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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Center rotation draws attention

By Mike Reiss

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Patriots rotated four centers in the first half of Wednesday's preseason finale against the Giants, highlighting the competition at that spot.

"We played four guys last year and they all showed they could play at a good level," Bill Belichick said in his post-game remarks. "We've had good competition there in this training camp and preseason and we'll have to make a decision on it."

Here was the center breakdown by drive:

1. Ryan Wendell (3 plays)
2. Ryan Wendell (3 plays)
3. Dan Koppen (7 plays)
4. Dan Connolly (3 plays)
5. Dan Connolly (12 plays)
6. Donald Thomas (3 plays)
7. Donald Thomas (8 plays)
+++
8. Ryan Wendell (5 plays)
9. Ryan Wendell (9 plays)
10. Dan Koppen (3 plays)
11. Donald Thomas (1 play)
12. Donald Thomas (4 plays)

ANALYSIS: Koppen, who has done great things for the franchise since 2003, appears to be on the bubble. It is seldom a good thing when you are playing in the fourth quarter of the final preseason game, as Koppen was against the Giants. ... The potential return of Brian Waters could have a trickle-down effect here. If Waters returns and assumes his right guard spot, it could open the center position to Dan Connolly.