New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots connections


The New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots face off on Saturday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in their respective second preseason game. The two clubs met during the regular season in 2013, which saw the Saints lose on a last second Tom Brady to Kenbrell Thompkins touchdown 30-27.

Head coaches Sean Payton and Bill Belichick share a common mentor in legendary coach Bill Parcells. Let’s take a look at the connections between the two franchises.

Coaching/Front office connections

  • Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael was a four-year letterman in baseball at Boston College. He also began his coaching career as an assistant at the University of New Hampshire in 1994.
  • Rob Ryan was the linebackers coach under Bill Belichick from 2000-2003, and won two Super Bowls with the Patriots
  • Patriots area scout Tim Heffelfinger was the Saints area scout from 1998-2005
  • Chad O’Shea, the Patriots receivers coach, was a special teams/recruiting coordinator at the University of Southern Mississippi from 2000-2002. O’Shea and Joe Vitt were on the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff in 2003
  • Brendan Prophett, the current Saints area scout, is a native of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Prophett also played wide receiver for a year at the University of Maine
  • Patriots’ strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash is a native of New Orleans. Nash went to St. Augustine High School, and was a walk on at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Khai Harley, the Saints Vice President of Football Administration, received his master’s in sports managed from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2001
  • Patriots Director of College Scouting Jonathan Robinson was an assistantcoach at Nicholls State from 1999-2001

Player connections

  • Brandon Browner played for the Patriots in 2014, and won a Super Bowl
  • Kasim Edebali played for Boston College from 2010-2013
  • Wide receiver R.J. Harris played for the University of New Hampshire, and was the school’s all-time leader in receptions
  • Center Mike Golic Jr. prepped at Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, Connecticut
  • John Jenkins prepped at Francis T. Maloney High School is Meriden, Connecticut
  • Patriots pass rusher Rob Ninkovich was originally drafted by the Saints in 2006
  • Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski is originally from Baton Rouge, and prepped at Madison Central High School in Mississippi
  • Mark Ingram and Patriots linebacker Donta Hightower were teammates at Alabama
  • Patriots punter Ryan Allen played college at Louisiana Tech
  • Parys Haralson and Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo were teammates at the University of Tennessee
  • Jairus Byrd, Erik Lorig and Patriots running back LeGarette Blount were college teammates at Oregon. Lorig was the fullback for Blount on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2010-2011
  • Patriots running back Brandon Bolden went to Scotlandville High School in Baton Rouge, and played college at the University of Mississippi
  • Jerry Franklin and Patriots defensive end Jake Bequette played together at Arkansas
  • Travaris Cadet played for the Saints from 2012-2014.
  • Ben Watson played for the Patriots from 2004-2009. He was their first round pick (32nd overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft.

What connections surprised you the most?

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