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Connections: Patriots - Panthers

Take a look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers.

Take a look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers.


  • Panthers LB Luke Kuechly attended Boston College and played in 38 games with 37 starts. He finished his career with an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and school-record 532 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, seven interceptions and 10 passes defensed.
  • Panthers LB Shaq Thompson was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB Draft and played one season of rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League.
  • Panthers defensive coordinator Eric Washington was commissioned as a Naval Reserve Officer in 1998 and assigned to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., where he served as the defensive coordinator of the football team for three years.
  • Panthers secondary coach Richard Rodgers worked at Holy Cross, first as the secondary coach in 2005 and later as the defensive coordinator from 2006-11.


  • Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore grew up in Rock Hill, S.C., and was named "Mr. Football" for the state of South Carolina for helping South Point High School to a perfect 15-0 record and a state title as a senior in 2008. Gilmore continued his education at the University of South Carolina.
  • Patriots WR Braxton Berrios grew up in Raleigh, N.C.
  • New England DB Keion Crossen is from Garysburg, N.C. and played at Western Carolina from 2014-17.
  • Patriots DE Derek Rivers grew up in Kinston, N.C.
  • Patriots OL Joe Thuney went to N.C. State from 2012-15 and was named a first team All-American.


  • Panthers WR Chris Hogan played with the Patriots from 2015-18, going to three consecutive Super Bowls and winning two.
  • Panthers DT Kyle Love was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent and played for the team from 2010-12. In his three years in New England, Love played in 41 regular-season games, notching 5 1/2 sacks and 65 tackles.
  • Panthers DE Bryan Cox Jr.'s father, Bryan Cox, played for the Patriots in 2001 as part of his 12-year NFL career.
  • Panthers QB Taylor Heinicke played on the Patriots practice squad in the beginning of 2017.


  • Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was the defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears while Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears was the receivers coach from 1997-98.
  • Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner served in that same capacity and coached Patriots QB Brian Hoyer on Cleveland in 2013.
  • Patriots WR Demaryius Thomas played alongside Panthers C Matt Paradis (2015-18) and TE Temarrick Hemingway (2018) in Denver.
  • Patriots OL James Ferentz played with Carolina CB Lorenzo Doss from 2015-16 with the Broncos.
  • Panthers CB Ross Cockrell played with CB Stephon Gilmore for Buffalo in 2014. Panthers TE Chris Manhertz also went through 2015 training camp in Buffalo with Gilmore as well. Additionally, Carolina CB Kevon Seymour played with Gilmore in 2016.
  • Panthers P Michael Palardy was on the Cleveland Browns practice squad while Patriots DB Jason McCourty and DL Danny Shelton were on the 53-man roster in 2016.
  • Panthers WR Torrey Smith played with Patriots DL Lawrence Guy for Baltimore in 2014.
  • Patriots LB Shalique Calhoun and Panthers DE Bruce Irvin played together in Oakland from 2016-18.
  • Panthers OL Norman Price blocked for Patriots QB Brian Hoyer in San Francisco in 2017. Panthers SS Eric Reid also spent the 2017 season in San Francisco.


  • Carolina WR Terry Goodwin and RB Elijah Holyfield played for Georgia with New England C David Andrews (2014), RB Sony Michel (2014-17) and OL Isaiah Wynn (2014-17).
  • Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne played for Auburn with Patriots DB Jonathan Jones and LB Brandon King from 2013-14.
  • Patriots RB Damien Harris played with several Panthers at Alabama. G Brandon Greene, LB/DE Christian Miller and WR DeAndrew White were all on Crimson Tide Championship rosters with Harris.
  • Patriots P Jake Bailey played with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (2014) and DB Alex Carter (2012-14) for Stanford.
  • Panthers DL Bijhon Jackson (2014-17) and WR Ryan Pulley (2015- 17) played at Arkansas under Patriots defensive line coach Bret Bielema from when he was head coach of the Razorbacks.
  • Patriots OL Yodny Cajuste blocked for Panthers QB Will Grier at West Virginia from 2016-18.
  • Carolina DT Vernon Butler played with Patriots P Ryan Allen (2012) at Louisiana Tech.
  • Patriots DL Danny Shelton and Panthers LB Shaq Thompson were a part of the Washington defense from 2012-14.
  • Patriots DL Nick Thurman played opposite Panthers QB Kyle Allen at Houston in 2017.
  • Patriots OL Marcus Cannon played with Panthers DB Colin Jones for TCU in 2008-10.
  • Panthers CB Corn Elder played with Patriots WR Braxton Berrios (2014-16), WR Phillip Dorsett (2013-14) and DL Trent Harris (2014- 16) at Miami (Fla.).
  • Carolina LB Jermaine Carter played with New England DB J.C. Jackson on Maryland from 2016-17.
  • Panthers DL Bryan Cox Jr. teamed up with DB Duke Dawson Jr. (2014-16) and DB J.C. Jackson (2014) at Florida. The Gators also saw Patriots OL Martez Ivey block for Panthers RB Jordan Scarlett prior to their arrival in the NFL in 2019.
  • Panthers DE Marquis Haynes played at Mississippi under Patriots outside linebackers coach DeMarcus Covington when Covington was a defensive graduate assistant.
  • Carolina CB Donte Jackson was teammates with Patriots RB Nick Brossette at LSU in 2015.
  • Patriots special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Judge was a graduate assistant at Mississippi State while Panthers DT Kyle Love played there from 2006-07.
  • Patriots DB J.C. Jackson was at Maryland with Panthers WR DJ Moore from 2016-17.
  • Patriots DB A.J. Howard and Panthers C Parker Collins spent 2014-17 as teammates at Appalachian State.
  • Patriots DB Ken Webster played alongside Panthers T Greg Little (2016-18) and DE Marquis Haynes (2014-17).


  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's father, Steve Belichick, was an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy for 34 years from 1956-89. Panthers running game coordinator John Matsko was also an assistant coach at Navy and worked alongside the elder Belichick in 1985.

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