New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans connections


The New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans clash in a nationally televised preseason game on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The vaunted ‘dress rehearsal’ game figures to be an accurate portrayal of what to expect from your squad during the year. In what promises to be an emotional filled weekend as we approach the 10-Year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let’s a look at some strong connections between the two franchises.

Coaching/Front office connections

  • Tom Benson owns multiple automotive, banking, and real estate holdings in South Texas.
  • Dennis Allen was head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2012, and Texans’ Shane Lechler was his punter. Allen also played safety at Texas A&M from 1992-1995.
  • Joe Vitt and Texans special teams coordinator Bob Ligasheshky were on the St. Louis Rams coaching staff in 2005. Ligasheshky coached Erik Lorig in Tampa Bay in 2012.
  • Texans assistant special teams coach Doug Colman was Tulane’s linebackers coach from 2010-2011.
  • Rob Ryan and Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel were on the New England Patriots coaching staff from 2001-2003. Crennell at Pete Carmichael were on the Cleveland Browns coaching staff in 2000.
  • Mike Neu and Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara played football together on the Orlando Predators (Arena Football League) in 1996. Neu was O’Hara’s backup. Neu (2003-2008) and O’Hara (2012-2014) were also head coaches of the New Orleans Voodoo.
  • Texans defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni was on the coaching staff with Sean Payton in Dallas during the 2005 season. Pasqualoni tutored Anthony Spencer in 2007 and 2010, and he also was on the Chicago Bears coaching staff in 2014 with current Saints coaching assistant Brendan Nugent.
  • Jeff Ireland and area scout Cody Rager were on the same player personnel staff in Miami with current Texans director of player personnel Brian Gaine. Gaine and Ireland worked together in Dallas.
  • Bill Johnson served on the Texas A&M coaching staff from 1992-1999.
  • Texans director of player development Sean Washington played defensive back for the Saints in 1994.
  • Texans director of equipment services Mike Parsons previously worked in the Saints equipment room.

Player connections

  • Kenny Vaccaro played college football at the University of Texas.
  • Travis Frederick and Texans kicker Randy Bullock were teammates at Texas A&M.
  • Texans wide receiver Damaris Johnson attended Destrehan High School.
  • Stephone Anthony and Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were teammates at Clemson.
  • Thomas Morstead attended Pearland High School in Texas.
  • Ben Watson and Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer were teammates on the New England Patriots in 2009. Watson was also a longtime teammate of Vince Wilfork in New England.
  • Mark Ingram was a teammate with Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson and defensive end Brandon Deaderick at the University of Alabama. Deaderick played for the Saints in 2014.
  • Jerry Franklin and Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett were college teammates at the University of Arkansas.
  • Texans defensive back Andre Hal attended Port Allen High School, and learned from Saints secondary coach Wesley McGriff at Vanderbilt.
  • Pierre Warren and Texans wide receiver Alan Bonner were teammates at Jacksonville State.
  • Texans cornerback Jumal Rolle was on the Saints practice squad for the first month of the 2013 season.
  • Texans running back Kenny Hilliard is the nephew of Dalton Hilliard. Kenny Hilliard attended Patterson High School, and played at LSU from 2011-2014.
  • Texans running back Alfred Blue attended Hahnville High School, and also played for LSU from 2010-2013.

What connections surprised you the most?

More from Who Dat Dish