mix for Jeff Saturday, Manning’s longtime center with the Colts, before Saturday went to Green Bay.

Koppen started 120 games for the Patriots and moved into the lineup shortly after they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2003 draft. He made one Pro Bowl, won two Super Bowl rings and often earned high marks on his ability to recognize defenses from Bill Belichick.

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11 Responses to “Dan Koppen heading to the Broncos”
  1. randyschwimmer7 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:25 AM

    With Pro Football Focus reporting that JD Walton was the worst center in football last year, I can see why this happened. I though he did pretty good throughout the preseason and against the Steelers, but obviously PM and Fox thought otherwise. Either way, never hurts to have a veteran for the offensive line, even if he ends up just being depth.

  2. theandy59 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:36 AM

    I love Dan Koppen, he’s been a very reliable player, and underrated at that. Unfortunately, he’s just worn out now, and can’t compete at an NFL level any longer. His physical ability was always marginal at best, but he made up for his physical shortcomings with very heady and determined play. I wish him well with Denver, but I won’t be surprised if the Bronco’s cut him in relatively short order once they discover what the Patriots have already confirmed – he’s no longer able to compete at this level.

  3. homelanddefense says: Sep 11, 2012 9:41 AM

    I wish him nothing but Luck. Unfortunately much of the word coming from camp was that he is done.

  4. steve717 says: Sep 11, 2012 9:53 AM

    Pats fan here. Koppen has been great for us for years, but there’s a reason he didn’t make the team this year: he was a turnstile not only in all of his preseason action, but in practice too. Maybe he just needs to readjust to the speed of the game after missing all of last year, but he was a shell of his former self this preseason. I wish him the best.

  5. allenmusic says: Sep 11, 2012 9:56 AM

    You can’t have enough good offensive lineman.

  6. patfanken says: Sep 11, 2012 10:58 AM

    Another Pats fan (obviously). I wouldn’t paint as gloomy a picture for Denver fans. Koppen’s lost a bit off his fast ball, but I think his weaknesses are specific and can be worked around. Dan suffers against the big powerful DT’s lined up right on him

    Against 4-3 alignments, where he is uncovered he can thrive helping out in protection, and excel as a run blocker, where he was always good, especially getting to the 2nd level. Also as the article mentions there are few C’s better than Koppen in recognizing defenses and getting the OL on the same page when the team is running no-huddle.

    If Denver can work around his flaws its a great pick up for them, and I’m happy he got a job, but so is Vince…lol

  7. patriotinvasion says: Sep 11, 2012 12:35 PM

    So long Dan. Thanks for the memories.

  8. gisellichek says: Sep 11, 2012 2:37 PM

    I hate it that BB cut Dan… he is a real pro… and a great center… good for Denver … he is going to be awesome for them.

  9. sullijo1 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:47 PM

    Hey Pats fans…..we know that he’s not worthy to play for your holy franchise (that hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 2005 and won one more than Denver since 1998)…..but:

    We Broncos fans think he will be an upgrade to Phillip Blake and CJ Davis.

    Thanks.

  10. lanman11 says: Sep 11, 2012 8:51 PM

    With so little tape available on the new Denver offense for the Oct 7th game in Foxboro likely resulting in some surprises, the addition of inside knowledge of the Patriots protection schemes may result in a close contest, and an awkward game for the Patriots. Hopefully Koppen doesn’t get Brady hurt.

    As was the case in the late 90’s with the salary cap violations, the Donko’s (and Manning) are selling their soul for a shot at a Super Bowl. :-)~

  11. bospat says: Sep 12, 2012 7:45 PM

    Purely manning wanting to pick his brain….

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