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Connections: Patriots - Steelers

A look at the connections between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

<u>NEW ENGLAND TIES</u>

  • Steelers LB Tyler Matakevich is originally from Stratford, Conn. and attended St. Joseph's High School in Trumbull, Conn. He helped the Cadets capture back-to-back state championships and was an all-state honoree at linebacker his senior year.

<u>PITTSBURGH AREA TIES</u>

  • Patriots RB Dion Lewis attended the University of Pittsburgh from 2009- 10, where he finished fourth on the school's all-time rushing list with 2,860 yards. He also became the first player since *Michael Vick *(Virginia Tech, 1999) to earn Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season after rushing 325 times for 1,799 yards (5.5 avg.) and 18 total touchdowns as a freshman in 2009.
  • Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby also attended Pittsburgh from 2011-15, where he played in 50 games with 18 starts and collected 144 career tackles (100 solo) and 9.5 sacks during his career.

<u>FORMER PATRIOTS</u>

  • Steelers LB L.J. Fort spent a brief period of time on the Patriots roster during the team's 2015 training camp.
  • Both Steelers TE Xavier Grimble *and CB *Mike Hilton were on the Patriots practice squad for a short period of time in 2014 and 2016, respectively.

<u>FORMER STEELERS</u>

  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer was on the Steelers roster for Weeks 12 and 13 of the 2012 season, though he did not see game action.

Game Preview: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

<u>FORMER NFL TEAMMATES</u>

  • Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin was the defensive coordinator in Minnesota in 2006 when Patriots defensive line coach* Brendan Daly* was the defensive assistant/defensive line coach and wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea was an offensive assistant/wide receivers for the Vikings.
  • Pittsburgh assistant head coach/defensive line John Mitchell *was the defensive line coach for the Browns from 1991-93 when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick* was the head coach in Cleveland. Pittsburgh wide receivers coach* Richard Mann* was also the wide receivers coach under Belichick from 1991-93 at Cleveland.
  • Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was the wide receivers coach/ offensive assistant for the Jets when Patriots head coach *Bill Belichick *was the assistant head coach/secondary in New York from 1997-99.
  • Haley was also the offensive coordinator for the Cardinals from 2007-08 when Patriots DL Alan Branch played in Arizona, and Steelers outside linebackers coach *Joey Porter *played with Branch at Arizona in 2010.
  • Pittsburgh LB Arthur Moats played with Patriots DL Alan Branch, WR Chris Hogan and CB Stephon Gilmore at the Buffalo Bills. Gilmore and Patriots RB Mike Gillislee were also teammates with Steelers WR Justin Hunter at Buffalo in 2016.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer, RB Dion Lewis and CB Johnson Bademosi were teammates with Steelers CB* Joe Haden* at Cleveland. Bademosi also played for the Browns with Steelers LB *L.J. Fort *in 2012.
  • In Steelers LB James Harrison's one NFL season away from Pittsburgh, he was teammates with Patriots RB Rex Burkhead at Cincinnati in 2013.
  • Steelers WR *Darrius Heyward-Bey *played with Patriots TE Dwayne Allen and DL Lawrence Guy at Indianapolis in 2013.
  • Patriots DL Lawrence Guy and Steelers RB *Fitzgerald Toussaint *played together at Baltimore in 2014.
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer played for the Cardinals for a portion of the 2012 season when Steelers CB William Gay was at Arizona.
  • Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby was teammates with Steelers CB Coty Sensabaugh at the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.
  • Steelers running backs coach James Saxon served in the same capacity at Kansas City when Patriots wide receivers coach *Chad O'Shea *was with the Chiefs from 2003-05 as an assistant special teams and linebackers coach. Saxon also coached the running backs at Minnesota when New England defensive line coach *Brendan Daly *was at Minnesota from 2012-13 in the same role.

<u>FORMER COLLEGE TEAMMATES</u>

  • Patriots RB James White was teammates with Steelers LB *T.J. Watt *at Wisconsin in 2013, though Watt did not play due to a redshirt.
  • Patriots TE Dwayne Allen was teammates with Steelers WR Martavis Bryant at Clemson in 2011.
  • Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and LB Marquis Flowers played with Steelers S Robert Golden at Arizona, Gronkowski in 2008 and Flowers in 2010-11.
  • Patriots RB Mike Gillislee, Steelers CB Joe Haden and Steelers C *Maurkice Pouncey *were teammates at Florida in 2009.
  • Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett played at Miami with Steelers CB* Artie Burns* from 2013-14, LB Anthony Chickillo from 2011-14 and LB Sean Spence in 2011.
  • Steelers QB Landry Jones played with Patriots DL Geneo Grissom at Oklahoma from 2011-12.
  • Steelers RB* James Conner* was college teammates with Patriots LB Nicholas Grigsby at Pittsburgh from 2013-15.
  • Steelers G *David DeCastro *played with Patriots OL Cameron Fleming, DB Jordan Richards and CB Johnson Bademosi at Stanford.
  • Patriots DB Eric Rowe and LB Trevor Reilly were teammates with Steelers CB *Brian Allen *at Utah.
  • Steelers quarterbacks coach *Randy Fichtner *was also the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach when Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski played at Memphis from 2002-05.
  • Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer was a graduate assistant at Kent State from 2002-03 when Steelers offensive assistant Shaun Sarrett played for the Golden Eagles.
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