FOXBORO (CBS) – The New England Patriots offensive line did a great job protecting Tom Brady in 2010, and now they have the hardware to prove it.

The Patriots offensive linemen were formally presented with the Madden Protectors Award Tuesday after practice, awarded to the top offensive line in the NFL. Opponents sacked Patriots quarterbacks just 25 times last season, fourth lowest in the NFL.

With the line of Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neil, Sebastian Vollmer, Rich Ohrnberger and Dan Connolly keeping him upright, Tom Brady threw for 36 touchdowns and amassed 3,900 yards in 2010.

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“It’s nice to get recognition and stuff, but now we’re concentrating on next year and trying to get better,” said Vollmer on getting the award.

The winning offensive line was determined by fan voting and Hall of Fame coach John Madden.

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The trophy will be on display throughout the 2011 season at the Hall at Patriot Place.

But don’t expect a Stanley Cup-type celebration for the trophy.

“I think that thing weighs about 150-pounds, so I’m now sure you want to hoist that up,” Vollmer joked.


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