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Connections: Patriots - Lions

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A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions.

NEW ENGLAND TIES

  • Lions head coach Matt Patricia earned his master's degree from the University of Massachusetts. He also coached the defensive line at Amherst from 1999-2000.
  • Lions executive vice president and general manager Bob Quinn is from Norwood, Mass. and earned both his undergraduate and master's degrees from UConn.
  • Lions OL Jamil Demby played collegiately at the University of Maine from 2014-17.
  • Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni hails from Cheshire, Conn. and began his coaching career at Cheshire High School (1972-75). He also worked at Southern Connecticut State as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator from 1976-1981 and worked as the head coach at Western Connecticut State (1982-86) and Connecticut (2011-13). Before joining the Lions, Pasqualoni worked as the defensive line coach at Boston College from 2016-17.
  • Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano was the wide receivers coach at Rhode Island from 1978-79.
  • Lions director of football research David Corrao worked as the tight ends coach at Northeastern in 2004.
  • Lions linebackers coach Al Golden was the linebackers coach at Boston College from 1997-99.
  • Lions offensive assistant and quality control coach Brian Picucci is from Leominster, Mass. and coached at Southern Connecticut State, UMass, Northeastern, Central Connecticut State, Becker College and Maine in a variety of roles before joining the Lions in 2018.
  • Lions tight ends coach Chris White is from Groveland, Mass., played quarterback at Colby College in Maine, was quarterbacks coach at Holy Cross in 1993 and director of football research and special projects at Connecticut in 2017.
  • Lions defensive quality control coach Steven Williams Jr. played college football at Harvard.

MICHIGAN TIES

  • Patriots QB Tom Brady played for the University of Michigan from 1996-99. He threw for 4,773 yards and 30 touchdowns and was part of the 1997 Rose Bowl team.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer played for Michigan State from 2005- 08, notching 35 touchdowns and 6,159 yards.

FORMER PATRIOTS

  • Lions head coach Matt Patricia coached for 14 seasons in New England. He started in 2004 as a coaching assistant before moving to assistant offensive line coach in 2005. He then coached the linebackers from 2006-10 before becoming safeties coach in 2011. He ended his tenure in New England as the defensive coordinator from 2012-17.
  • Lions executive vice president and general manager Bob Quinn spent 16 years (2000-2015) with the Patriots scouting department, most recently working as Director of Pro Scouting from 2012-15 before joining the Lions.
  • Lions defensive line coach Bo Davis coached the defensive line at Alabama from 2008-10 while Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower played for the Crimson Tide. The duo won the 2009 National Title.
  • Davis also coached Patriots DL Malcom Brown as defensive tackles coach at Texas from 2012-13.
  • Lions RB LeGarrette Blount played for the Patriots from 2013-16, winning a pair of Super Bowls. In his time in New England, Blount scored 36 TDs and rushed for 3,183 yards.
  • Lions QB Matt Cassel played for New England from 2005-08. Cassel started 15 games in 2008 following Tom Brady's injury, leading the Patriots to an 11-5 record while throwing for 21 TDs and 3,693 yards.
  • Lions LB Marquis Flowers played for the Patriots in the 2017 season and went through the 2018 preseason in New England. As a Patriot, Flowers recorded 25 tackles and 3½ sacks.
  • Lions DT Ricky Jean Francois played for the Patriots for six games in 2017, recording 10 total tackles.
  • The Patriots drafted Lions S Tavon Wilson in the second round (48th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Wilson played in New England from 2012-15, recording fve interceptions, 11 passes defensed and 79 total tackles.
  • Lions offensive line coach Jef Davidson worked for the Patriots from 1997-2004 as a tight ends and offensive line coach.
  • Lions quarterbacks coach George Godsey coached as an offensive assistant and tight ends coach for New England from 2011-13.
  • Lions defensive assistant Steve Gregory played defensive back for the Patriots from 2012-13.
  • Lions head strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash Jr. worked as assistant strength and conditioning coach (2005-10) and head strength and conditioning coach (2011-15) for the Patriots.
  • Lions WCF minority coaching assistantship/defense coach Billy Yates played offensive line for the Patriots from 2004-08.

FORMER LIONS

  • Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy played for the Lions from 2014-16 before being traded to the Patriots. Van Noy totaled 30 tackles in his time on Detroit.
  • Patriots OL LaAdrian Waddle played for the Lions from 2013-15.

FORMER NFL TEAMMATES

  • Lions K Matt Prater played for the Broncos and had Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as his head coach from 2009-10 and director of pro personnel Dave Ziegler worked in the team's scouting department from 2010-12.
  • Patriots OL Trent Brown played for San Francisco with Lions FB Nick Bellore from 2015-16. Lions LB Eli Harold also played with Brown from 2015-17 and Patriots QB Brian Hoyer in 2017 before the Patriots traded for Hoyer. Lions offensive assistant Derius Swinton was the special teams coordinator for the 49ers in 2016.
  • Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson played for Minnesota while Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano was the interim special teams coordinator for the Vikings in 2014. Under Marciano's coaching, Patterson returned 34 kicks for 871 yards (25.6 average). Lions offensive line coach Jef Davidson was also with Patterson on the Vikings in the same capacity from 2013-15. Finally, Lions assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley coached in the role in Minnesota from 2014-16.
  • Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn played with Lions RB LeGarrette Blount for Tampa Bay from 2011-12.
  • Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn shared the field with Lions TE Levine Toilolo for Atlanta from 2015-17.
  • Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson teamed up with Lions QB Matt Cassel in Minnesota from 2013-14. Patriots defensive line coach Brendan Daly was also with the Vikings as a defensive line coach in 2013.
  • Lions QB Matt Cassel played for Tennessee with Patriots DB Jason McCourty and OL Brian Schwenke in 2016.
  • Patriots LB Nicholas Grisgby played with Lions OL Andrew Donnal on the Rams in 2016 and on Baltimore in 2017.
  • Lions LB Marquis Flowers played for Cincinnati with Patriots RB Rex Burkhead from 2014-16. Detroit WR Marvin Jones Jr. also played with Burkhead (2013-15) on the Bengals.
  • Lions DT Ricky Jean Francois played with Patriots TE Dwayne Allen on Indianapolis from 2013-14. Lions running backs coach David Walker worked in that same role on the Colts with Allen from 2012-14.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer shared the field with Lions LB Christian Jones on Chicago in 2016.
  • Patriots DL Lawrence Guy played with Lions OT Rick Wagner for Baltimore from 2014-16. Guy also played for the Chargers with Lions G Kenny Wiggins from 2013-14.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer played for Houston in 2015 while Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni was the defensive line coach for the Texans. Lions quarterbacks coach George Godsey was also the offensive coordinator for Houston at the time.
  • Patriots director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort worked in the scouting department at Houston from 2002-05 while Lions special teams coordinator Joe Marciano was the special team coordinator for the Texans. Lions defensive backs coach Brian Stewart also worked with Ossenfort in Houston in 2002.

FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES

  • Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears coached the receivers at Syracuse while Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni worked as linebackers coach for the Orange from 1987-90. Fears also worked with Lions tight ends coach Chris White when White was a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 1990.
  • Lions OL Frank Ragnow played at Arkansas with Patriots DL Trey Flowers (2014) and DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (2014-16). Ragnow also had Patriots consultant to the head coach Bret Bielema as his head coach at Arkansas from 2014-17.
  • Patriots RB Rex Burkhead played with Lions RB Ameer Abdullah at Nebraska from 2011-12.
  • Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy played for Brigham Young with Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah from 2010-12.
  • Patriots S Patrick Chung played with Lions RB LeGarrette Blount at Oregon in 2008.
  • Detroit LB Jarrad Davis played with a pair of Patriots at Florida, teaming up with OL Trent Brown (2013-14) and DB J.C. Jackson (2014). Lions WR Brandon Powell and CB Teez Tabor also played with Brown and Jackson in 2014.
  • Lions G Kenny Wiggins played for Fresno State while Patriots head strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Bulldogs (2006-09). Patriots coaching assistant Cole Popovich played offensive line at Fresno State with Wiggins from 2006-08.
  • Lions OT Rick Wagner played for Wisconsin with Patriots RB James White from 2010-12. Patriots consultant to the head coach Bret Bielema was Wagner's head coach at Wisconsin from 2008-12.
  • Lions linebackers coach Al Golden was the head coach at Miami from 2011-14 when Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett played for the Hurricanes.
  • Patriots DL Malcolm Brown played on a Texas defense with Lions DB Quandre Diggs from 2012-14.
  • Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn played for Iowa with Lions OL Andrew Donnal in 2010.
  • Patriots OL LaAdrian Waddle teamed up with Lions DE Kerry Hyder Jr. at Texas Tech from 2009-12.
  • Patriots DB Jonathan Jones played for Auburn with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson in 2015.
  • Patriots OL Brian Schwenke played for California with Lions WR Marvin Jones Jr. from 2009-11.
  • Patriots DL Keionta Davis played with Lions DB Dee Virgin for Tennessee-Chattanooga from 2012-15.
  • Patriots RB Kenjon Barner shared the Oregon backfield with Lions RB LeGarrette Blount in 2009.
  • Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley was a defensive administrative assistant at Auburn in 2008 while Lions assistant strength and conditioning coach Josh Schuler was a graduate assistant.
  • Lions defensive control coach Steven Williams Jr. was a graduate assistant at South Carolina when Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore played for the Gamecocks in 2011.

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