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Connections: Patriots - Broncos

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos.

NEW ENGLAND TIES

  • Denver S Justin Simmons attended Boston College from 2012-15, where he was a two-year starting cornerback for the Eagles and recorded 229 tackles and eight interceptions in 50 career games.
  • Broncos OLB Kasim Edebali also played at Boston College from 2010- 13, where he started 40-of-49 games played and tallied 166 tackles, 11 sacks, 15 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his time as an Eagle.
  • Broncos T Elijah Wilkinson played at the University of Massachusetts from 2013-16 and started 33 games at right tackle during his collegiate career.

COLORADO TIES

  • Patriots T Nate Solder, who was born in Denver and raised in Buena Vista, Colo., played at the University of Colorado from 2007-10. He moved from tight end to tackle before his sophomore season and became a two-time team captain for the Buffs and earned All-America honors his senior year.
  • Patriots assistant strength and conditioning coach* James Hardy* was the director of sports performance at Colorado from 2008-15.
  • Patriots head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera also worked at Colorado for one year in 2010 as an assistant coach on the strength staff.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • Denver TE A.J. Derby was originally selected by the New England Patriots in the sixth round (202nd overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie season on the Patriots Injured/Reserve list before appearing in four games for New England in the beginning of 2016. He was traded to the Broncos during the 2016 season.
  • Broncos CB *Aqib Talib *was traded to the Patriots midway through the 2012 season and spent the entire 2013 season with the Patriots. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013 and totaled 60 tackles and five interceptions during his time with the team.
  • Broncos ILB *Kevin Snyder *spent time on New England's practice squad and active roster during the 2015 season.
  • Broncos director of player personnel *Matt Russell *worked on the Patriots personnel staff in the early 2000s and was a part of building New England's first three Super Bowl championship teams as a pro scout (2001) and an area scout (2003-05).
  • Broncos offensive line coach Jeff Davidson coached for the Patriots for eight years from 1997-2004, helping the team win three Super Bowls during that time. Davidson began as the team's tight ends coach (1997) and later oversaw the offensive line (1998-2001) and both position groups together (2002-04).

FORMER BRONCOS

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick served as the assistant special teams coach/assistant to the defensive coordinator for the Broncos during the 1978 season.
  • New England offensive coordinator *Josh McDaniels *was the head coach of the Denver Broncos from 2009-10.

Game Preview: Patriots at Broncos

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES

  • Patriots DB Eric Rowe played with Broncos G Allen Barbre at Philadelphia in 2015.
  • Broncos NT Domata Peko, Sr., played with Patriots RB Rex Burkhead, FB James Develin and LB Marquis Flowers at Cincinnati.
  • Patriots DL Alan Branch was teammates with Broncos G Allen Barbre at Seattle in 2011.
  • Patriots WR Brandin Cooks, Broncos ILB Todd Davis *and Broncos OLB *Kasim Edebali were a part of the same rookie class at New Orleans in 2014. Cooks and Edebali also played together for the Saints in 2015-16.
  • Broncos DE Zach Kerr played for the Colts from 2014-16 and was teammates with Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett, RB Dion Lewis and TE Dwayne Allen during that time.
  • Patriots DL Lawrence Guy and Broncos S Darian Stewart *were defensive teammates at Baltimore during the 2014 season. Broncos senior personnel advisor *Gary Kubiak was also the offensive coordinator for the Ravens that year.
  • Broncos S Darian Stewart also played with Patriots WR Danny Amendola when the two were teammates at the St. Louis Rams from 2010-12. During that time, Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels and defensive line coach* Brendan Daly* served in the same capacity for the Rams.
  • Broncos head coach Vance Joseph was the defensive coordinator at Miami in 2016 when Patriots LB Trevor Reilly played for the Dolphins in the second half of the season. Before that, Joseph was the defensive backs coach at Cincinnati from 2014-15 when Patriots LB Marquis Flowers and RB Rex Burkhead played for the Bengals.
  • Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was the head coach of the Chargers when Patriots DL Lawrence Guy played at San Diego in 2013-14.
  • Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi played for the Browns in 2012 when Broncos defensive assistant/defensive line coach Chris Beake was an offensive assistant at Cleveland.
  • Patriots RB Dion Lewis was on the Eagles' roster in 2011 when Broncos assistant defensive backs coach *Johnnie Lynn *worked with the cornerbacks at Philadelphia.
  • Broncos linebackers coach Reggie Herring served in the same capacity at Chicago in 2014 when Patriots LB Shea McClellin played for the Bears. Herring also coached the position group at Dallas when Patriots WR Danny Amendola wore a Cowboys uniform.
  • Broncos outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac worked with Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea at Kansas City and at Minnesota. Pagac and was also the linebackers coach for the Bills when Patriots WR Chris Hogan and CB Stephon Gilmore played at Buffalo.
  • Patriots OL La'Adrian Waddle played for the Lions when Broncos defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson coached at Detroit in 2013.
  • Broncos assistant head coach/running backs coach Eric Studesville *and tight ends coach *Geep Chryst worked with Patriots running backs coach *Ivan Fears *at the Chicago Bears in the 1990s.
  • Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly worked with Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods, outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac, quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, offensive line coach Jeff Davidson and offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak on the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff. Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea also worked with Woods and Pagac at Minnesota.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • Patriots RB Rex Burkhead was teammates with Denver FB Andy Janovich and ILB Zaire Anderson at Nebraska for one season in 2012.
  • Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and Broncos S *Darian Stewart *shared the defensive backfield at South Carolina in 2009.
  • Patriots DB Eric Rowe played with Broncos RB Devontae Booker, T Garett Bolles *and WR *Tim Patrick at Utah.
  • Broncos TE A.J. Derby was college teammates with Patriots DL Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise, Jr., at Arkansas from 2013-14.
  • Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett and Broncos S *Jamal Carter *played together at Miami from 2013-14.
  • Broncos DE Adam Gotsis and Patriots OL Shaq Mason were teammates at Georgia Tech from 2013-14.
  • Patriots DB Nate Ebner played with Broncos CB Bradley Roby *and TE Jeff Heuerman* at Ohio State in 2011.
  • Broncos QB Brock Osweiler was teammates with Patriots DL Lawrence Guy at Arizona State in 2009-10. Broncos assistant strength and conditioning coach *Mike Eubanks *also worked on the strength staff for the Sun Devils during that time.
  • Patriots C David Andrews was teammates at Georgia with Broncos WR Isaiah McKenzie in 2014 and CB* Brendan Langley *in 2013-14.
  • Patriots DB Duron Harmon played with Broncos ILB *Kevin Snyder *at Rutgers from 2011-12.
  • Patriots LB Marquis Flowers and Broncos S Will Parks were defensive teammates at Arizona from 2012-13.
  • Patriots OL Cole Croston was teammates with Broncos LS *Casey Kreiter *at Iowa from 2012-13.
  • Denver C Matt Paradis *and New England LB Shea McClellin played together at Boise State. Denver assistant offensive line coach *Chris Strausser served as running game coordinator at Boise State when the two played for the Broncos.
  • Patriots DL Geneo Grissom was a freshman on the Sooners roster when Broncos T Donald Stephenson was a senior at Oklahoma in 2011.
  • Patriots WR Matthew Slater played with Broncos assistant to the head coach Phil Rauscher at UCLA in 2004-05.
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