- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien entering his second season as Penn State's head coach, it makes sense to think that the Patriots would have an interest in some former Nittany Lions.
So it comes as little surprise that as the Patriots begin the process of finalizing their rookie free agents that one of them is former Penn State center Matt Stankiewitch. The agreement with Stankiewitch was confirmed by a source.
“We ran the New England Patriot offense," Stankiewitch said recently. "We watched quite a bit of Patriots film. If we were installing a new play, we’d turn on the New England Patriots film [and] we’d watch how they were running the play against any team in the NFL.
"Of course, we had video recordings of Tom Brady’s cadence before we started doing that. I remember in the weight room, it was me and the quarterbacks and centers, and we had the playbook out trying to figure out how to do the cadences.”
Since the Patriots didn't draft any offensive linemen, building depth through free agency takes on added importance and Stankiewitch (6-foot-2 3/4, 302 pounds) could potentially line up at any of the interior positions. Starting guards Logan Mankins, 31, and Dan Connolly, 30, are the oldest players on the line, while center Ryan Wendell enters the final year of his contract.
Starters: LG Logan Mankins, RG Dan Connolly
Backups: LG/RG Nick McDonald, RG Marcus Cannon, LG/RG Matt Stankiewitch
Starter: Ryan Wendell
Backups: Dan Connolly, Nick McDonald, Matt Stankiewitch
EXTRA POINT: The agent for Nevada tight end Zach Sudfeld tweeted that Sudfeld has agreed to terms on a contract with the Patriots.
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