New England Patriots: Matt Stankiewitch

Patriots announce release of 10

August, 30, 2013
The New England Patriots announced the release of the following 10 players today:

TE Jake Ballard
DE Marcus Benard
TE Daniel Fells
WR Johnathan Haggerty
LB Mike Rivera
OL Luke Patterson
FB Ben Bartholomew
DL Gilbert Pena
C Matt Stankiewitch
DL Scott Vallone

The moves with Ballard, Benard and Fells were previously accounted for in the Patriots blog. The rest of the moves were expected.

Picked-up pieces from 1st-quarter review

August, 30, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Picked-up pieces after reviewing the first quarter of the Patriots' 28-20 preseason win over the Giants:

1. It seemed like the Patriots wanted to take a closer look at veteran safety Adrian Wilson and his effectiveness as a blitzer. Wilson blitzed on the first play of the game (the ball was out quickly) and then on the third-and-7 play (incomplete pass) that ended the Giants’ second drive. On the second blitz, Wilson was met by running back Andre Brown and ridden out of the play, as quarterback Eli Manning stepped up to make his throw on the run. Then there was a third blitz from Wilson on the Giants’ opening play of the third drive (off the defensive left side), when Manning completed a 37-yard pass to receiver Louis Murphy as Wilson was again picked up by running back David Wilson. He then blitzed again on the Giants’ touchdown later in the quarter (wasn’t close to disrupting the play). As the Patriots consider whether Wilson has a spot on their 53-man roster, I could envision them looking at these blitzes today and attempting to determine if Wilson can help them in that role.

2. Rookie defensive end Michael Buchanan (6-6, 255) was disruptive off the defensive left side, showing good power and multiple pass-rush moves, as well as how his long arms can affect passing lanes for opposing quarterbacks. In addition, he showed strength and technique to effectively set the edge, which is a necessity for any end (4-3) or outside linebacker (3-4) in the team’s scheme. We got a good look at that on the Giants’ second offensive play when Buchanan locked up with pulling guard Chris Snee, held his ground, and kept Wilson hemmed in as he was stopped for a modest 1-yard gain.

3. A good contrast to that play was seen later in the quarter on Wilson’s 16-yard run on a pitch from Manning around left end. The Patriots’ run force broke down, with right end Jake Bequette taking his first step inside, which was enough to lose containment. With linebacker Dane Fletcher also sealed off by left tackle Will Beatty, and cornerback Marquice Cole cleared out of the area because he was covering receiver Hakeem Nicks, it left a wide swath of real estate for Wilson. Some credit goes to the Giants for a well-blocked run, but it looked like it also could have been executed better from the Patriots’ standpoint. Later in the second quarter, Bequette set a nice edge against tight end Brandon Myers on a run for minus-3 yards.

4. The top seven offensive linemen appear set for the Patriots (Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, Will Svitek), so I spent some time watching the reserves beyond that to see if anyone stood out. Center Matt Stankiewitch (6-4, 305) would be the choice. The first play might have been his worst -- he was pushed back into quarterback Ryan Mallett by Linval Joseph -- but he seemed to settle in nicely over the remainder of the first quarter against first-unit competition. His athleticism to get to the second level of the defense was seen on receiver Josh Boyce’s 18-yard reverse, when he sealed off linebacker Dan Connor. A nice play like that was later balanced off by failing to hold his block against defensive tackle Mike Patterson as Patterson pressured Mallett early in the second quarter. Like most rookies, Stankiewitch will benefit from some physical development, but he showed a scrappiness that made us take note.

5. There is a risk-reward that comes with every blitz, and the risk was evidenced on the Giants’ first touchdown. On third-and-2 from the Patriots 3-yard line, the defense sent seven rushers. That created a man-to-man situation with receivers and defensive backs, with rookie cornerback Logan Ryan matched up against Nicks. The rush didn’t get there and Manning had time to lock in on Nicks to complete a relatively easy touchdown. If you’re going to send seven, that’s a case where the rush has to get there quickly to help out the defensive backs. Didn’t happen in that case.

Offensive starters for Patriots

August, 29, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Offensive starters for the New England Patriots in tonight's game against the New York Giants:

LT -- Will Svitek
LG -- Josh Kline
C -- Matt Stankiewitch
RG -- Dan Connolly
RT -- Marcus Cannon
TE -- Michael Hoomanawanui
QB -- Ryan Mallett
WR -- Kenbrell Thompkins
WR -- Aaron Dobson
WR -- Josh Boyce
RB -- Leon Washington

Pats re-sign Green, waive Stankiewitch

July, 25, 2013
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots have re-signed veteran offensive lineman Tyronne Green and waived undrafted rookie offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch, the team announced on Thursday.

Green, who started 13 games at guard with the Chargers last season, was previously signed by the Patriots this offseason before being waived on May 31. A fourth-round pick of the Chargers in 2009, he has started 28 games during his career.

Stankiewitch, who was recently placed on the non-football injury list, was signed by the Patriots as a free agent after a standout career at Penn State.

Bubble watch: Matt Stankiewitch

June, 30, 2013
(Continuing a month-long series analyzing players who are on the roster bubble and where they may potentially fit in 2013.)

NAME: Matt Stankiewitch

[+] EnlargeMatt Stankiewitch
Rich Barnes/US PresswireMatt Stankiewitch played at Penn State for former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

AGE: 23

2012 STATS: 12 games (all starts) -- at Penn State

INJURY STATUS: No known injuries


WHY HE SHOULD MAKE IT: At a position where they almost always seem to be plagued by injuries, the Patriots lack experienced depth along the interior of their offensive line. Fourth-year veteran Nick McDonald projects as the top backup, with Marcus Cannon a wild card as he potentially makes the transition from tackle. Beyond that, the Patriots have a trio of undrafted rookies: Stankiewitch, Chris McDonald and Josh Kline. Even if Nick McDonald and Cannon make the 53-man roster, there still may be room for one of the rookies, and Stankiewitch has the easiest transition to the NFL, having played in former offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien's system at Penn State.

WHY HE SHOULD NOT MAKE IT: The key for Stankiewitch to make the cut might be his versatility. He played guard early in his career at Penn State, and he would bring value if able to play both guard and center in the NFL. But if Chris McDonald or Kline shows a greater ability to switch between both positions, their chances of making the roster over Stankiewitch would be improved.

CLOSEST COMPETITION: G/C Nick McDonald, G Chris McDonald, G Josh Kline

Rookie center Stankiewitch agrees

April, 27, 2013
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: LT Nate Solder, RT/LT Sebastian Vollmer
Backups: RT/LT Will Svitek, RT Marcus Cannon, RT Markus Zusevics

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.