As we draw closer to a crazy Sunday that’s filled with interesting Week 1 games, it’s time to visit the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals matchup a little deeper. What connections exist between the two franchises in terms of players, coaches, and the front office?
Coaching/Front office connections
- Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was the defensive backs coach under his father Buddy for the Cardinals from 1994-1995.
- Special teams coach Stan Kwan served as a special teams assistant and defensive quality control coach for the Cardinals from 2001-2003, also attended Camelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Kwan was a two sport athlete, playing both quarterback and shortstop. Kwan also spent a year at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, and was the first freshman named team captain of the baseball team.
- Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians coached the tight ends for the New Orleans Saints in 1996. Offensive assistant head coach Tom Moore was the running backs coach of the Saints in 1997.
- Cardinals special teams coordinator Amos Jones was Tulane’s linebackers coach from 1995-1996, and was an assistant coach at East St. John High School in 1998.
- Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell was Southern University’s head coach from 2010-2012.
- Cardinals pass rush specialist Tom Pratt was the Saints defensive line coach from 1978-1980.
- Cardinals assistant offensive line coach Larry Zierlein was the offensive line coach at LSU from 1993-94, and at Tulane from 1988-1990. Zierlein also had a second stint with the Green Wave from 1995-1996.
- The Cardinals have three former LSU players on their roster: cornerback Patrick Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu, and linebacker Kevin Minter. Mathieu is a New Orleans native, and attended St. Augustine High School.
- Defensive end Cameron Jordan is originally from Chandler, Arizona and went to Chandler High School.
- Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison attended Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- Linebacker Stephone Anthony and defensive Tavaris Barnes played with Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown, kicker Chandler Catanzaro and running back Andre Ellington were teammates at Clemson. Ellington was C.J. Spiller’s backup at Clemson in 2009, and the two also played with Cardinals safety Chris Clemons. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and Clemons were teammates on the Miami Dolphins in 2013.
- Cornerback Damian Swann and Cardinals punter Drew Butler were teammates at the University of Georgia.
- Running back Khiry Robinson and Cardinals wide receiver Brittan Golden were college teammates at West Texas A&M.
- Running back Mark Ingram and Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson were teammates at the University of Alabama in 2008.
- Tackle Andrus Peat attended Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona. Also, his father Todd played for the Cardinals from 1987-1989. Peat and Cardinals defensive end Josh Mauro were teammates at Stanford.
- Safety Kenny Vaccaro and Cardinals linebacker Alex Okafor were teammates at Texas.
The New Orleans Saints are set to do battle with the Arizona Cardinals as one of five late game kickoffs during Sunday afternoon.
What connections surprised you the most?
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