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Catching up with Dan Koppen

ALLSTON -- Almost one year after his tenure with the New England Patriots ended, center Dan Koppen was back on a field with an old friend on Friday night.

Now a free agent, Koppen took part in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's charity football game at Harvard Stadium, part of the Best Buddies Challenge held this weekend.

Koppen was released by the Patriots last August after 10 seasons in New England, later catching on with the Denver Broncos and starting 12 games. However, the Boston College product still makes his home in the area.

"Boston is my home, so regardless of where I'm playing, my home is in New England," he said.

Early in Friday's lighthearted contest, Brady was intercepted by Koppen on a pass intended for Vince Wilfork -- not exactly a stat line you'll see anytime soon.

"I'm sure [Brady's] going to try to forget about it," Koppen cracked. "But it happened."

Koppen had the rare opportunity to go from snapping to one future Hall of Fame quarterback (Brady) to another (Peyton Manning) last season, a similar jump to what former Patriots receiver Wes Welker will make this season.

"I think he's going to be just fine out there. I think he's going to love it," Koppen said of Welker. "He's going to love the team. They have a great group of guys. Playing with Peyton, he's very similar to Tom. Get the ball out and move the chains. That's what Wes does best."

Meanwhile, Koppen, 33, has yet to be re-signed by the Broncos, and seems to be open to the possibility that he may not be playing this fall.

"We're sitting back and seeing right now," he said. "Just enjoying the time with my family right now. Whatever happens, happens. But I've played 10 years and it's been a good run regardless."