A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills.
<u>New England Ties</u>
- Bills G Vladimir Ducasse, who spent the early part of his life in Haiti, moved to Stamford, Conn., at the age of 14. Shortly after, he began his football career playing for Stamford High School and went on to earn a scholarship at the University of Massachusetts, where he was a Division I-AA All-American.
- Bills K Stephen Hauschka is from Needham, Mass., and began his collegiate career at Middlebury College as a soccer and lacrosse player. He did not play a snap of football until he tried out for the team entering his junior year when he beat out the starting kicker for the job and began his career as a football player.
- Bills LB Matt Milano played at Boston College from 2013-16 and was named team MVP in his senior season. In his 50 career games played, he recorded 140 tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.
- Bills wide receivers coach* Phil McGeoghan* is from Awagam, Mass., and attended the University of Maine. He also coached at his alma mater in 2007.
- Bills defensive assistant* Jim Salgado* had coaching stints Western Connecticut (1995), Boston University (1996-97) and Northeastern (2000-01, 2004).
<u>Western NY Ties</u>
- Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski grew up in Williamsville, N.Y., and attended Williamsville North High School for three years before moving to Pittsburgh for his senior year.
- Bills T* Conor McDermott* was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent the offseason and training camp at New England before being waived during roster cut downs.
- Buffalo WR Brandon Tate played for the Patriots from 2009-10 and caught 24 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns.
- Bills CB Leonard Johnson was with the Patriots in 2015. He started three of his four games played in New England.
- Bills RB Travaris Cadet played in one game for the Patriots in 2015.
- Patriots WR Chris Hogan played for the Bills from 2012-15. Over his three seasons at Buffalo, he played in 48 games with six starts and tallied 87 receptions for 959 yards and six touchdowns. Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore was drafted by the Bills in the first round (10th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In his five seasons with the team, he started 66 of 68 games played and accumulated 198 total tackles, 14 interceptions and 68 passes defensed.
- Patriots RB Mike Gillislee played for the Bills in the second half of the 2015 season and all of 2016. In 2016, he played in 15 games with one start and totaled 101 rushing attempts for 577 yards and eight touchdowns, finishing first in the NFL with 5.7-yards per rush.
- New England DL Alan Branch was with the Bills during the 2013 season. He played in all 16 games with 13 starts and finished the year with 39 tackles and one pass defensed.
- Patriots DL Eric Lee was on the Bills practice squad for the majority of the 2017 season. He also spent Week 4 on the active roster but did not play in the Bills’ matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
<u>Former NFL Teammates</u>
- Patriots WR Brandin Cooks played at New Orleans with Bills RB Travaris Cadet from 2014-16 and LB Ramon Humber his first two years with the Saints.
- Before they were teammates in Buffalo, Patriots RB Mike Gillislee and Bills TE Charles Clay were teammates at Miami in 2013-14. Gillislee was also Dolphins teammates with Bills G Richie Incognito in 2013 and DT Deandre Coleman *in 2014, and worked with Bills wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan* when he oversaw the Dolphins’ receiving corps.
- Patriots WR Danny Amendola and Bills G Richie Incognito *played together at St. Louis in 2009. During Amendola’s last year with the Rams in 2012, Bills tight ends coach *Rob Boras and defensive line coach Mike Waufle were on the coaching staff at St. Louis.
- Before that, Amendola spent a season at Philadelphia in 2008 when Bills quarterbacks coach David Culley was the wide receivers coach, head coach Sean McDermott *was the linebackers coach and Bills offensive line/running game coordinator Juan Castillo* was the offensive line coach for the Eagles. The team advanced to the NFC Championship that year.
- Bills RB LeSean McCoy and offensive assistant Chad Hall played for the Eagles when Patriots RB Dion Lewis was at Philadelphia from 2011-12. Bills offensive line/running game coordinator Juan Castillo and quarterbacks coach David Culley were also on the coaching staff during that time. Both Lewis and Patriots DB Eric Rowe played with Bills DT* Cedric Thornton *when they were with the Eagles.
- Patriots DL Lawrence Guy was Ravens teammates with Bills QB* Tyrod Taylor* and WR Deonte Thompson in 2014, G Vladimir Ducasse in 2016 and CB Shareece Wright from 2015-16. During Guy’s tenure at Baltimore, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, offensive line/running game coordinator Juan Castillo and defensive quality control coach John Egorugwu were also on the Ravens coaching staff.
- Guy and Wright were also teammates at the San Diego Chargers from 2013-14.
- Patriots QB Brian Hoyer also played with WR Deonte Thompson at Chicago in 2016.
- Patriots DL Alan Branch and Bills K Stephen Hauschka were teammates at Seattle from 2011-12.
- Hauschka also played for the Broncos in 2010 when Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Josh McDaniels was the head coach at Denver.
- McDaniels also worked with Bills offensive coordinator* Rick Dennison* at Denver, who was the offensive line coach for the Broncos in 2009.
- Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi, RB Dion Lewis and QB Brian Hoyer played with Bills S* Jordan Poyer* at Cleveland from 2013-14. Bills assistant defensive backs coach Bobby Babich was also an assistant coach on the Browns’ defensive staff during that time.
- Bills G Vladimir Ducasse played with LB David Harris at the New York Jets from 2010-13.
- Patriots TE Dwayne Allen and DL Lawrence Guy were with the Colts when Bills DE* Jerry Hughes* played at Indianapolis in 2012.
- Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi and LB Kyle Van Noy played with Bills TE *Khari Lee *at Detroit in 2016.
- Patriots LB Trevor Reilly and Bills CB Lafayette Pitts were defensive teammates at Miami during the last few weeks of the 2016 season.
- Patriots RB Rex Burkhead, FB James Develin and LB Marquis Flowers played with Bills WR* Brandon Tate *at Cincinnati.
- Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was the defensive coordinator and later the head coach at Minnesota and worked with Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly (2007-08, 2012-13) and wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea (2007-08). During Daly’s second stint with the team, he served as defensive line coach when Bills QB Joe Webb played at Minnesota.
- Bills tight ends coach *Rob Boras *served as the Rams’ offensive coordinator for the final four games of the 2015 season and all of the 2016 when Patriots WR Kenny Britt played at St. Louis/Los Angeles. In 2016, he helped Britt become the Rams’ first 1,000-yard receiver since 2007.
- Patriots WR Kenny Britt and LB Nicholas Grigsby played with Bills CB* E.J. Gaines* at the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Bills defensive line coach Mike Waufle was also a member of the Rams defensive coaching staff at that time.
- Bills offensive assistant *Chad Hall *was teammates with Patriots DL Ricky Jean Francois at San Francisco in 2012.
<u>Former College Teammates</u>
- Patriots C David Andrews and Bills T* Cordy Glenn* played on the offensive line together at Georgia in 2011.
- Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and Bills FB Patrick DiMarco played together at South Carolina from 2009-10.
- Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett played with Bills T Seantrel Henderson at Miami from 2011-13.
- Patriots WR Brandin Cooks was teammates with Bills S Jordan Poyer at Oregon State from 2011-12.
- Patriots CB Malcolm Butler and Bills LB Deon Lacey played together at West Alabama in 2012. They are two of the four West Alabama players currently on active NFL rosters, with Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill and Raiders WR Seth Roberts rounding out the group for the Tigers.
- Patriots RB Mike Gillislee was teammates with Bills WR Deonte Thompson at Florida from 2009-11.
- Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby played with Bills QB Nathan Peterman at Pittsburgh in 2015 and CB Lafayette Pitts from 2011-15.
- Bills S Trae Elston played at Ole Miss when Patriots coaching assistant DeMarcus Covington was a defensive graduate assistant with the Rebels in 2013-14.
- Patriots OL Cole Croston played with Bill S* Micah Hyde* for one year at Iowa in 2012.
- Patriots RB Rex Burkhead was a senior at Nebraska when Bills WR* Brandon Reilly *was in his redshirt season with the Huskers in 2012.
- Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley was a defensive graduate assistant at Iowa State from 2009-11 when Bills CB Leonard Johnson played for the Hawkeyes.
- Patriots P Ryan Allen and Bills T* Jordan Mills *were teammates at Louisiana Tech from 2010-12.
- Patriots TE Jacob Hollister played with Bills DE Eddie Yarbrough at Wyoming from 2014-15.
- Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley was the secondary coach and Bills assistant special teams coach Matthew Smiley was the special teams coordinator at Eastern Illinois in 2012.